A white wine glass's bowl will be more U-shaped and upright than that of a red wine glass, allowing the aromas to be released while also maintaining a cooler temperature.
The white wine glass style that’s best for younger whites has a slightly larger opening directing the wine to the tip and sides of the tongue to taste its sweetness.
The glass for more mature white wines will be straighter and taller to dispense the wine to the back and sides of the tongue to taste its bolder flavors.
Red wines are best served in large wine glasses, like these red wine glasses. The bowls of these glasses will be fuller and rounder with a larger opening than other wine glasses of similar capacities in order to allow you to dip your nose into the glass to detect aroma. This bowl style is also imperative because the complex aromas and flavors of red wine demand a glass with a larger surface area to ensure that the wine comes in contact with more air.
A specific type of red wine glass, the Bordeaux glass, is taller than traditional red wine glasses, yet the bowl is not quite as large. It is designed for full-bodied, heavier red wines such as Cabernets and Merlots. The tallness of the glass allows the wine to proceed directly to the back of the mouth to maximize its flavor. Another style of red wine glass, the Burgundy glass, is designed for lighter, full-bodied wines such as Pinot Noir. It is not as tall as the Bordeaux glass, but the bowl is larger than the Bordeaux glass, directing the wine to the tip of the tongue to taste its more delicate flavors.
Dessert wines are sweet wines and as the name suggests, they are generally served with dessert. Since there are many dessert wine types, a rule of thumb for choosing a wine is that it must be sweeter than the dessert being eaten.
A dessert glass should be smaller to direct the wine to the back of the mouth so the sweetness doesn't overwhelm. Dessert wines generally have a higher alcohol content, making small dessert wine glasses perfect for a smaller serving. The same rule of thumb applies to sherry and cordial glasses.