The easiest way to level up your wine drinking experience is to choose the right wine glass (or 'stemware' if you also call a watch a 'timepiece'). The shape and indeed the choice or stem or stemless can impact the taste of the wine in the glass, along with its aroma, temperature and effervescence. Read on to discover why your choice of glass matters, and how to get it right for a better wine experience.
The Glass Matters - Aromas and Bouquets
Wine is more than just a beverage; it's an aromatic symphony built through terroir, winemaking choices, vintage conditions and of course the grape itself. The shape of your wine glass plays a crucial role in how you perceive those delightful aromas and complex bouquets. Here's a quick overview:
Red Wine Glasses: These typically have a larger bowl and wider opening, allowing the wine to 'breathe' and release its perfumed aromas. The wider shape also allows for better aeration, making it ideal for bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.
White Wine Glasses: These have a narrower bowl, preserving the wine's crispness, temperature and delicate aromas. White wine glasses are perfect for Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and other lighter varietals.
Sparkling Wine Glasses: With their tall, slender design, sparkling wine glasses help maintain the effervescence and direct the bubbles to your palate. Tulip-shaped glasses are perfect for your bubbly.
The Role of the Bowl
To add another element to your wine glass choice, the bowl of your wine glass can significantly influence your tasting experience. Here's a brief rundown:
Wide-Bowled Glasses: Ideal for wines that require aeration, like young, robust wines. The ample surface area allows the wine to interact with the air, enhancing its flavours and aromas, similar to the benefits of decanting wine. In this category, you'll typically see two types of bowls - Bordeaux and Burgundy. The Bordeaux bowl tends to be more broad and tall to help soften tannins, minimising the bitterness of the wine, while the Burgundy bowl tapers in slightly towards the top to capture nuances, aromas and flavours.
Narrow-Bowled Glasses: Perfect for wines that are delicate and nuanced, such as Chardonnay, Viognier or Riesling. These glasses focus the aromas and keep the wine cool, allowing you to taste the acidity of the wine and capture the pure fruit flavours. The Champagne flute is also a classically narrow-bowed glass, and while they are popular, choosing a more tulip shaped bowl will enhance the delivery of the aromatic notes while still preserving those precious bubbles.
The Stem's Importance
While stemless wine glasses have their place, stemware remains the preferred choice for those concerned with temperature challenges. The stem allows you to hold the glass without warming the wine with your hand. It also prevents unsightly fingerprints on the bowl, ensuring you can fully appreciate the wine's visual appeal. However, we're not denying the practicality of easily popping them in the dishwasher!
One Glass for All?
While specific glassware enhances the experience, you don't need an extensive collection to cover every single varietal. A versatile option, and a good starting point, would be the Burgundy glass as it can accommodate various wine types making it a practical choice. You can then build up your collection over time as your wine interest deepens - we hear glassware is a wonderful gift, hint hint!
Need some advice on specific glassware and wine matches, or just in need of some more advice? Reach out to the Mosaique Wines team at firstname.lastname@example.org or read on to discover more: