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How To Choose The Right Wine Glass For Your Wine
You can’t make good wine from poor grapes. However, bad wine can be made from good grapes. The same principle applies to wine glasses. A good wine will always taste great from a good glass, but you can affect the taste of the wine if you use wrong glass.
A wine glass is more than just a vessel in which the wine rests until you are ready to drink it. The optimum way of enjoying a glass of wine is connected to the quality of the glass and the shape of the bowl. You don’t need a whole ‘wardrobe’ of glassware, four styles of glass are sufficient; however, if you can afford it, different glasses for different styles do actually make a difference.
Over the past three decades, glassware manufacturers have spent a lot of money on research to find out the shape of the ultimate wineglass: the shape of the bowl, the size, and the fineness of the glass have all been studied.
It was easy to ensure that the color of the wine was correct, so they moved directly to the aromas. Have you ever tried that old trick of eating a slice of apple and a slice of pear blindfolded and holding your nose? If you eat the pear when it’s fairly crisp, it’s very difficult to tell whether it is the pear or the apple. The blindfold just prevents you from knowing what you’re eating, but holding your nose prevents your sense of smell working and nullifies any aromas from the two fruits, making it impossible to tell the difference between the two. Try it if you’ve never done it, you’ll be surprised.
With wine, every different variety and style gives off subtle nuances that add to the pleasure of the wine. White wines can have tropical fruits, limes, or even a flinty mineral flavor. Red wines can show violets, leather, tobacco, and raspberry jam, as well as many other aromas. How do you capture these aromas so that they stick around long enough to enhance your enjoyment?
What to look for in a wine glass
The first was to change the shape of glassware. Instead of being flared at the top, they changed and tapered in at the rim. Sparkling wine glasses underwent the biggest change; instead of the ‘coupe’ (an open bowl on a stem), they became flutes – a longer taller glass with a tapered rim that allows the ‘perlage or mousse’ to remain in the glass instead of effervescing out. The deepest point of the glass should have a ‘moussier’ ground in, (a pin-dot similar in principle to an active beer glass), that allows the bubbles to keep on breaking and rising to the top. The old-style allowed the bubbles to rise, but aromas soon disappeared.
White wine should be served in a medium-sized tulip-shaped bowl. The widest point of the glass should be approximately one third to halfway up from where the glass joins the stem. This allows the aromas to remain in the glass. White wine has a more delicate structure than a red. Therefore, the glasses are smaller.
A glass of red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, can be very robust and requires a larger glass. Basically the same shape, it allows the aromas more room to float and the wine allowed to breathe, important with older and more important wines. They should be eight to ten centimeters at their widest part, and the bowl should be wider approximately one third to halfway up from the stem.
The glasses should all have thin walls as glass transfers warmth to wine. If you’re drinking a chilled white wine or rosé, this will have an effect on the wine, and besides, finer glassware feels better on the mouth.
Care of wine glasses
One thing to remember when using the glassware, make sure you rinse them properly when washing. A glass of wine can be spoiled by detergent left in the glass. Only use the smallest amount and rinse well. Another point is to store the glasses upright and never leave them in cardboard boxes if possible. Don’t do it unless you’re prepared to get the glasses out, wash them, and leave them out for a short period before using them.
Wine glasses also make for an excellent gift idea for the wine lover in your life. Be sure to sneak a peek at which wine glasses they may need to add to their collection before making your purchase. But trust me, they will appreciate the new glasses to enjoy their wine.