Walking into a kitchen or housewares store or doing a search online for wine glasses can be a daunting experience. There are so many different shapes, styles and sizes, that it makes it hard to decide which glass you really need or want! Hopefully this short guide will make the decision easier for you to make the right choice.
All components of the wine glass help you to appreciate the wine to its fullest.Most all wine glasses will have a base, a stem, and a bowl.
The base, obviously, allows your glass to stand upright
The stem allows you to hold your wine glass without the heat from your hands warming your wine. (The importance of the temperature of the wine will be discussed in another post. For now, just know that wine needs to be consumed at the right temperature in order to be fully appreciated).
The bowl serves a very important purpose and it is here you will find most of the variation in wine glasses.
Does Size Matter?
There are four basic types of wine glasses, with shapes and sizes designed for the four basic types of wine: red, white, sparkling, and dessert.
Each requires its own glass type for maximum enjoyment of the wine; all good wine glasses are shaped in a way that will direct the wine to the part of your mouth where its flavor will be most appreciated.
The bowls of all wine glasses will be tapered upward with a slightly narrower opening at the top than at the bottom. This shape helps to capture and distribute the wine's aroma toward your mouth and nose.
In all types of wine glasses, both red and white, the bowl must be large enough to swirl your wine, opening it up to more air and releasing its aromas. Swirling your wine is not just for the connoisseur or the haughty – it really does serve a very important purpose. (The effects of swirling and other methods for really opening up and enjoying your wine will be discussed in another post).
You might want to choose two or three different types or sizes of wine glasses. Select smaller wineglasses for white wine and larger glasses for red wine. Generally, more full-bodied wines work best in slightly larger glasses while lighter, fruitier wines can do well in smaller glasses (white wine should not warm up too much before it is consumed, and a smaller bowl helps keep it cooler). As for the size of red wine glasses, the more generous, the better, to allow for a third fill and the rest of the glass permitting aeration. A flute would be best for Sparkling and bubbly wines.
A red wine glass bowl will be fuller and rounder with a larger opening to allow you to dip your nose into the glass to detect aroma. As mentioned above, the complex aromas and flavors of red wine demand a glass with a larger surface area so the wine comes in contact with more air.
A white wine glass bowl will be more U-shaped and upright allowing the aromas to be released while maintaining a cooler temperature.
A Flute used for sparkling wines such as Champagne or Moscato will be upright and narrower to retain the carbonation and capture the flavor in the beverage.
A dessert wine glass should be smaller to direct the wine to the back of the mouth so the sweetness doesn't overwhelm. Dessert wines generally have higher alcohol content, making the small glass perfect for a smaller serving.
Glass or Crystal?
To truly appreciate the color and texture of your wine you'll want to purchase wine glasses that are clear and smooth. Taking note of the color of your wine, the “legs” of your wine, and how the light affects your wine are the first steps in evaluating and enjoying it.
The best and most practical wine glass will be made with crystal or thin glass. Crystal or a similar glass (especially blown glass) is preferable because it is thin and light weight. Thicker glass will have a thicker edge, making it difficult to properly sip your wine. However, they are usually stronger and run less of a chance for breakage. This will then become a personal choice, depending on you are looking for more elegance or more long-term use.
For the average wine drinker, one general type of wine glass may be all you need, as you can match the benefits of each to give you basic benefits for any wine. For those who wish to expand their enjoyment, appreciation and knowledge of wine, you may want to invest in the more specific types of wine glasses mentioned above.
You can purchase good wine glasses at a decent price that may be fine for your everyday enjoyment of wine. Alternately, you can spend quite a lot of money on very high-quality stemware that may enhance your wine tasting and drinking experience. Let your wallet and your pallet decide.
If you would like more specific information, or to consult with us on any other wine matters – just drop by the Wine Store in the Te’ena Commercial Center in Efrat, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org