While many people who simply enjoy the occasional glass of wine place little importance on the type of glass that they use to drink it from, the fact of the matter is that selecting the right wine glass actually plays a large part in determining the quality of the drink that you are consuming.
While having a great wine is the most important part, of course, you can add so much to your wine tasting experience with just that extra little bit of knowledge that ensures that you use the right glass.
This is especially the case with Italian wine, where some of the subtleties can be lost if the wine is not enjoyed in the most ideal of circumstances. Here we will look at a few of the different wine glasses that are currently on the market. Most will already be familiar with the glasses themselves, though many may not be aware of the properties that they have that ensure the wine being drunk from them is kept to the highest possible quality.
The specially created wine glass for Pinot Noir has something of an hourglass shape to it, with the glass reaching its peak circumference about two thirds of the way down before tailing off into a fairly narrow and pointed base.
Ideal for any type of wine made using the pinot noir grape, the glass features a wide bowl that is perfect for aeration of the wine, whereas the pointed base plays its part by amplifying the effect of the bouquet, thus ensuring that the drinker achieves an even more intense level of flavour from an already complex and flavoursome wine.
A glass with a particularly large bowl will always go over well when it comes to Chardonnay, as the wine truly prospers when it is properly aerated. In fact, unlike many other wines, it is actually recommended to allow the wine to sit in the glass for a little while so that as much oxygen as possible can get to it.
This works to coax out the more nuanced flavours of the wine, which might not be immediately apparent If it is taken from a thinner glass. Any Chardonnay that is high in acidity in particular will do well in such a glass, though it is important to remember that you should still keep the bottle sealed when not in use. An aerated Chardonnay is good, but too much can still spoil the quality of the wine.
The brandy glass is one of the most famous in the world, thanks to its enormous globe shape that encourages the user to hold by drink by the globe of the glass, rather than the stem. It also allows for the drinker to really get their nose in there and get a good sniff of the wine to enjoy its many aromas.
Of course, this glass is best for any kind of brandy-based wine, but it is also good for any wine whose main qualities begin to shine when it has become a little more aerated. Bear in mind that you will also be warming the glass with your hand as your drink, so any wine that is best served chilled should probably be kept away from the brandy glass and poured into a thinner glass that works better at preserving its temperature.
Rose wines are best enjoyed from a glass that makes sure to direct the wine directly to the top of the tongue so that the acidity of the wine is tempered and the drinker can instead simply enjoy the many wonderful flavours, rather than being overpowered by a sharpness that most people do not associate with Rose.
As such, a glass with a flared lip will ensure that you get the most out of your wine in this regard. Try to also ensure that the glass is over fairly average width, as such glasses are designed to emphasis the fruiter aspects of a wine. Too wide and the wine will be overall aerated, which in turn means it loses some of its flavour. Too narrow and you simply won’t be getting the best possible taste out of the wine.
While we all know that Champagne, and other sparkling white wines, are generally served in a flute, many may not know exactly why this thin and elongated type of glass is used for the drink. It’s not purely for the cosmetic appeal, though a flute does have a certain look about it that separates it from other types of wine glasses.
In fact, the shape of the glass is very deliberate. This classic glass is as thin as it is because it is designed to ensure that the Champagne doesn’t become aerated, which would cause the bubbles contained in the wine to dissipate, thus losing the fizz that such wines are famous for. Furthermore, the tapered rim enables the glass to focus the drinks bouquet to the nose, so you can enjoy the many aromas that the wine contains.
As alluded to, the Champagne flute isn’t just for France’s most famous wine. It can also be used for any sparkling white wine simply because of its ability to keep the wine sparkling. Wherever possible, you should avoid using glasses that feature a wider bowl when you are serving sparkling whites, as they will quickly go flat and lose their flavour.
Of course, these are just a few of the many wine glasses that are available to wine lovers. With a little bit of searching you will be able to find plenty more, all of which have been designed with a particular type of wine in mind. Knowing the differences between them and thus being able to stock up on the ones that most suit your wine collection is integral to enjoying your wine the way it is meant to be enjoyed, plus you will also have a great conversation starter should anybody be curious as to why a particular glass is being used for the wine that you serve.