This is not going to be a wine glass guide. In reality, you may need only a few wine glasses, this way it will be easier to store them and won't break the bank. But no one can deny the truth: some glasses are just better for certain wines. The taste improves overall, and the more you practice, the more you feel it. What may you need then?
To start off, I am advising you to pour no more than 1/3 of your glass. As a rule of thumb, pour your wine to the widest part of the bowl. This way you give your wine enough oxygen to breathe, as well as room to swirl the wine and release the aromas.
Universal , or Standard, glass is probably what you need to invest in. By saying that, I mean you don't need to spend a fortune, but to look for a set of six glasses of good quality. They will last you forever, will be easier to maintain and the wine will always perform well. Such glasses are good for red, white and rosé wines. Tip: some sparkling wines reveal more flavours when served in a standard glass.
Burgundy glass has a large bowl to collect aromas. That is why it is also called an "Aroma Collector". Such glass suits best light-bodied red wines and wines with delicate and subtle aromas. Think of Pinot Noir and even oaked Chardonnay. Tip: look for a narrow rim when buying Burgundy glasses. A narrow rim will mitigate your wine's acidity.
Bordeaux glass is the largest glass best fitted for full-bodied wines. The maximised surface area of the wine exposed to oxygen helps soften the harsh tannins, making the wine "breathe" as you swirl it. Cleaning and maintaining such wine glasses can be difficult; and if you don't want to invest in a separate set of Bordeaux glasses, I advise getting a basic decanter for your favourite bold red wines.
White Wine Glass
White wine glasses are great for most white wines with citrusy and floral notes. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chenin and other white wines perform way better in glasses with a narrow bowl. Smaller bowl protects the wine and its light flavours from over oxidation. Tip: narrow bowl combined with narrow opening of the glass helps keep the wine chilled for a longer time.
Flutes are the best glasses to preserve bubbles in your sparkling wines. So if you are a fan of Prosecco or Cava, a flute is a must! The narrow bowl will limit the oxidation and smaller opening will keep the sparkling wine cool. Love Champagne? Consider a White wine glass or a Universal glass. These glasses help express the complex aromas of sparkling wines made with the Traditional method.
Dessert glass is a glass of least importance in your collection. It is very unlikely you will need it, unless you're a Port fan. The glass is smaller in size to help control portions. Also, they often have a shorter stem, thus allowing the body heat from your hands to slightly warm the dessert wine and to release the aromas. Try savouring Sherry, Recioto della Valpolicella and even Moscato d'Asti in a dessert glass.