The bowl of a wine glass is slightly narrower at its opening than at the bottom. This design intensifies the aromas rising toward the nose and mouth. All good wine glasses are designed this way. Due to their complex flavors and aromas, red wine glasses have a larger opening and a larger bowl, allowing the wine to receive more air and better oxidation, and the space for the taster to really get his/her nose in there to detect, and perhaps determine the source of its aromas.
In all types of wine glasses, the bowl has to be large enough for swirling, allowing for oxidation and a good release of the wine's aromas. Many people bypass swirling, including yours truly, but it is a very important part of the tasting. Basically, it releases all the good stuff, and don't we all want the good stuff?
Here's what I have learned so far:
For Red Wines:
A Burgundy glass (shown above) is for a light, full bodied wine such as a Pinot Noir. It is not as tall as a Bordeaux glass, but the bowl is larger, which directs the wine to the tip of the tongue, an area that appreciates the more delicate flavors of wine.
A Bordeaux glass is taller than a Burgundy, with a slightly smaller bowl, designed for full bodied, heavier red wines such as a Cabernets. The shape of this of the glass allows the wine to go to the back of the mouth, where its flavors would be most appreciated.
For White Wines:
Has this been helpful to you? I have certainly learned a few things. Remember, I know little about the wine tasting process, so if anyone who reads this has helpful suggestions, they are very welcomed.