When we taste wine, one of the most important factors in determining how much we enjoy it is the smell. The first thing that hits our nose when we take a sip of wine is that delicious bouquet of flavors, and just like when you are cooking with herbs and spices, it’s all about how you release them into the air.
What’s more, if you pair your wine with the perfect glass, you will maximize both the aroma and flavor experience and enhance your wine tasting enjoyment even further. Here are three steps to help you find the perfect glass to make your wine appreciation experience complete.
How to enhance your wine experience with the perfect wine glass
Components of a Wine Glass
While a great deal of attention is often paid to selecting wines, little is given to choosing wines glasses. Many people don’t even consider their glassware when it comes time for opening a bottle at home and just pull out whatever they have on hand.
This isn’t always a bad thing—wine drinkers shouldn’t be overly concerned about pairing an appropriate glass with each variety. But if you want to get more out of your wine, there are two main components of a good tasting experience: proper aeration and aroma enhancement.
Both depend largely on choosing and using the right kind of stemware (no matter what type of wine you are drinking). These tips can help you choose ideal glasses for everyday use as well as for special occasions or events.
Types of glasses
Wine glasses come in many different shapes and sizes. The kind of glass you need depends on what type of wine you’re drinking.
By learning about what each shape is best for, you can take a lot of guesswork out of choosing a great-tasting glass.
You can further enhance your wine tasting by understanding what wines work best in certain types of glasses. To get started, let’s look at some examples
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Why are red wines served in long glasses?
Many red wines are served in glasses that have a larger surface area, thus allowing for more air contact and aroma. This enhances how we experience a wine’s bouquet and taste.
The size of a red wine glass also complements its lighter body (it does not overpower it) and allows for ease of drinking, which is important when consuming so many mouthfuls. In some cases, stemware will even be shaped into a bowl-like form—which can also help retain aromas within the bowl.
Why are white wines served in narrow glasses?: The purpose behind serving certain white wines in a narrower glass lies in slowing down how fast you consume it—which helps preserve freshness by reducing oxidation.
Why are white wines served in flutes?
White wines are all about elegance and purity. Because they can be very light and refreshing, flutes encourage you to enjoy these wines quickly, before they lose their sparkle and start tasting dull.
Flutes also showcase every hint of aroma that a white wine offers; as a result, you’ll notice subtle floral and fruity smells that might otherwise have escaped you.
For example, if you drink a Sauvignon Blanc out of a red wine glass (which is wider at its mouth), it will trap some of those delicate aromas in. If you really want to take advantage of everything that white wines have to offer, I suggest trying them out in flutes when possible.
What about Champagne?
Champagne, by definition, is made in a specific region of France and only comes from a small region along the northern border of that country. But why? It’s all about terroir: The soil and climate in Champagne are optimal for growing certain grapes that give champagne its distinctive flavor.
Yet some producers outside of Champagne—particularly California—still make champagne-style wines using sparkling-wine production methods. If you’re looking for a substitute for expensive French bubbly, look for dry vintages from California or New York State or buy American sparkling wine labeled champagne.
As long as it’s dry (or nearly so), you’ll get much of what makes champagne so appealing without paying top dollar.
Is there really a right way to drink wine?
Most people think that when it comes to enjoying a glass of vino, there is one right way to do it. But, while experts often suggest which wine glasses suit different types of wines, there is no definitive answer.
In fact, many top sommeliers recommend drinking red and white wines from any type of stemware available as long as it is clean and in good condition. This way you can enjoy all types of wines at home with family and friends!
How does a glass affect the taste of wine?
Wines, like people, have different personalities. Some are playful and others serious. And some wines just don’t play well with others. The reason is that a winemaker chooses not only which grapes are used in a particular wine but also what kind of glass they serve it in.
Some wines can seem flat and boring when served in a cheap glass while other wines explode with life if you drink them from their ideal vessel.
To achieve peak enjoyment of any given bottle of vino you need to first figure out what kind of personality it has before choosing a suitable vessel in which to enjoy it.
Why are thin wine glasses better?
Good stemware isn’t just about looks—thick stems, wide bowls, and narrow openings all act as a barrier between you and delicious wine.
Thin glasses allow for increased air flow to properly aerate your vino (see next section), meaning better aromas and tastier sips. However, these thin stems come at a price; beware of low-quality stems that can break easily under pressure.
How thick should wine glasses be?
Wine glasses should be made from a thicker material, like heavy crystal and they should be weighted. If you have ever held a thin-walled wine glass, you will notice that it feels very lightweight in your hand; not what you would expect when sipping on a fine red or white varietal.
When red wines are exposed to oxygen, they can react with air molecules and then lose their rich color and taste as they age. A lot of people don’t know that different types of wines taste better when served in specific glasses because of how thin or thick these glasses are.
The basic rule of thumb is that red wines should be served in a wider and shallower glass, while white wines should be served in taller and narrower glasses.
The red wine will release its aromas better when it is spread out over a wider surface area, whereas for white wines, having a tall, narrow structure will concentrate all of its aromas into a smaller space.
Drinking white wine from a wide, shallow bowl also helps reveal its fruity notes. On top of everything else, these differences are what makes drinking wine more fun!