Are wine glass really that important? The answer to that question is entirely – YES. But this gives rise to a myriad of other questions. Which wine glass? For which variety? Out of which material? All of these questions will be answered shortly but first let us talk about what composes a wine glass.
Firstly a wine glass should have a bowl which is well suited to the type of wine (or even variety of grape) you are drinking. The bowl and inevitably the shape of the mouth serve particularly one function. They are designed in such a manner to guide the wine to different areas of the mouth according to the variety of the wine. e.g. A Bordeaux glass directs the wine to the back of the mouth where full bodied reds are enjoyed most. A Burgundy glass directs the wine close to the tip of the tongue. It is designed for the lighter style Pinot Noir grape.
Secondly the wine glass needs to have a stem. This is to keep your hands away from the bowl so as your body heat does not alter the temperature of the wine. This can only affect the wine adversely.
Also important is the colour of the material which makes up the wine glass. The rule of thumb is that it’s best to be clear. Sight is a very important factor when tasting or appreciating wine. It allows you to judge many factors like age of the wine, alcohol and quality.
White Wine glass
Generally use thin bowled glasses with a narrow ‘mouth’. This is because the aromas of white wines are delicate and need to reach your mouth in a concentrated form in order to be enjoyed. Being thin bowled also allows the wine to stay cooler for longer since whites should be enjoyed chilled.
Red Wine Glass
The Bowls here are wider. This is due to the fact that the aromas are heavier and need to be mixed with oxygen to be appreciated. The ‘mouth’ is also wider for the same reason. These glasses allow the wine to be swirled and so be aerated and thus ‘opening’ up the wine’s bouquet.