As you begin to learn more about the proper way to drink wine, you may be shocked by the number of different wine glasses available today. There are many reasons for this amount — including personal tastes and style — although most wine glasses are designed to capture the unique essence of each style of wine. Choosing the right type of wine glass can even enhance your appreciation of the liquid within. Here’s a primer on the types of wine glasses to help you select the perfect style to match your choice of wine.

Choosing the Right Wine Glass

Wine Glasses

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As the shape of the wine glass is designed to accent certain aromas or flavors, choosing the right style will maximize the unique characteristics of each wine. Glasses for white wine, for example, have smaller bowls with longer stems to keep the wine cool. Red wine glasses, on the other hand, tend to hold more volume with a wider bowl so the wine can breathe. Wine glasses are truly an important aspect of drinking wine as they allow you to experience subtleties that would otherwise be lost.

The Chardonnay Glass

This glass has a very wide bowl with a top that’s slightly tapered. It holds up to seven ounces of wine and the bowl provides enough room to swirl. These glasses have a long stem that’s designed to keep the Chardonnay cool.

Riesling Glasses

These wine glasses are slightly narrower and taller than the Chardonnay glass so the fruity aromas of Riesling are concentrated in the upper part of the glass. Like the Chardonnay glass, this style has a long stem to keep the Riesling cool.

The Sauvignon Blanc Glass

This style is very tall and thin to concentrate the aroma at the top. It also has a very long stem with a narrow, tapered bowl.

Merlot Glasses

Like most red wine glasses, the Merlot glass has a very large bowl that slightly tapers at the top. This glass has a stem of average length with one of the widest bases.

The Pinot Noir Glass

The Pinot Noir glass is very distinctive as the rim flares out slightly to direct the intense, fruity flavors of the wine. This style also has a large, wide bowl with a tapered top and a slightly shorter stem.

Shiraz Glasses

These glasses are smaller than the average glass for red wine and taper inward. They feature a wide base with a medium-length stem and a shape that’s designed to present the fruity aromas first, then the tannin.

The Port Glass

As port wines are known their their intense taste and high alcoholic content, these glasses feature a very thin shape that holds only eight to nine ounces. This shape is designed to mask the alcohol aroma while focusing the aromas of the pepper, oak and blackcurrant.

Dessert Wine Glass

This style is designed for dessert and ice wines with a very tapered bowl to accent the wine’s acidity and balance out the sweetness. This unique shape allows for swirling yet maintains the balanced ratio of wine to air.

Champagne Glass

The champagne glass, which may also be used to serve sparkling wine, is known as a flute. Flutes have a very slender, tall shape to concentrate the bubbles on the tip of your tongue.