You might wonder why you should go through all the hassle of choosing a wine glass when all that really matters is the wine, right? But if you ask the experts, they would tell you the type of wine glass is actually essential in allowing you to fully appreciate your wine.
Vintage Wines require a certain serving procedure for you to be able to experience the full potential of its flavour. For those who are still trying to get a grip on wine tasting basics, here are some tips on how to choose the right wine glass to go with it.
Types of Wine Glasses (Infographic)
Anatomy of a wine glass
Learning about the parts of the wine glass is important because these are the aspects that you need to look into when scouring the stores. The wine glass you choose can either enhance or alter your wine experience.
For most of us, we may only see the rim of these wine glasses to simply be just its opening. But it is actually a significant factor to look into when purchasing a wine glass because how the rim is designed also affects your wine tasting experience.
The bowl of the wine is designed to be tapered outward, with its rim narrower than at the bottom. It is designed specifically in that way so that the aroma is contained and evenly distributed inside. The size and diameter of the bowl is also important since this affects how wine is able to breathe and develop when areated or swished.
This is the part of the wine glass that connects the bowl to the foot. This serves as the handle where you are supposed to hold instead of the bowl to avoid warming up the wine altering its taste.
This part of the glass serves as the base that allows it to stand. The thickness of the base is also dependent on the total weight of the bowl.
If you are still starting out, you must know that different kinds of wine also have their corresponding wine glasses. Due to the different characteristics of wines and how they develop once poured out of the bottle, an appropriate glass also gives it justice.
Red wines, with their strong aromas and taste, have their own distinct wine glass. This usually has a larger and fuller bowl with a wider rim to areate the wine better, as it allows more surface area for air to come in contact with.
Even red wine glasses have different types. For instance, glasses for your Merlots and Cabernets are taller than the average red wine glasses. But you will notice these to have a smaller bowl, which allows the wine to touch the back of the mouth right away giving you that immediate rush of flavours.
There is also such a thing as the Burgundy glass, which is designed to have a shorter bowl and a diameter that is wider than the usual. This is perfect for full bodied and lighter wines, like Pinot Noir as it guides the wine towards the tip of the tongue – the most appropriate place to appreciate this drink.
Bordeaux wine glasses are characterized to have a broad bowl on top of a tall stem. These are perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and other rich wines. (Please refer to the image)
A port wine glass is designed so that it highlights the alcohol and sugar content. To contain the oak, peppery and black currant flavours, the bowl is forged to be small so as to contain the strong aroma.
It is also worth knowing that red wines are best enjoyed under room temperature, which makes it okay to hold the bowl. This is also the reason why you will find red wine glasses that are stemless.
You can also choose red wine glasses based on the age of the wine. For example, a young red wine, which has a similar body with that of white wines, is perfect for one that has a straight rim. Mature red wines with a distinct body is best enjoyed with tall glasses that have an opening that is slightly narrow. This allows it to contain the more illustrious aromas. As for very mature and full bodied wines, they are best placed inside larger glasses that have a wide bowl and tapered at the rim. This provides better oxygenation for these wines that developed round tannins.
White wine glasses also differ in a way since it can have a tapered bowl with a narrow rim to avoid having the wine being exposed to oxygen. This also serves as a perfect complement to the more lighter taste and delicate aromas of white wines. You cannot find stemless white wine glasses because they are only to be held by the stem so as not to affect the temperature of the wine.
The array of white wine glasses can also be classified according to age along with their corresponding shape. For example, young and crisp wines are to be enjoyed with a glass that is slightly curved outward. This is not only for the purpose of design, but also to introduce the flavours of the wine, as it guides the fluid to the tip of the tongue then gliding smoothly to the sides. This first introduces the sweet flavour and then slowly uncovering its acidity.
Just like mature red wines, white wines that have several years on its name require a glass that has a wider rim. This is important in allowing the complex aromas of the wine to fully develop. You also have to take note that the rims of this type of mature white wine glasses doesn’t curve outward, but rather it is straight. This is to introduce to richly bouquet of the wine and also allows it to slide along the sides of the tongue to display its roundness and body.
Sparkling wine glasses are also a different family ,which is comprised of four different types but are generally called champagne flutes. You have to remember that when considering the shape, you also have to look at the white wine’s perlage.
The first type is the demi-flute and is characterized to have a tall and narrow ball but it is slightly shorter than the regular flute. This is suitable for sprakling wines that are dry and manufactured during the Martinotti method, which means that they have coarser bubbles and a perlage that are less refined.
Vintage classic wines have a tall flute and a wider body. The rim area is tapered, which is created to be so to enhance the complicated aromas of a more matured sprakling wine.
There is also a specific flute for sparkling wines made through the classic method. It has a tall body, which is sensitive to its refined perlage. Its fresh and delicate aromas can be enjoyed better with its narrow diameter.
Now don’t get confused with this term, but the last type of white wine glass is called the cup. It has a wide and shallow bowl and a wide rim. This structure develops the aromas better. This wine glass is perfect for the more aromatic and rich wines, like your Asti Spumante, because it has less perilage and it also gives you an elegant display of bubbles.
If you are fond of dessert wines, also known as ice wines, you can enjoy them better with the type of wine glass that has a tall bowl that allows you to generously swirl the wine. It is also tapered at the rim. This overall design helps maintain the sweetness and highlight the acidity of the wine.
If you want to just keep your wine glasses to the minimum and are just starting out, you can simply bank on two kinds – one for the red and another for whites. A wide and open bowl can work well with red and dessert wines, while a narrow bowl with a rim that slightly extends outwards is good for white and sparkling wines.
Are you the clumsy type and are just not good with delicate glassware around, you can go for those with a better base through stemless wine glasses.