Whether you are a wine connoisseur or just someone who enjoys an occasional glass of wine, you need the proper wine glass for your wine to reach its full flavor potential. Understanding that there are different wine glasses and what makes one style superior to another for a certain type of wine will allow you to make the most of your wine collection.
Before delving into which glass should be paired with which wine, it is important to have a basic understanding of the different parts of wine glasses:
- The Foot: permits your glass to stand upright.
- The Stem: the area where you hold the wine glass. It also allows you to hold the glass without the heat from your hand warming your wine, and thus affecting its flavor.
- The Bowl: while the shape varies depending on the glass, each bowl is designed to allow your mouth and nose to enjoy the wine’s aroma.
- The Rim: ideally, a good wine glass will have a thinner rim and is smooth to the touch so it does not cause any problems as the wine goes from the glass to your mouth.
Next, it is important to differentiate between different types of glasses and determine which you should use for each wine.
- White Wine: white wines are traditionally served in smaller bowled glasses. A smaller bowl preserves the wine’s aroma and maintains a cooler temperature.
- Red Wine: in contrast to white wines, these wines should be contained in larger bowled glasses. First, a larger bowl delivers more aroma compounds and this larger surface area allows ethanol to evaporate. Secondly, the wider opening makes the wine taste smoother.
- Sparkling Wine (or Champagne): due to its bubbly texture, this glass will be upright or narrower than most wine glasses to retain the carbonation and preserve the drink’s flavor.
- Rose Wine: there are two types of wine glasses used for rose wines. The first is a stemmed glass with a short bowl and a slight taper, and the second type of glass has a short bowl and a slightly flared lip. You would usually use the first type of glass for wines that are younger and less sweet than the more mature varieties. As a result, you would use wine glasses that feature a slight taper for rose wine that is mature and has a full-bodied flavor. It is also not uncommon to use a white wine glass for rose wines since the fermentation process is similar.
Selecting the right type of wine glasses can certainly be intimidating when there is such a large variety. However, if you follow these guidelines, you will enhance your drinking experience and impress your fellow wine-drinkers with your new knowledge about wine glasses.