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What do we know about wine glasses? Some are fishbowl shaped while others are tall and skinny. Why such bizarre forms? Well, we all know that wine glasses come in numerous shapes and sizes, and there is a reason for it. Wine flavor can be affected by the kind of glass in which you serve it.
As I look in my kitchen cupboard, it is hard to believe how much it has grown and how full it has become with all the different types of wine glasses I have collected over the years. I’ve made a conscious effort to purchase select wine glasses for very specific wine varieties.
If you are ever in a jam, here are a few tips for selecting the right glasses. Bouquet, taste balance and finish are all affected by the shape of the glass from which wine is consumed. Here are four examples of sensations in wine:
Bouquet: Wine aroma/smell
Texture: Mouth feel, watery, creamy, silky and velvety
Flavor: Grape variety/balance and minerality
Finish: Harmonious and long aftertaste
The Correct Color is No Color at All
The color of a wine is a clue to its body, richness and quality. It is very important for weeding out imperfections.
The Chardonnay Glass
This wine glass is designed so that the low acidity is delivered in a way that sets off the alcohol and rich flavors of the wine. This allows young wines to express their freshness while mature wines are encouraged to deliver the nutty, spicy mineral flavors so typical of this variety.
The Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux Glass
This glass is tall, with a broad bowl that directs the wine to the back of the mouth. It is ideal for highly tannic red wine of moderate acidity. It is also a good glass to choose if you must select only one set of glasses.
Burgundy Glass/Pinot Noir
This particular glass is wider to accumulate aromas for a more delicate red wine like Pinot Noir. The glass directs the wine to the tip of the tongue, which perceives sweetness and highlights the rich fruit and acidity of this fragile grape.
The Champagne Flute
To allow for full appreciation of the bubbles, Champagne should be poured into glasses with a high, narrow, tapering bowl like this traditional flute. The opening of the bowl is designed to help retain the signature carbonation in the Champagne.
There is a reason why wine glasses have long stems. The stem is there to keep you from touching the bowl, which can result in a temperature change from the heat of your hand. Crystal glasses are a treat to have but not necessary, as they can be very expensive. I think ordinary glass wine glasses are fine and are less likely to break in the dishwasher.
Try out the different glasses, and enjoy!