What are the different types of Wine glasses?? Confused about when to use which one??
Do they really make a difference?? Read on to discover the answers to these
commonly asked questions....
We can not stress enough the importance of using a good Wine glass (or stemware) for enjoying a
bottle of your favourite Wine to its best. There are four basic steps to appreciating
any Wine which we call Four Ss of Wine appreciation
Therse are S
A good Wine glass aids in each and every step of Wine appreciation process.
Most of the wine glasses are tulip shaped with three essential parts. First, the foot or base;
second, the stem and third, the bowl. There are a variety of Wine glasses available in the market
and sometimes it might be a little tricky to select the one you need.
To ease off such situations we have compiled a list of points one should look for before buying
- Always buy a glass made of good material such as titanium crystal, lead crystal or blown glass.
An inferior quality glass could spoil the flavours of the Wine. A thinner and smooth-lipped glass is more pleasing
aesthetically. Glass should be plain and colorless which aids appreciating the Wine color.
- A long stem prevents the transfer of body heat from the hand to the Wine. Buy a glass
with a sufficiently long stem.
- The size of the bowl is also an important factor. Go for a glass with a big enough bowl to allow
swirling without spilling and still leaving some room for the nose to smell the Wine.
- Pay special attention to the glass shape. A good Wine glass always tapers in at the opening (rim).
It allows aromas to concentrate at the top to be easily sensed by the nose.
Well, that was as far as basics go. Advanced Wine drinkers go a little further and use a glass with tall narrow
bowl (called flute) for sparkling Wine, a glass with relatively larger bowl for red Wine
and a glass with smaller bowl for white Wine. The type of glass is not just limited to the type of Wine, there
are almost as many types of glasses available as the number of grape varieties (we are talking 100s).
Having said that, it's not strictly necessary for one to buy a zillion glasses to relish different Wines.
Having a couple of inexpensive
glasses (large bowl for still and narrow tall bowl for sparkling) is sufficient.
Then, it essentially depends on your budget. If you have some extra cash to spend, it's worth
investing in the following:
Wine Tasting Glasses: A Wine tasting glass is
specially made to have a small amount of wine poured into it.
The ISO has standardized a series of varying capacities Wine tasting glasses.
They are stemmed with elongated tapered bowls to concentrate the bouquet.
Red Wine Glasses: Red wine glasses tend to have larger and wider bowl
to allow the Wine to breathe. Larger bowl allows the Wine to cool quickly if heated by hand contact.
Full-bodied red Wines (e.g. Cabernet and Merlot) glasses (called Bordeaux glasses) have a relatively wider opening which
allow a good sniff of the bouquet to the taster. For fruity reds (e.g. Pinot Noir) glasses with even
bigger bowl but slightly narrower opening (called Burgundy glasses) are used.
Smaller red Wine glasses are around 270 ml and regular ones are around 415 ml.
White Wine Glasses: White Wine glasses have relatively narrower bowl compared to red Wine glasses
but are wider than the Champagne flutes. Normally, white Wine glasses have longer stem and smaller base than
red Wine glasses. Reduced surface area of the narrower bowl helps maintaining low Wine temperature by means of
lesser heat transfer with the surrounding and the hand. Smaller white Wine glasses are around 240 ml
and the regular ones are around 360 ml.
Dessert/Sweet and Aperitif/Rose Wine Glasses: Dessert or sweet Wine glasses
and Apertif or rose Wine glasses are available in many shapes and sizes. However, as a general
rule Rose/aperitif glasses are similar to white Wine glasses except that they are smaller with a
wider bowl. And dessert/sweet Wine glasses are also smaller with a bigger taper towards the rim to allow
a better swirl.
Port/Fortified Wine Glasses: There is a split of opinion among Wine connoisseurs whether a special
glass is needed for Port Wine or not. Anyways, let's cut the chase. Ideally, a port glass should
be small and narrow and should never be more than half-filled to avoid alcoholic odors overpowering the subtle
aromas of port Wine such as oak, pepper, black currant, smoke and truffles.
Champagne or Sparkling Wine Glasses: Champagne glass is the undisputed king of all the Wine glasses.
It is most decorative and luxuriously glamorous of all. Its tall and narrow design is engineered to allow
the carbonation to stay within the glass while drinking. A regular Champagne glass bowl
is around 180 ml in volume.
Brandy Glass or Snifter: A Brandy snifter is a globe shaped glass with a much smaller opening than
the bowl. To read more about Brandy and Brandy glasses please see our Brandy Wine page.
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2007, 07:03 PM