At DelightedCooking, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

How Do I Choose the Best Cognac Glasses?

Selecting the best Cognac glasses is about enhancing your sensory experience. Opt for tulip-shaped glasses to concentrate the aroma, or balloon snifters for a traditional feel. Consider the glass quality—crystal is ideal for clarity and sound. Your choice should marry function with personal style. What will your selection reveal about your Cognac tasting journey? Continue reading to refine your glassware choice.
Solomon Branch
Solomon Branch

Cognac is a variety of brandy named after the French region in which it is produced. Choosing the right cognac glasses means finding those that are made of a good quality material that won’t affect the taste of the brandy, and will let the aroma and flavor reach the drinker’s nose in just the right way. Quality cognac glasses will be made especially for cognac, although it may resemble a wine or other similar glass, and will take into account the temperature and volume of the cognac as well as its flavor.

A quality cognac glass should have a wide surface area to concentrate and mix. The rim of a cognac glass should be thin, however, because the aroma of the cognac needs to concentrate as it rises out of the glass. This concentrated aroma brings out the full flavor of the cognac, which allows it to taste fuller on the tongue.

A bottle of cognac.
A bottle of cognac.

There are two types of cognac glasses, the tulip glass and the balloon glass, which is also called a snifter. Each glass has its advantages, but the tulip glass is often preferred by connoisseurs, particularly for drinking older, more mature cognacs. The tulip-shaped glass resembles a wine glass, but it has a narrower neck and rim that lets the flavors of the cognac release gradually. The balloon cognac glass has a shorter stem than the tulip glass but has a much wider bottom. It is not usually considered as effective as the tulip glass at releasing the flavor of the cognac.

Those looking for the best cognac experience should taste from a balloon- or tulip-shaped glass.
Those looking for the best cognac experience should taste from a balloon- or tulip-shaped glass.

Quality cognac glasses are made from a variety of materials, but almost all of them are some form of glass or crystal. Typically, a cognac glass made of plastic can affect the flavor and taste of the brandy. Some manufacturers make glasses for a specific type of cognac, which affects both the shape and the material of the glass. Most of these manufacturers also make a basic cognac glass in addition to their specialty glasses.

You can purchase quality cognac glasses in a variety of places, including specialty glass and crystal stores, department stores and online. Estate sales can be a good place to buy a cognac glass, but you need to be able to identify a quality glass or bring someone with you who can. Checking online in chat groups dedicated to cognac or consulting with a sommelier at a restaurant can help you find out what types and brands of cognac glasses would be a good fit for your needs.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


@burcinc-- Yes, cognac glasses are large, unlike most liquor glasses because they are meant to be only 1/4 filled. I suppose the server made a mistake and filled your glass too much.

The glass overall should be thin, I don't think that the shape matters as much. As long as it's thin and even thinner at the rim, the aromas will be released properly.


@burcinc-- Cognac glasses are not large but they have depth to them to move the cognac around in the glass.

The cognac glass is very important. It has to be the perfect shape and thickness to provide the best experience. The glass not only affects flavor, but also the color, temperature and scent of the cognac.

I personally like snifters that don't have the bottom handle, so the glass has to be held in the palm. The reason I like this type of cognac glass is because heat from the hand warms up the cognac and increases the flavor.


Are cognac glasses usually large? I was served cognac in a rather large balloon glass at a restaurant. I can't say that I enjoyed it. There was too much cognac and it was difficult to take small sips.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A bottle of cognac.
      By: romaneau
      A bottle of cognac.
    • Those looking for the best cognac experience should taste from a balloon- or tulip-shaped glass.
      By: Artem Furman
      Those looking for the best cognac experience should taste from a balloon- or tulip-shaped glass.