Whether you are a wine novice or aficionado, selecting the correct glassware can dramatically enhance the aroma and flavor of your wines.
The first important factor is glass versus crystal. When viewed under a microscope, regular glass is very smooth and polished whereas crystal is porous like fine sandpaper. When you swirl wine in a glass, you are trying to get air into the wine and release the aromas of the wine. The “roughness” of crystal helps pull the wine apart and release aromas and flavors. This action is similar to decanting or aerating.
The second factor is the size of the glass. You want to select a 16 ounce or larger wine glass. The larger glass will allow the aromas to expose themselves to your nose better. No matter how large the glass, never pour more than 3 or 4 ounces of wine in the glass because you will only hinder the ability of the aromas to fill the balance of the glass.
The third factor is the shape of the glass. Riedel Crystal and other wine glass makers produce numerous shapes of wine glasses specific to every type of wine. Why? The shape of the glass and especially the diameter of the rim help to focus the wine and deliver the wine to specific parts of your tongue. Each part of your tongue will recognize different sensations: sweet, salty, bitter and sour.
Red wine glass
A traditional red wine glass is often referred to a Bordeaux or Cabernet glass. This shape helps corral all the different aromas of red wines and focus the wine to the front and middle of your tongue. This shape will help identify the red berry and spice flavors often associated with red wines.
White wine glass
A traditional white wine glass is often referred to as a Montrachet or Chardonnay glass. The large bowl balances out the aromas and the large rim helps to focus more wine to the outside edges of your tongue. This shape will allow you to pick up more of the citrus and tropical fruit flavors often associated with white wines.
Many people are very skeptical about “the difference a wine glass can make,” but we have personally experienced the difference and taste tested numerous friends and customers! Every single person who has tried this experiment has been totally surprised at the results!