Why Are Wine Glasses Getting So Big? (Explained)

Over the years, wine glasses have become bigger. When you would look at wine glasses over the centuries, you can see that the size has steadily increased.

It was in the 90s when wine glasses have become significantly bigger.

The reason that wine glasses are getting so big is practicality.

Here’s why wine glasses are getting bigger

Wine needs air to breathe. With enough room in the bowl of the wine glass, more air is let in so the flavors would fully open up. Given this, bigger wine glasses are more practical and can be better, because they can make the wine taste better. 

What is the standard size of a wine glass?

Red wine glasses and white wine glasses have different standard sizes. This is because red wines and white wines are meant to be served and enjoyed in different ways.

In general, white wine glasses have a capacity of 11 to 18 ounces. When it comes to the mouth of the glass, it normally measures 6 to 6.5 centimeters or 2.35 to 2.5 inches in diameter. The bowl of white wine glasses normally has a diameter of around 6.5 to 7 centimeters or 2.55 to 2.75 inches at the widest part.

When it comes to height, white wine glasses should measure from 24.5 to 27.5 centimeters or 9.60 to 10.80 inches.

Plus the stems should be around 12 centimeters or 4.70 inches high.

Because red wines have fuller and bolder flavors, red wine glasses need to be bigger compared to white wine glasses. The normal capacity of red wine glasses ranges from 13 to 28 ounces. The mouth of red wine glasses has a diameter of 6.7 to 7 centimeters. Or 2.65 to 2.75 inches.  around 7.5 to 8 centimeters, or 2.95 to 3.15 inches.

As for the height, red wine glasses are general 23 centimeters or 9 inches high, with stems that measure roughly 11.4 centimeters or 4.5 inches.

Are wine glasses getting bigger and bigger?

Over the centuries, wine glasses have become bigger. The capacity has increased over time, with bowls becoming bigger in size.

When wine glasses first came out in the 1700s, they only had a capacity of 2.2 fluid ounces, which is significantly a lot less than what wine glasses can hold nowadays. It was in the 1900s when the increase in size has become more steady.

The size of wine glass bowls has increased a lot over the years and by the 2000s, most wine glasses have a standard capacity of 14 fluid ounces. More than a decade into the 2000s and it has increased to 15 fluid ounces.

When it comes to the stem, it also had a lot of changes over the years.

In the early days, most wine glasses have shorter and thicker stems.

Wine glasses nowadays generally have longer stems with an average of 11 centimeters or 4.35 inches. Longer stems help keep the wine at an ideal temperature. This is because the long stems give ample space from the hand to the bowl, so the hand does not warm up the wine.

When did wine glasses get so big?

Wine glasses have changed over the years, with the bowls becoming bigger and the stems becoming longer.

However, it was in the 1900s when wine glasses have significantly increased in size. The increase in size has been gradual from the 1700s to the early 1900s.

Then in the 1990s, the bigger size have become more evident and eventually was made as the standard.

Why are some wine glasses bigger than others?

While wine glasses are generally big, there are some wine glasses that are bigger than the others. This is because each wine needs a glass that is ideal for it to be fully enjoyed by the drinker.

Generally, red wine glasses have bigger bowls than white wine glasses. The bowls of red wine glasses are rounder and bigger. Red wine glasses also have bigger openings if you compare them to white wine glasses.

This is because red wines have fuller and bolder flavors. They need more air to interact with so that these flavors open up. The bowls of red wine glasses are designed in a way that allows the wine to display its aromatic qualities more robustly.

White wine glasses are generally shorter and narrower.

White wines have a more subtle aroma so the surface of the wine has to be closer to the drinker’s nose to be better enjoyed.

Furthermore, white wine glasses have longer stems.

This is because white wines are best served and enjoyed cool, preferably below room temperature. The long stem of white wine glasses prevents the warmth of the drinker’s hand from projecting into the wine.

Why are wine glasses so big and only filled up half?

Even though wine glasses are so big, they are not filled to the top. Red wine glasses are usually filled up to a third of the glass, and white wine glasses are only filled halfway.

While filling the wine glass to the top can be more convenient as this would mean less refilling for the drinker, this is not recommended.

Filling the wine glasses to the top would not let air in so the flavors will not fully open up. Filling wine glasses to the top would give the wine a closed-off flavor that would make your wine drinking experience less pleasurable.

Another con to filling up wine glasses to the top is that you would not be able to swirl the wine glass.

If you swirl a wine glass that is completely filled, the wine would have a tendency to spill. Swirling the wine not only looks elegant, but it also has its advantages.

Swirling the wine increases its surface area and its rate of evaporation.

Swirling the wine would produce an aroma. This resulting aroma gets trapped in the space between the wine surface and the rim, which allows you to savor it as you drink your wine.

Do good restaurants use bigger wine glasses?

Good restaurants want their customers to enjoy their wine and have a good wine-drinking experience. That being said, good restaurants use not just bigger wine glasses, but ones that will be ideal to the type of wine that they are serving.

This means that they will serve red wine in wine glasses that are made for red wines.

The same goes for white wines. In good restaurants, white wines would be served in the appropriate wine glasses.


Size Matters: Your Wine Glass Is Getting Bigger

The Difference Between Red And White Wine Glasses

What Is The Standard Size Of A Wine Glass?

Why Do We Fill Wine Glasses Only Halfway?