Guide to wine glasses (& what to drink out of it)

Dec 19, 2022

I’m generally not a rule follower, but when it comes to using the right glass for my non-alcoholic wine, I like to do things by the book. 

I’ve always been particular about wine glasses, from my days of wine collecting to my first foray into the world of non-alcoholic wines. And now that I’m exclusively a non-alcoholic wine drinker, I am more obsessed with wine glasses than ever before.
Bottle of non-alcoholic red wine being poured into wine glasses

The anatomy of a wine glass 

While some may think that being fussy about using the right glass is a bit snobby, it can actually make a big difference to the way you experience your wine. In fact, it’s even backed by science. Researchers from Japan used a two-dimensional imaging system, which is essentially a special type of camera, to record images of vapours in different glasses. 

The study found that different wine glass shapes affected the density and position of vapours within the wine glass. This matters because vapours carry aromatic compounds to your nose. And aromas are responsible for a large part of the wine's flavour. Because of this, different-shaped wine glasses are better for particular types of wine. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be, I am here to help. I’ve put together this guide to wine glasses and what to drink out of them, to make picking the best wine glass for your non-alcoholic wine as simple as possible. 

The best glasses for non-alcoholic red wine 

Bordeaux/Cabernet/Merlot red wine glasses

The classic ‘Bordeaux’ red wine glass (also known as Cabernet/Merlot red wine glasses) is taller than a standard red wine glass and has a smaller bowl. 

This is the perfect red wine glass for full-bodied, complex red wines that have a high tannin content. The generous size of this red wine glass allows the bouquet to develop fully and delivers the wine directly to the back of the mouth. 

If you drink a non-alcoholic red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot out of this red wine glass, you will notice more of the fruit aromas in your wine, which will balance out the bitterness of the tannins. 

Try this

Two Hoots Non-Alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon is a great non-alcoholic red wine to enjoy in a Bordeaux/Cabernet/Merlot red wine glass. It’s a robust, full-bodied wine that is rich in tannins. Look out for fruity aromas of sun-ripened cherries and plums. 

Syrah/Shiraz/Sangiovese/Malbec red wine glasses

A Syrah/Shiraz red wine glass (also suitable for Sangiovese/Malbec) has an egg-shaped bowl that will accentuate the soft fruit and earthy characteristics of medium-bodied non-alcoholic red wine varietals such as Shiraz

If you drink a non-alcoholic Shiraz or Syrah out of this red wine glass you will also notice more of the savoury notes in the wine. 

Try this

Next Destination 2018 Barossa Valley Shiraz is the perfect non-alcoholic red wine to enjoy in a Syrah/Shiraz/Sangiovese/Malbec red wine glass. Made in the Barossa Valley Australian wine region, it’s a medium-bodied non-alcoholic Shiraz with generous notes of dark chocolate, ripe berries and new french oak. Look out for the way the red wine glass brings out the silky, velvety structure of the Next Destination 2018 Barossa Valley Shiraz. 

Burgundy/Pinot Noir red wine glasses

With its tulip-shaped bowl, the Burgundy/Pinot Noir red wine glass is perfect for non-alcoholic red wine varietals that are light-bodied with high acidity and moderate tannins such as Pinot Noir and Burgundy. 

This red wine glass will highlight the rich fruit-forward characteristics of the non-alcoholic red wine and will temper the high acidity. The tulip-shaped bowl captures all the nuances of the wine's aromas, which will enhance the flavour. 

Try this

Tread Softly Everything Except Pinot Noir is a great non-alcoholic red wine to try in a Burgundy/Pinot Noir red wine glass. Made in South Australia, it’s a light-bodied wine with a full flavour. Look out for the full bouquet of aromas from dark berries to earthy notes. 

The best glasses for non-alcoholic white wine

Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling white wine glasses

With a diamond-shaped bowl, the Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling white wine glass is ideal for non-alcoholic white wine varietals that have fruity flavour profiles and high acidity such as Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. 

The diamond-shaped bowl gives this white wine glass some angles which gives the aromas more space to develop. Drinking a non-alcoholic white wine out of this glass will enhance and emphasise the fruity notes of the wine. 

Try this

1920 Wines Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine to try in a Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling white wine glass. Made in South Australia by 1920 Wines, it has all the classic characteristics you’d expect in a classic Sauvignon Blanc. Look out for the fruity aromas of tropical fruit salad, mango and passionfruit.

Chardonnay white wine glasses

As the name suggests, the Chardonnay white wine glass is perfect for non-alcoholic Chardonnay as well as other full-bodied non-alcoholic white wine varietals. This white wine glass has a large U-shaped bowl and tapered, thin lips, which will emphasise the buttery texture of non-alcoholic wine

The shape of this white wine glass will also highlight the fruit notes in the non-alcoholic white wine and ensure a long, balanced finish.

Try this

Next Destination 2018 McLaren Vale Chardonnay is a great non-alcoholic white wine to try in a Chardonnay white wine glass. Made in the McLaren Vale wine region, it is considered to be the best non-alcoholic Chardonnay in Australia. It has a full body and oak tannins. Look out for the way the white wine glass accentuates the buttery mouthfeel of the Next Destination 2018 McLaren Vale Chardonnay. 

The best glasses for non-alcoholic sparkling wine 

Coupes, Flutes and Tulips

There are three different types of Champagne glass that are suitable for non-alcoholic sparkling wine — Coupes, Flutes and Tulips. I have deliberately put them in that order because Coupe champagne glasses do very little to enhance the aromas of non-alcoholic sparkling wine, while Champagne flute glasses and Tulip Champagne glasses play a fundamental role in improving aroma and flavour. 

Champagne Coupe glasses 

Coupe champagne glasses, also known as Saucers, were the first official champagne glasses and became popular in the 1830s. With their shallow, broad-rimmed shape, they may look elegant, but they won’t do much to improve your non-alcoholic sparkling wine

Because of the large surface area, champagne coupe glasses allow the aromas and carbonation of the non-alcoholic sparkling wine to escape. The Coupe champagne glasses are great for watching the bubbles though! 

Champagne flute glasses 

With its tall, narrow shape the Champagne flute glass is able to preserve the carbonation of the non-alcoholic sparkling wine

Champagne flute glasses also have a curve at the base of the bowl/ tip of the stem. This gives the non-alcoholic champagne a place for the bubbles to gather before rising to the top of the glass. 

Tulip Champagne glasses 

Tulip Champagne glasses do the most to enhance the aroma and flavour of your non-alcoholic sparkling wine. With their narrow top, wider bowl and tapered edges, Tulip Champagne glasses trap the aroma of the non-alcoholic champagne in the bowl. There is also more room for the bubbles to flow. 

Try this

Next Destination 2021 Langhorne Creek Blanc de Blanc is the perfect non-alcoholic sparkling wine to enjoy in Tulip Champagne glasses. Made in Langhorne Creek, it has persistent delicate bubbles and a crisp palate. Look out for aromas of toasted brioche, fresh blossom and green apple that will be delivered straight to your nose. 

Try different wine glasses and notice the difference for yourself 

I hope that this guide has given you a good insight into the range of different wine glasses out there and how they can change the taste and aroma of your non-alcoholic wine. You can buy all of the different non-alcoholic wines I have included right here at Sans Drinks, and if you’re keen to explore further, check out the many different varieties in the non-alcoholic wine section. You might also like to sign up to my loyalty club so that I can keep you in the loop about new products and special offers. 

For me, using the best type of wine glass for my non-alcoholic wine is like serving the wine at the right temperature — it's a small thing that makes a big difference. I hope you notice the difference too — cheers!

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