Wine Glasses Buying Guide
Wine is one of those drinks that just shouldn't be consumed from a regular glass. There are specific reasons why wine glasses are the way they are. Science and art combines to form the best glasses for wine.
The Parts of the Wine Glass
- The Bowl-- This is the main part of the wine glass, where the actual wine is held.
- The Stem-- The stem is the middle part of the wine glass. It is usually a cylinder and extends from the bowl to the foot.
- The Foot-- The bottom part of the wine glass that touches the table or counter the glass is placed on.
How to Drink From a Wine Glass
Wine is quite a strict beverage with plenty of rules to follow, so one should expect that there is a proper way to drink from a wine glass. The correct way to use a wine glass is to hold the glass by the stem while drinking. Most people grip the glass by the bowl, which can affect the temperature-- and thus the taste-- of the wine.
- Fused or cut glass-- Often this will interfere with the flavour of the wine and create an unpleasantly thick "lip" that you must drink from.
- Blown glass-- This is great for casual wine drinkers. It creates a nice, thin lip that is pleasant to drink from.
- Lead crystal-- This is what high quality wine glasses are made from. The advantages over blown glass are pretty much purely aesthetic. These glasses are heavier and more expensive than the average wine glass.
Rule #1: Always get clear glass.
- When choosing wine glasses make sure the glass is made from clear glass .
- Crystal is preferred, but it's expensive. Unless you are very serious about your wine, any kind of clear glass will do.
- Being able to clearly see the color of the wine is an important part of drinking and enjoying wine.
Rule #2: Get a glass large enough to release the wine aromas.
- Wine glasses should never be filled more than half-way. This allows the top of the glass to capture the bouquet when you swirl the glass.
- Good wine glasses taper in somewhat at the top, so that the aperture is narrower than the bowl lower down.
- The bolder the wine the larger the bowl should be. A narrow bowl should be used for lighter red and white wines to concentrate the delicate flavor.
- A burgundy glass (which resembles a brandy snifter) is wider than a Bordeaux , which is wider than a chardonnay , which is wider than a Sauvignon blanc .
Rule #3: Always get a stemmed glass.
- Stemmed wine glasses prevents warming the wine with your body heat.
- Red wine is not cognac; it should not come to your body temperature before you drink it.
- Having a stem to hold reduces the chances of greasy fingerprints on the bowl, which is much more aesthetically pleasing.
Types of Wine Glasses
Wine glasses have different shapes depending on the type of wine that is being consumed. Refer to the chart below for a basic introduction to wine glass shapes.
|Wine Glass Shapes|
Red Wine Glasses
Red wine calls for a wider, rounder bowl that allows the wine to breathe. Some red wine glasses have their own shape that is particularly friendly to certain wines.
- Bordeaux glass
- Tall with a wide bowl, and is designed for full bodied red wines like Cabernet and Merlot as it directs wine to the back of the mouth.
- Burgundy glass
- Larger than the Bordeaux glass, it has a larger bowl to accumulate aromas of more delicate red wines such as Pinot Noir . This style of glass directs wine to the tip of the tongue.
White Wine Glasses
White wine glasses are narrower, which allows chilled wines to maintain their temperature for longer. The sides of the glass are somewhat straight or tulip shaped.
Champagne flutes have a long stem with a tall, extremely narrow bowl. The narrow and tall bowl helps maintain the quality of sparkling beverages for longer amounts of time.
Sherry glasses are used for drinking aromatic alcoholic beverages, such as sherry ,port ,aperitifs and liqueurs , and layered shooters . The copita is a popular type of sherry glass, as it has a narrow taper that enhances the aroma of the drink.