by Nicola Burrows

A true wine connoisseur appreciates a delicate glass of wine and values the difference between a bold red and a crisp white, or possibly an autumn blush with fragrances of berries and citrus, which are sweeter on the pallet. The choices are endless, but the wine glass that is used is as essential. Bringing the flavours of the wine to life can enhance your experience. The wine you choose is as important as the wine you serve, especially to maximize the flavour. A typical wine glass has three sectors: bowl, stem and foot. The shape of the glass generally influences the type of wine used. When serving the glass to your guests, hold the glass by its stem to avoid leaving fingerprints on the bowl.

Red wine glasses

Red wine needs to go through an oxidation process. This chemical process enhances both the flavour and aroma of the wine, making it more enjoyable. The bowl of a red wine glass is both rounder and wider to allow more air to come in contact with the wine. They usually stand taller than white wine glasses to allow for an easier swirl of the wine to further oxidize the flavour. Red wine glasses are also held by the bowl since it doesn’t normally make a difference if the temperature of the wine changes from the warmth of your hand. Red wine glasses are further divided into two common discrete shapes: the burgundy glass, which is broad and is suited to take the wine to the tip of the tongue; and the bordeaux glass, which is tall and not as broad as the burgundy glass.

For a bordeaux glass, you are going to be serving Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah as these are more full bodied wines. The bordeaux glass is shaped to allow the wine to reach the back of the throat when sipped. Burgundy glasses are made to further enjoy the aroma of the red wine. Wines such as Pinot Noir are best served to customers in burgundy glasses.

White wine glasses

Most white wine glasses have smaller mouths, which reduces the area of contact the wine has with the air, reducing the rate of oxidation. Their bowls are not as wide as red wine glasses while the entire glass appears thinner.

Champagne glasses are thinnest of all the wine glasses. Their shape is known as the flute, which has a longer stem and thin brim. Part of the novelty of champagne is its sparkling display of bubbles. The less oxidation it gets the longer the wine will sparkle.

White wine glasses are meant to be grasped by the stem to avoid both finger prints on the bowl as well as prevent the wine from being affected by that of your body temperature. The smaller mouth also allows the aroma to be directed more precisely towards the nose which a very important part of wine appreciation.

Serve Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio in the wider of the white wine glasses and use the Champagne Flutes for Champagne. You can pretty much follow this rule of thumb to be successful with the whites.

You will be able to maximize the flavour of wine and appreciate the wine to its fullest capacity.


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