The small glass lore

Your ultimate guide to different types of wine glasses


Familiarize yourself with the art of Grape Varietal Specific glassware.

Whatever wine you're sipping - be it white or red, sweet or dry, light or full-bodied, using the appropriate glass is essential for allowing it to reach its full flavor potential. Every wine benefits from a specific glass shape that best enhances its aromas, flavors, and overall character, and gaining an understanding of this allows you to raise the level of all your future wine-drinking experiences. Join us as we take you through a series of Grape Varietal Specific wine glass styles that help you get the most out of various red, white, sparkling, and rosé wines.


Red wine glasses

Generally, red wine glasses feature full, round bowls and large rim diameters. All these characteristics contribute towards providing greater aeration of the wine, drawing out its aromas and flavors so you can best experience them while smoothing out any harsh tannins present. Here are the most popular varietal-specific red wine glasses you can find across our RIEDEL Grape Varietal Specific Collections.

Cabernet/Merlot glasses

Best for: Cabernet, Merlot, Red Zinfandel, Carménère, Cabernet Franc.

The RIEDEL Cabernet/Merlot glass is perfect for full-bodied, complex red wines high in tannins. Tall and broad, each RIEDEL Cabernet/Merlot glass offers ample bowl space, emphasizing the wine's fruit notes and smoothing out the rough edges and bitter qualities of high tannin wines, helping them to achieve a beautiful balance. With a modestly wide opening, this glass contains some of the complex attributes of fuller-bodied wines, allowing for a greater nosing experience.
All Cabernet Glasses

Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo glasses

Best for: Pinot Noir, Burgundy red, Nebbiolo.

The RIEDEL Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo glass is perfect for light-bodied red wines with higher acidity and moderate tannins. Each RIEDEL Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo glass features a signature wide bowl design that is crucial for optimizing Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo wines. This exaggerated width allows for unhindered aeration of the wine, which is particularly beneficial for light-bodied reds that benefit from having their qualities develop further after pouring. This increased aeration the glass offers, balances high acidity with the soft tannins and fruit-forward flavors typical of thin-skinned red wine grapes.
All Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo Glasses


RIEDEL Syrah/Shiraz glasses are perfect for balancing the gripping tannins and concentrated fruit typical of medium-bodied red wines. To accommodate the variety of different Syrah and Shiraz wines, we have two styles of glassware for this grape: one for Old World wines, and one for New World wines.

For Old World wines – typically known as Syrah wine, we recommend our Old World Syrah/Shiraz glasses. Tall and narrower than our Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir glasses, these glasses bring Old World Syrah wines' soft fruit and earthy characteristics forward, delivering a long, savory finish to each sip.

For New World Shiraz wines that come from the likes of USA, Australia and South Africa, we suggest our RIEDEL New World Shiraz glasses. These New World-specific Shiraz glasses offer a slightly tapered opening, allowing wines to retain a dignified structure as their intense, fruity aromas develop inside the large bowl.

Best for: Syrah, Malbec, Grenache, Tempranillo, Sangiovese (check whether your wine is Old World or New World to determine which style of glass to use)

For RIEDEL glasses that are particularly practical for bold New World red wines, check out our RIEDEL Veloce, RIEDEL Extreme, RIEDEL Performance, and RIEDEL Winewings collections. RIEDEL Veloce and RIEDEL Extreme feature diamond-shaped bowls, which deliver extreme angles that create more space for your wine's aromas to develop. RIEDEL Performance increases the surface area of your wine with its internal light optic design, helping your wine to interact more with the air. Finally, RIEDEL Winewings increases surface area by utilizing a flat-bottomed bowl design that increases evaporation levels and enables a greater aroma intensity.
All Syrah/Shiraz Glasses

White wine glasses

Typically, white wine glasses feature a smaller, narrower bowl than red wine glasses. These design characteristics focus more on preserving delicate, fresh aromas than allowing the wine to breathe, as over-exposing white wines to oxygen can cause them to lose some of the vibrancy that we enjoy them for. Here are the most popular varietal-specific white wine glasses you can find across our RIEDEL Grape Varietal Specific Collections.

