"DO I REALLY CARE ABOUT WINE GLASSES? YES YOU DO."
Selecting a wine glass that’s right for you can be confusing and daunting, admittedly there’s a lot of choice out there so we totally understand your fear. You’re able to choose tall and small glasses, thin and wide glasses, large and small capacity glasses…the list goes on!
You’re probably wondering just how important is the function of the glass going to affect how wine taste, does it dictate its taste completely? Chances are, probably not to most people. But if you’re curious George and recently got into the world of wine, you might want to read on to know how it does.
A wine glass has 3 basic parts; base, stem, and bowl - disregarding stemless glasses for now.
Base - Also known as the foot, main job is keep wine glass standing and stable
Stem - Might not know it, its the pillar for any wine drinker. The stem keeps the base and bowl together and allows drinkers to swirl the wine smoothly.
Bowl - Most important part of any wine glass, the bowl. Size varies from wide to thin, fat to skinny. It’s main purpose is to hold its wine and recommended to pour wine to its widest point of the bowl. This maximises the wine’s contact with air needed to allow wine to “breath” and open up aromas to one’s palette and scent.
Aromas are collected in the empty space whilst swirling, this is mainly due to the evaporation of alcohol along the walls of the bowl that releases an abundance of different aromas.
Generally red wines have bigger bowls and taller in height compared to white wine. This is because red wines tend to require “more oxidation time” or “bloom time” when it comes in contact with oxygen. Believe it or not, in the wine world, there are specific wine glasses made for specific grape varieties to allow maximum extraction of its taste and aroma, but don’t panic we won’t be getting into that. Besides, no regular person has a cupboard full of different types of wine glasses.. do they?
In fact, if you enjoy both reds and whites, a good rule of thumb is to have two sets of glasses. Select smaller wine glasses for white wine and larger glasses for red wine. Generally, more full-bodied wine work best in large glasses so that there's room for the wine to breathe and develop its flavors. When pouring a red, fill up the glass a third of the way to allow for aeration. The reason white wine glasses need to be smaller is so they don’t warm up too much before being consumed.
Wine glasses by wine type via onWineTime.com
Now that you know the basics of wine glasses, time to make a decision as to which ones to buy. Its normal for most home-drinkers to purchase a regular bowled glasses that would suit both red and white, however more often than not, having two sets of wine glasses makes a whole lot of difference. And depending on what type of entertaining you do, like a dinner party or picnics, you might want to keep the bigger glasses for a rainy day because you tend to end up spending more to replace broken ones.
Insisting on a good glass isn’t snobbery - its common sense. Understanding the different types of wine glasses and what makes them ideal for a specific wine allows the wine to express itself and in turn expresses the emotions of the wine drinker. Cheers!