Your Non-Snob Guide to Wine Glass
Your Non-Snob Guide to Wine Glass

Your Non-Snob Guide to Wine Glass

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This time of year, many have broken their red wine glasses while others still don’t understand what all the glass craze is all about. Glasses for wine are available in dozens of shapes and sizes, and a variety of styles of wine are served in glasses that best express the character of the wine. So what’s the secret to choosing the best glass for the wine you drink?

The big secret: There’s no wrong way to drink wine. Whether you’re drinking from a vintage coupe, an insulated tumbler, or a single cup with ice cubes, good wine brings out its extraordinary character for an enjoyable experience no matter what.

The important thing to remember about glass art is that it represents the history of sharing wine and wanting to enhance the drinking experience. The idea around its varied forms is not a rule for drinking but rather a strategy to help enhance the personality of the wine.

Firstly, the main difference between stemware and glassware is temperature. Wine in a glass will be affected by the heat of your hands, so holding the stem helps keep that heat to a minimum.

Second, I’ve found it helpful to think about what I want to do with the wine when I’m holding it. Do I want to stir it and inhale the aroma deeply, or do I want to hold it firmly to the nose to inhale the aroma? Larger, bowl-shaped glasses are great for twirling while thinner, finer glasses bring the wine up to your nose.

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There are two main glasses of white wine: a standard glass (sometimes called a Sauvignon) and a Chardonnay glass. Light whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Albariño are often served in standard white wine glasses.

But Chardonnay wasn’t the only white drink from the same glass. This round bowl is perfect for styles like the Prisoner Wine Company’s 2021 Blanc de Noir Eye Patch. It’s a white Pinot Noir blend which has a big, peachy Viognier vibe, so I’ll be drinking this from a Chardonnay glass to soak up all that scent.

For red wine, you have many choices. There are standard red wine glasses you may be familiar with. These are ideal for Zinfandel and Syrah drinkers as they dampen the wine in the glass and retain its aroma. If you have a wine like the Softcore Tank Winery blend of many varieties with the unforgettable passion of carbonate maceration—you’ll want a glass that helps you absorb all the different flavours.

Slightly larger are Bordeaux and Burgundy glasses. The large Bordeaux glass is meant to let more of the ethanol evaporate so it doesn’t strain your nose. This makes it good for both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, though California Cabs are often served in larger glasses in the US. A Burgundy glass with a wide bowl helps to collect more of the aroma, so it’s best for Gamay and Pinot Noir.

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But remember that different red varieties are not limited to one type of glass at all times. A light, aromatic Zinfandel may be best served in a standard glass, but bolder, richer styles like Josh’s bourbon-poured Zinfandel might benefit from oxidation in a Bordeaux glass or bowl that captures the aroma of a Burgundy glass.

By now, you are a glassware connoisseur, so you can probably guess why sparkling wine glasses have such a unique shape. First, there is the vintage coupe. This fine glass brings all the bubbles closer to your face to enhance the sparkling wine experience, but it doesn’t do a good job of resisting both the carbonation and the aroma, so the more modern flute glasses are usually my go-to for sparkling wines.

There are also slightly larger, rarer looking tulip glasses but perfect for wines like Sonoma Cutrer’s Grand Brut Rosé, my favorite sparkling wine I’ve tried so far this year. This wine has so much flavor, depth and roast flavor that making it in a slightly larger glass enhances the aroma. This is why some serve sparkling wine in multipurpose or standard white glasses for a more rotating space.

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Now for the ultimate question: What type of glassware do you need in your home? I stand by what I said before: you don’t need certain glasses to enjoy good wine. Whether your wallet says no to expensive glassware or you don’t have room for a large collection, there are plenty of good reasons to opt out of collecting specialty wine glasses.

But lack of knowledge should not be one of those reasons. Wine glasses aren’t all that complicated once you understand the theory behind them, and fancy glasses for family favorites aren’t just for elite wine drinkers. If you have a choice of wine that you always drink at home, then it would be nice to have a cool set of glasses to help you enjoy the taste and aroma even more.

Do you need every kind of wine glass even if you don’t drink all kinds of wine? Probably not. But can perfect wine in the perfect glass be the perfect thing to come home to after a hard day’s work? Very.

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I am a person who likes to write and make information related to fruits, because I like and have a mango garden.