Why Are Wine Glasses So Tall? (Explained)

Wine glasses nowadays are normally tall. They are designed to have tall bowls and long stems. The average wine glasses have a height that falls between 6 and 10 inches, or 15.25 and 25.4o centimeters, with some variations.

The height of wine glasses varies slightly for special glasses that are made for specific types of red wines or white wines.

Wine glasses are designed to be so tall because it enhances your wine drinking experience.

How Tall Glasses Affect the Drinking Experience:

The tall stem allows you to swirl your wine, which in turn releases different aromas to make the drinking experience enjoyable. The long stem also helps keep your wine at ideal temperatures by keeping the warm hand off the glass bowl.

Are taller wine glasses better?

When buying wine glasses, most people consider the shape and the material but they usually overlook the height.

When it comes to wine glasses, height matters because they can also make or break your wine-drinking experience.

Since taller wine glasses can actually improve your wine drinking experience, they are indeed better.

Our taste buds can only distinguish four flavors such as bitter, sweet, salty, and sour. However, our sense of smell can do so much more than that.

Our olfactory senses can recognize different and more specific flavors such as fruity, herbal, woodsy, and so on – this is something that our taste buds cannot do.

Taller wine glasses with longer stems lets your swirl your wine so the aromas of the wine attach themselves to oxygen to release different aromas.

So when you are drinking wine in the appropriate wine glass, you may be able to get a hint of fruity or woodsy flavors and aromas that you would not experience if you do not swirl it or if you are using the wrong wine glass.

They Certainly Are for White Wine

Another benefit of taller wine glasses is that they help keep the wine cool.

The long stems of tall wine glasses give ample space between your hand and the bowl of the wine glass, so that the warmth coming from your hand does not project into the bowl.

The long stem actually prevents your hand from warming up the wine.

This is especially beneficial to those who drink white wine, as white wine is best enjoyed cool and at below room temperature.

This is also why most white wine glasses have really long stems.

After all, who wants to drink a warm white wine, right?

What Is the Purpose of the Stem on Wine Glasses?

Long stems on wine glasses certainly look elegant, but they are also designed to be functional.

Everything on a good wine glass actually serves a purpose to help improve your wine drinking experience.

The stem on wine glasses primarily has two purposes:

  1. To let you swirl your wine to help release all the different aromas for a more enjoyable drinking experience.
  2. To keep your wine cool at the ideal temperature.

Another extra advantage to using wine glasses with stems is that there will be less smudging.

Let’s admit it – fingerprints on glass ware can be a bit unsightly.

Stems on wine glasses minimize the appearance of fingerprints since the drinker will hold the glass by the stem instead of by the bowl.

This is why longer and more slender stems on wine glasses are preferred over short and thick stems.

The only con to having long stems on wine glasses is that they can be easily tipped over. This is the reason that some people prefer stemless wine glasses.

The want the stability and the sturdiness, and they do not want to risk tipping over and breaking their expensive glass ware.

Why Are Wine Glasses Shaped the Way They Are?

Wine glasses are designed and shaped the way they are in order to provide wine drinkers a very pleasant wine drinking experience.

Back in the early days, people drank wine from vessels that closely resemble small bowls. These vessels had a slightly curved and flat bottom, with flared rims. Over the centuries, the wine glasses have evolved a lot to the glassware we have today.

The bowls of wine glasses are made to be tall in order to let enough air in.

The air interacts with the wine so that it releases different aromas.

The stems of wine glasses also add to how tall they are. Long stems help keep the wine cool, which is very ideal for white wines.

The stems also allow you to swirl the wine to release more aromas and further enhance the drinking experience.

Why are Red Wine Glasses Taller than White Wine Glasses?

If you put a red wine glass and white wine glass side by side, you would notice slight differences between the two.

Red wine glasses tend to have taller bowls because they have fuller and bolder flavors and aromas.

Red wine need more air to interact with so that the aromas are released and the flavors are enhanced.

White wine glasses have slightly shorter bowls compared to red wine glasses. This is because white wines have more subtle aromas.

The shorter bowls of white wine glasses leave little space between the nose and the surface of the wine, so that the drinker can still get a whiff of the white wine’s aromas.

What Are Tall Wine Glasses Called?

The tall wine glasses are called balloon glasses. They are characterized by their long thin stems and big round bowls.

Balloon glasses are the tallest type of wine glasses.

Balloon glasses are so versatile that it is actually good to have a set of them on hand or readily available. You can use them for different kinds of wine.

They can be used for red wines that need plenty of air to breathe, so you can savor the red wine’s bolder and fuller flavors.

Plus you can also use these balloon glasses for white wines, as they have a pretty large opening will allow a lot of the aroma to come out of the glass for the drinker to enjoy.

Another thing to love about these glasses is that they have really long stems that keep your wine from getting warm.

How Tall Should Wine Glasses Be?

In general, wine glasses have a height that falls between 6 to 10 inches, or or 15.25 to 25.4o centimeters.

A good height for a red wine glass is roughly 8.5 inches or 21.6 centimeters, give or take a few centimeters. This height falls within the normal range of height of wine glasses.

Of course, some variations here and there can be acceptable as there are some wine glasses that are very specific to certain types of wine.

For example, there are some wine glasses that are especially made for:

  • Burgundy
  • Bordeaux
  • Pinot Noir
  • Etc.

For white wines glasses, a good height would be around 7 inches, or roughly 17.80 centimeters.

Since white wines glasses have shorter bowls, they are generally shorter than red wine glasses.

This height is tall enough for you to fully enjoy the flavors of your wine and to keep them cool.

However, they are not too tall so that they are easy to store and can fit in your dishwasher.

You do not want wine glasses that are extremely tall that they end up breaking or chipping when you store them or put them in the dishwasher.


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