Just as important as serving temperature, the type of glass you use when
serving wine makes all the difference.
Regardless of size or shape, all glasses have the same three essential components:
- Base – keeps the glass upright
- Stem – allows you to hold the glass without transferring your body heat to the wine
- Bowl – promotes maximum flavor and aroma depending on the type of wine.
Wine Glass Shapes
Believe it or not, a glass’s shape directly impacts a wine’s taste. The following 3 basic shapes are designed to match different wines:
Tulip – White wine glasses are smaller for a reason…they help keep wine cool. Oxidization is less desirable for white wines because it masks the wine’s delicate flavor nuances. To preserve crisp, clean flavors, many white wine glasses have a smaller mouth reducing surface area and as a result, rate of oxidization. This shape also directs the wine to the tip and sides of your tongue allowing you to enjoy the sweeter undertones. More mature white wines require a taller, straighter glass allowing the wine to dispense to the rear and sides of your tongue to better experience the bolder flavors.
Rounded – Red wine glasses are taller and wider designed to handle rich, full bodied wines like Cabernets and Merlots. The wide bowl allows these wines to breathe promoting rapid oxidation showcasing rich aromas and more pronounced flavors. This taller design also allows the wine to naturally flow to the back and sides of your mouth for maximum flavor.
Fluted – Champagne and sparkling wine glasses are tall and thin because they allow the bubbles (carbonation) to build up and not dissipate as quickly.
Wine Glass Construction
Wine glasses made of fused or cut glass usually have a rough thick lip and are noticeably clunkier making the imbibing experience much less pleasurable. Blown glass results in a far superior product. There are many brands out there including Reidel but my favorite is Stolzle. For over 200 years, this company has proudly crafted their glasses 100% eco-friendly lead-free. I like to make the comparison between using a Titleist driver and a generic golf club common at a mini golf course. You can feel it the minute you pick it up. Not only is their crystal glassware a joy to admire and use, they are strong enough to be dishwasher safe. That’s right, a wine glass fit for the jarrings of this modern convenience. Stolzle truly makes it possible to inject the luxury of properly enjoying fine wines in between the PTA meeting and taking your kids to soccer practice.