Why Varietal-Specific Wine Glasses Make a Difference

If you’re in the market to buy new glassware, you may have encountered a vast variety of styles and shapes from which to choose. In fact, the choices are so numerous that you’re probably wondering whether you need a wine glass for every type of wine you drink. The short and simple answer is yes.

Unlike many brands who simply make “wine friendly glassware”, Riedel offers a glass for different grape varieties. Riedel are the only company who make varietal specific glassware. They have over 40 years of research and development into this concept, which is wholly owned and only properly practiced by Riedel.There’s a wine glass for every variety of wine you would ever want to drink–a glass specific to Shiraz, one for Pinot Noir, another for Chardonnay and on and on. These products are designed specifically based on each variety’s specific characteristics to capture its essence and deliver a balanced flavour experience to wine lovers.

For example, their Shiraz glass is typically considered a standard red wine glass, and features a tall bowl that tapers at the top. This glass is the most versatile red wine glass in their range and has been designed to create a perfect balance of fruit, tannin and acidity. If you were to compare to another popular shape, for Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, you’ll notice it’s slightly shorter with a wider opening. What appears to be a small difference makes a big impact on wine’s aroma and flavour.

The Pinot Noir glasses feature a shorter but much wider bowl, that mimic a tulip shape. These glasses enhance red wines with high acidity and moderate tannin by highlighting the fruit and balancing the naturally high acidity.  You can see a video here of how this process works, for when Riedel designed their Central Otago Pinot Noir glass.

White wine glasses typically come in a similar shape to red wine glasses however, the bowl is narrower and smaller as they require less air than red wine to reach their potential. This however can be different for different varietals. Fuller bodied and older white wines generally allow for larger bowl with a wider mouth as the aromas are more complex and require extra air than their younger, crisper counterparts.

At the Grand Cru Wine Fridges Shop, we are not only the wine fridge experts but can now provide you with a range of premium Riedel glassware to suit all the popular varietals.