Consider the wine glass for a moment. When was the first time you ever took a sip out of one? Was it at some particular point in childhood in which your mother poured you a fantastically fancy glass of water, or snuck you a sip of Manischewitz during a family Passover celebration? Perhaps you don’t remember the moment, but you know it was special because it involved a wine glass. A wine glass is more than a container and certainly deserves to be filled with something heavier than water. It comes with a purposeful sense of elegance and signifies a special moment, even if that moment is limited to kicking your feet up after a long day. The image of a glass of wine is more than visual. It’s sonic and delicious, delivering memories of clinks, clanks, and savored flavors.
The significance of a wine glass itself is inarguable and nobody with taste believes sipping wine out of a Solo cup is comparable to sipping from a glass. However, what many people miss is the significance of the shape of the glass as it relates to the beverage. Does it matter what type of wine glass you use for specific types of wines? The answer is, and will always be, yes. At Barterhouse, we are officially telling. you that the shape of your wine glass matters. And the reasoning behind it is simple: It affects the taste and experience. Wine dances along the line that separates art and science, and it should be treated as such. If you’re lost, check out this quick guide to glasses, and amp up your wine tasting experience to its fullest potential.
The most obvious distinction between wine glasses is the shape of the bowl. A wider bowl will allow for the beverage to occupy a larger surface area as it relates to its positioning towards your mouth and nose. The wider the bowl, the more access you have to its aroma. As it pertains to your experience of wine, red wine is most notable for being more robust and flavorful than others, meaning that it deserves a wider bowl to truly enjoy all that it has to offer. Most white wines, on the other hand, are served best chilled and would require a less wide bowl. Additionally, a slimmer frame will prevent overexposing the wine to too much oxygen and aid in directing a white’s delicate flavor more directly to the mouth and nose. Champagne flutes are perfect for the bubbly beverage because it limits the exposure to oxygen the most, thereby allowing the carbonation to last. Wine, of course, is never actually this simple. There are robust whites (like Chardonnay) that are served best in wider bowls. Additionally, a rosé tastes most pleasurable in a flared glass due to the way it holds flavor but reduces acidity.
The thickness of the rim will determine how quickly the wine enters your mouth and the amount of sensory pleasure you receive in a single swig. There’s debate as to whether or not a thicker rim distorts the taste of wine by increasing its acidity and is, therefore, less desirable. On the other hand, a heavier crystal glass is said to create turbulence. It shakes up the properties in wine allowing for a burst of aroma and flavor as soon as it hits the rim. The bottom line is that a thinner glass will allow the wine to enter your mouth faster and feel more free-flowing, while a thicker rim will feel more conservative. This comes down to personal preference on how you’d like to experience the splash of wine as it hits your tongue.
There are glasses with stems and glasses without. Most often, the stem depends on the type of event at which the wine is served. However, there is a scientific significance as well due to the fact that a stem aids in keeping the wine at its proper temperature. Because your hand touches the bowl while drinking out of a stemless glass, it will change the temperature of the beverage. This is why, as a general rule, white wine should always be served in a glass with a stem. But, sometimes a stemless glass is just easier to deal with. For frequent wine drinkers, this can be a big deal in terms of how they like to enjoy the simple pleasure of sipping wine. At the end of the day, this comes down to personal preference.