However, choosing the right wine glass doesn?t need to be complicated.† Knowing a few basic facts of how stemware can affect a wine?s flavor will make choosing the right glass a simple task and enhance your handling and enjoyment of wine.
When choosing proper stemware for your wine, it really comes down to size, shape, thickness, and price.† There are a number of online stores that specialize in wine glasses and stemware to help with your choice.† While it may seem a bit snobby to have a specific glass for a specific wine, it really does make a difference in how a wine tastes and is experienced.† Wine is meant to be enjoyed through sight, smell, and taste, so choosing the right stemware will allow you to see the rich colors, breathe in the deep aromas, and feel the intense flavors of the wine dance inside your mouth.† Sounds romantic, huh?
As they say, size really does matter when it comes to stemware, so choose ones that have a large, wide bowl.† Most ?still? wines, ones without bubbles, do best in large bowl type glasses.† For red wines they should be at least 12 ounces and for white wines at least 10 ounces in size.† This allows plenty of room for the wine to be swirled and sniffed.† Moving the wine around inside a large wine glass of this type lets the aromas build to its fullest capacity.† Typically, fill your wine glasses about one-third but never more than one-half of the way so you can swirl and sniff the wine inside without fear of spilling or snorting it rather than enjoying it!
The shape of the glass is dictated by the type of wine you are drinking.† A Bordeaux glass, the kind you probably have in your kitchen cabinet already, has an oval-shaped bowl with a narrowing mouth.† This wine glass is great with most Bordeaux, Merlots, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Zinfandels.† A Burgundy glass has a wide bowl with a mouth that flares out instead of in.† As the name suggests, most red Burgundies, Barolos, and Pinot Noirs work well in this wine glass.† A Tulip Glass is sort of a taller version of a Bordeaux glass, with a narrower mouth.† This wine glass is perfect for your sparkling wines and Champagnes because the narrow mouth prevents the bubbles from escaping and keeps the bubbly, bubbly.† The typical Flute glass that you?re probably most familiar with as a Champagne glass is very tall and thin, however, some flute glasses flare out at the mouth making them less than ideal for sparkling wines because they allow the bubbles to escape too easily and will flatten quickly.
The thickness of your stemware should always remain thin and without a lip at the mouth.† This allows the wine to tip into your mouth easily without having to suck it in.† The reason for this is if you allow the wine to fall into your mouth without effort your nose will breathe in the aromas.† If there is a lip around the wine glass, it forces you to suck the wine into your mouth, forcing the air down your throat, and not letting your nose enjoy the aromas.† Go ahead, impress your friends with that little fact!† A thin wine glass also lets you see the rich colors of the wine you are drinking.† It?s also best to use a wine glass that is clear rather than etched or colored in order to fully see the wine inside.
Another important thing to note about your stemware is the stem itself.† It?s best to use a wine glass that has a long enough stem that will prevent you from touching the bowl.† The heat rising from your hand can actually change the taste of the wine, so it?s best to hold the wine glass near the footed base while grasping onto the stem.
As far as price goes, stemware can really run the gamut.† Most inexpensive wine glasses ($3-$5) that you can get at most local retailers will be fine for your general usage, just pay attention to the size, shape, and thickness as mentioned above.† Of course, if you really want to impress the neighbors, you can buy very expensive, specifically designed stemware, such as those offered by Riedel†Glasses, that can cost $25 or more, but that?s probably not necessary for your occasional or everyday wine use.† Remember, in Italy most restaurants serve their wine in a tumbler, so even the occasional juice plastic wine glass is acceptable under certain circumstances.