Most wine glasses look utterly similar and can be a little confusing. With many variations, choosing the correct glass to enhance your wine drinking experience may instill fear. Just how important are the shapes and sizes of wine glasses and does the glass affect the taste of the wine? Continue reading to find out how the different types of glasses compare.
WINE GLASS ANATOMY
There are 4 parts to a wine glass.
- The base gives the glass its stability. A base that’s too small would allow the glass to topple over. On the other hand, a base that’s too large would get stuck under your plate and just get in the way.
- The stem elongates the glass giving you something to hold on to, without raising the temperature of the wine.
- The bowl is most likely the most important feature of the glass. This holds the wine and should be large enough to allow for swirling without spilling. The bowl is also tapered allowing the aroma of the wine to be retained.
- Full-bodied red wines need room to breathe and to release their aroma. Therefore, a large bowl is required when drinking these wines.
- White wines need to release their aromas, as well as maintain their chill/coldness. Therefore, a smaller “U”-shaped glass is required when drinking these wines.
- Sparkling wines are typically served in flutes, as these allow the bubbles to last longer.
- Lastly, the rim. A thinner rim is less distracting to the drinker, and a smoother rim doesn’t impede the wine as it flows from glass to mouth, giving you a nice smooth flow. Thicker, rounder rims are the sign of a cheaply made glass and may end up being more distracting as your palate tries to pick up on the notes of the wine.
TYPES OF WINE GLASSES
There are many different types of wine glasses. Each glass can enhance or change the way you perceive the wine. A few glasses that are widely known are the:
- Pinot Noir (Burgundy)
- Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot (Bordeaux)
- Pinot Grigio/Sauvignon Blanc
CRYSTAL VS. GLASS
Wine glasses are made up of many different materials. But did you know that the material used can also affect how the wine reacts?
- Nonporous, meaning it won’t absorb chemicals and can be used in the dishwasher.
- The glass is thicker and more durable making it less likely to break.
- The more affordable option and widely known/used.
- Capable of being spun thin while maintaining its strength.
- Refracts light better, making the glass look sparkly.
- Allows for a smoother drink flow against the tongue because the rim is typically thinner than glass.
- Porous and not always dishwasher safe.