Master Glass

Your glassware can have a big impact on your sipping experience.

The vessel greatly affects the flavor, consistency, aroma, and aesthetics of your drink. We show you what to choose from the endless array of beer, wine, and cocktail glasses available.

Illustrations by Michal Bednarski


The right glass will enhance the flavors and aromas of your wine, delivering the liquid to your palate in just the right way.

Universal wine glass

Look for a thinner glass, sized somewhere between a chardonnay and small red glass, with a bowl that’s larger than the top of the glass.

White wine glass

These tend to have smaller bowls in order to maintain a cooler temperature and preserve and deliver those floral aromas to your nose.

Red wine glass

The traditional red wine glass has a larger bowl that allows plenty of room for aeration to soften and release bold flavors and aromas.

Port glass

A smaller stature coupled with a narrow mouth reduces evaporation of these high-alcohol wines.

Champagne flute

The narrow design keeps sparkling wines effervescent longer, but also somewhat mutes the wine’s aroma and fruity notes.


The cocktail world offers a huge variety of glassware, but a few basic glasses should suffice for the home bartender.

Highball glass

These tall cylinders work well with a variety of mixed drinks on the rocks. For something slightly larger, try a Collins glass.

Rocks glass

Also called an old fashioned, this sturdy, stemless glass, usually less than 10 ounces, is ideal for serving anything neat or a spirit on the rocks.

Coupe glass

Popular for cocktails served up, the coupe glass is a rounder, mellower version of the martini glass. The Nick and Nora is a mini version.

Hurricane glass

A curvy profile and generous size is tailor made for tropical drinks like piña coladas, daquiris, and, yes, hurricanes.


Used for aromatic spirits like brandies and aged rum, the short stem on this glass keeps your hand close to the bowl to warm the liquid.


Most craft beer experts agree on one point: Ditch the classic American pint glass if you really want to appreciate your beer.

Nonic pint glass

A step up from the American pint glass, a subtle bulge just below the rim prevents chipping. Great for ales, lagers, stouts, and IPAs.


Maybe more fun than functional, beer mugs are sturdy and hold lots of liquid, and are ideal for clinking together at a beer hall.

Tulip glass

These stemmed glasses narrow to lock in the beer’s aroma and funnel it to your nose. Good for Belgian styles like saisons and blonde ales.

Weizen glass

Similar to a Pilsner glass, this slim, curvy glass shows off the bright colors and fluffy foam heads of German wheat beers.

Matt Jones of Chisel & Shaker, a Newport News-based cocktail services company, served as a consultant on this piece. Find more at

This article originally appeared in our Drink 2019 issue. For more on choosing the right glassware, click here.

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