Serious wine enthusiasts know the roster well. There’s a glass for every style—Bordeaux, Burgundy, Zinfandel and the whites. The globes are specially shaped to contain the aroma or promote the aeration that allows development of subtle flavors. Champagne flutes concentrate the bubbles so that they burst below your nose. The globes of Port and sherry glasses are small, in keeping with the size of the serving. Many stemmed wine glasses are now available in tumbler styles.
Though that bottle of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch may best be poured into a white wine glass to develop its complex flavors, and even if that growler of Iron Hill Wee Heavy Scotch ale might be best enjoyed when sipped from a brandy snifter, most beers deserve a worthy beer glass. Pints and the larger Imperial pint glass are good all-duty options. So is the mug. But for wheat beers, you’ll prefer a tall wheat glass with some extra width up top to accommodate the extra head. Tall, trumpet-shaped pilsner glasses are perfect for light beer styles. Belgian brews work best in tulip-shaped goblets.
When it comes to liquor and mixing, picking the right glass is a straightforward exercise: Margaritas get margarita glasses, cordials in cordial glasses, and so on. Don’t forget hurricanes for your frozen drinks and Bloody Marys, rocks glasses for your Glenmorangie neat, or high balls for your Collins.
Beware the martini glass. Though perfectly suited for martinis, it’s properly called a cocktail glass. And though the true martini is properly gin and vermouth, times change, so it’s perfectly OK to call your blueberry lemon drop a martini, as long as it comes in the right glass.