Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I recently heard a radio interview where wine experts said that the type of glass you drink out of really makes no difference. We have always been told the glass and the quality of the glass are very important to the taste of the wine. Please address this issue.
—Tommye A., Lufkin, Texas
I think that wineglasses are extremely important to enjoying wine, and that the quality and shape absolutely matter. Beyond that, I think we all have to make decisions about what makes the most sense for us individually, based on what we can afford and on how much space we have in our cupboards.
I don’t know what you heard on the radio, but many wine lovers find an all-purpose, everyday wineglass that does the trick for them. The next step up would be to get an all-purpose red wine glass, an all-purpose white wine glass, and some Champagne flutes. If it’s within your budget and space to expand from there, there are also wineglasses that are designed to showcase specific types of wines—say, one for Pinot Noir that’s different from one for Bordeaux-style wines.
They’re certainly an indulgence, but I’ve done side-by-side experiments with these differently shaped glasses, and there’s absolutely a difference in how they influence the way a wine tastes.
In general, I recommend you consider glasses that hold at least 10 ounces, taper slightly at the top, are well-balanced in the hand, and, if possible, have bowls made of thin, hand-blown glass. After that, let your senses be your guide.