The shape of a wine glass is key to the drinking experience, as the narrowness of the opening directly correlates with the beverage’s aromatic potential. The glass’s shape also impacts taste, as you’ll tilt your head differently to drink, affecting how the wine hits your tongue. Here’s a guide to help you understand which bulbs are best suited for port, white, and red wine.

3 Wines With Special Glasses

1. Port

Port wine is significantly stronger than most wines, featuring a 20% alcohol by volume. As a result, port glasses are smaller and narrower than standard glasses. The mouth is intentionally designed narrowly to reduce the evaporation of its high alcohol content. Ports are best suited to small glasses for limited pours, similar to why strong espressos are served in little cups.

2. White

red wineWhite wine is usually served in a glass with a narrower bulb. The purpose of this is to prevent the wine from over-exposure to the air, which can disrupt its delicate floral aroma. A small glass preserves aromas and acidity, as well as keeps the wine at a cooler temperature than red wine varieties. Certain full-bodied whites, like oak-aged Chardonnays, that are closer in composition to red varieties will be served in glasses with slightly larger bulbs.

3. Red

Red wine is typically served in a glass with a wide opening. This enables the wine to easily react with oxygen in the air due to ample surface area exposure. The shape allows the beverage to slip widely into the mouth. As a result, the bitter tannins won’t be as pronounced, making the wine taste smoother.


If you want to experience the difference of trying wine in its designated glass, head to Oeno Winemaking in Kailua, HI. This winery offers tastings, so guests can sample their many bottles and blends. They have over 150 different white and red wine varieties that feature local and international bottles. Browse their selection online, or call (808) 263-6366 to schedule a tasting.