Selecting the Proper Wine Glass

white wine red wine glasses

Come to Your Senses With the Right Wine Glass

When the shelves at the chic little housewares boutique are lined with espresso spoons, cheese forks, and beer plates, its easy to think they are just trying to get another buck out of you.

On the other hand, sometimes these fancy tools for the trade make your food and drink experiences genuinely tastier. When it comes to using the right stemware for a particular type of wine, theyre not yanking your chain. The right glass absolutely brings out all the right stuff in the right wine.

A good wine yearns to be adored for its looks, its smell, and its flavor and, therefore, holds so much delicious potential for the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Professor Claus J. Riedel was the first glass designer to recognize that the bouquet, taste, balance and finish of wines are affected by the shape of the glass from which they are drunk.

He worked with experienced tasters to determine aspects such as:

  • Which sizes brings the appropriate intesity of aromas for different wines
  • Which shapes direct wines to specific parts of the tongue
  • Which shapes and sizes emphasize fruitiness
  • Which shapes and sizes emphasize tannin
  • Which shapes keep Champagne from going flat
  • etc.

The whole approach is not about correcting flaws in certain styles of wines, but of achieving balance in bringing out the distinct characteristics of each style of wine.

Today, the Riedel collections of wine glasses are considered the finest in the world in regards to matching the right glass with various wines. Visit the Riedel website for a more scientific explanation of their approach.

The Riedel Sommelier Collection is hand blown and very expensive, but drinking out of these incredibly thin, crystal glasses is like drinking wine from a delicate rose petal.

Below are some sample wine glasses with the corresponding wines from the Riedel glass company.

If you are wondering where you can purchase this fine crystal, try the link below.

Riedel Glassware – Free Shipping & Lowest Prices

If you are not interested in Riedel crystal, but would like some general tips on the size and shape of glass for the different wines, see text below.

Basic Tips for Choosing the Perfect Glass for Your Favorite Wines:

The Glass: Thin and clear

To appreciate the beauty of wine, get glasses that are not colored or decoratively chiseled. It’s hard to explain (with words) the difference between thin crystal and thick glass. You have to experience it to understand.

The Stem vs. Stemless Tumblers

Personally, while I can appreciate the stylish good looks of the modern stemless tumbler, I am still partial to stemware.

Here’s why:

  1. I enjoy seeing the colors of the wine as I twirl it around without looking at fingerprints. (I know… I’m it’s very anal of me!)
  2. I drink fairly slowly and don’t like my hands warming up the wine too quickly.

To be fair though, not every occasion is a formal one, and it’s fun to be trendy from time to time.

Wine Glasses for Reds:

The Bowl: Wider
The bigger flavors in reds need to spread out. The wider bowl also lets in more air, which releases bold aromas and flavors.

The Opening: Wider
Dip your nose into the wider bowl to get a load of more complex aromas.

Tip: When pouring wines, keep the wine level to the lower one-third the glass. This leaves lots of air and swirl room, both of which enhance the enjoyment of your wines.

BIG REDS (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz):
Get a big bowl and a big opening.

SOFT REDS (Pinot Noir, Merlot):
Get a big bowl that narrows a tinge at the opening.

Wine Glasses for Whites:

The Bowl: Narrower
The smaller capacity helps keep temperatures cool longer.

The Opening: Narrower
The lighter aromas waft well in a narrower glass.

SPIRITED WHITES (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay):
Get a bowl with a little room that narrows slightly at the opening.

DELICATE WHITES (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztiminer):
Get a narrow bowl and a narrow opening.

Hint: If you plan to serve several types of wine but dont want to shell out the cash for several types of glassware, buy the generic tulip-shaped wine glasses.

One Final Note… The Wash:

I recommend always washing your wine glasses in hot water only. Soap can build up inside the glass and affect a wines flavor.

Now that you have some of the facts, you can decide for yourself whether to buy into a range of stemware.

The right wine glasses can really boost the wine-tasting experience and make your senses gush. Thats definitely saying something when youre spending a pretty penny to get a quality wine.

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