Drinking wine from the right glass didn’t matter much to me once upon a time when I was younger and lazier. What was important was having something from which to drink the wine — you know, like a clean mug found in the back of the cupboard, an empty plastic cup found at a party, or, oh heck, the bottle. But having since developed a refined palette that doesn’t include Boone’s Farm, I can’t drink wine out of anything but an actual wine glass. As it turns out, the type of glass you serve your wine in does matter.

I promise you this is not some arbitrary wine-snobbery. Some wine glasses really are meant for different types of wine.

Let’s say you’re having a tasting party with your classiest friends and you want them to really get the best experience from the different wines you serve. Here are the basic wine glasses you’ll need:

1. Red wines need to be studied and savored and the best way to do that is with a glass with a wide bowl. A glass with a big bowl lets you easily swirl the wine and release its bouquet.

2. Because they’re usually chilled, white wines, are served in narrow wine glasses in a smaller serving than red wine.  Tulip-shaped glasses are the best for white wines because they hold in the delicate aromas.

3. Dessert wines and ports should be served in short, flute-shaped glasses. Dessert wines are usually imbibed in smaller amounts because they’re so concentrated with sweetness.

4. The tall, thin Champagne flute is best for those sparkling wines. These glasses help keep the bubbly bubbly.

Of course, you can get wine glasses for all types of varietals. If you’re partial to drinking Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier or Bordeaux, glasses are made specifically made for those.

OK, so what if you’re not having a tasting party? What if you’re just sitting at home enjoying a glass of wine because you’re a wine blogger with lots of student loans? You can use a universal wine glass. Yes, one type of wine glass to hold your reds with their big aromas and your whites with their delicate flavors. An all-purpose wine glass should not be too-wide but not t00-narrow, and it should hold about 10 ounces of wine.

A tip: A wine glass with a thin rim can make for a better tasting experience than a glass with thick rim. A glass with a thin rim is less intrusive and helps you get the full effect of the wine’s flavor and aroma.

And, do yourself a favor. Hold the glass by the stem so your hand doesn’t warm up the wine.