Riesling Glasses

Best for: Riesling, White Zinfandel; Albarino.

The RIEDEL Riesling glass is perfect for balancing the high acidity and residual sugar of fruit-forward white wines.

Each RIEDEL Riesling glass features an elongated bowl and a narrow opening. Made for wines that display some residual sugars and a notable mineral component, this enclosed design prevents sugars from dominating each sip, balancing it with the fresh characteristics of the wine and delivering a smooth, seamless pour onto the palate.
All Riesling Glasses

Sauvignon Blanc Glasses

Best for: Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc,

The RIEDEL Sauvignon Blanc glass is perfect for all styles of this variety, from the grassy, fruit-forward wines of the Marlborough to the oak-aged, honeyed blends from Bordeaux.

With their slender designs and narrow openings, RIEDEL Sauvignon Blanc glasses are designed to capture these wines' delicate floral notes and fruit aromas, making for an exceptional nosing experience. Each underscores citrus aromas with herbaceous notes, offering freshness and harmony with an excellent balance of high acidity and minerality.
All Sauvignon Blanc Glasses

Chardonnay/Viognier Glasses

Chardonnay/Viognier glasses provide the exception to the rule about white wine glass sizes in that they can be split into two categories that can suit either fresh, vibrant white wines or complex, full-bodied white wines.

RIEDEL Chardonnay/Viognier glasses for unoaked white wines fall into the classic 'smaller white wine glass' mold. These U-shaped glasses feature a slightly wider rim than Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc glasses, making them ideal for setting off the alcohol and rich flavors of fuller-bodied but still unoaked white wines while allowing them to express their freshness, spiciness, and mineral character.

Best for: Unoaked Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Grigio

RIEDEL Oaked Chardonnay glasses feature a much larger, wider bowl that helps reveal the intensity of full-bodied, oaked white wines, including the wine's multi-layered aromas. A smaller wine glass can see fuller-bodied white wines become over-concentrated, whereas our larger RIEDEL Chardonnay Glasses emphasize the wine's finesse while allowing richer-style white wines qualities to expand and deliver to the nose and palate in a more
balanced manner.

Best for: Oaked Chardonnay and other oaked white wine styles.
All Chardonnay/Viognier Glasses

sparkling wine glasses

Champagne Glasses

Best for: Champagne, Prosecco, Cava

The RIEDEL Champagne wine glass is perfect for showing off your favorite Champagne's full range of flavors and aromas.

Compared with a traditional Champagne flute, Champagne wine glasses feature a wider bowl and a larger rim diameter. This combination allows the Champagne's complex layers to grow and intensify and to release in a way that allows for precision nosing of the wine. To account for this wider bowl design, our RIEDEL Champagne wine glasses also include a 'sparkling point' to aid the formation of the Champagne bubbles, helping your Champagne to retain its effervescence for maximum enjoyment.
All Champagne Wine Glasses

sparkling wine glasses

Champagne Flutes

Best for: Showing off your Champagne, Prosecco, Cava

The RIEDEL Champagne flute is perfect for anyone wanting to maintain the effervescent magic of Champagne-sipping above all else.

While less effective for developing a Champagne's aromas and flavors than the Champagne wine glass, the classic Champagne flute's slimline shape is ideal for encouraging the bead in Champagne and other sparkling wines. With this, the Champagne flute is the choice for Champagne lovers looking to celebrate with a thin and elegant glass.
All Champagne Flutes


Best for: Dry rosé wines.

The RIEDEL rosé glass is perfect for revealing the bouquet and freshness of rosé wines.

The elongated, diamond-shaped design of our RIEDEL rosé wine glasses contains and emphasizes the fresh fruitiness of rosé wine, bringing out its characteristic red berry and pinewood aromas while tempering its high acidity and delivering a smooth pour to the palate.
All Rosé Wine Glasses