One very important aspect of drinking wine is the third party vessel used to get the beverage from the bottle to your mouth. Most often this vessel is glass. Occasionally it is plastic, or maybe paper, or in worst cases, a straw. But for the majority of those times, it’s a glass, and when it’s a glass, there are choices. Here are a few tips on finding the right glass for your wine.
General rules you should always follow:
- Stay away from a rolled rim. It won’t kill the wine, but it is so much less enjoyable than a good wine glass that has no roll on the rim – it allows the wine to just flow into your mouth seamlessly and makes a difference in heightened aromatics & flavors.
- Make sure it’s a tulip shaped glass. The shape helps catch and concentrate the aromas and bring them to your nose. Enhanced aromatics lead to more enhanced flavors and therefore, enhanced enjoyment.
- Don’t stick your nose up at stemless glassware – most of the stemless glassware is made by high-end winemakers (like Riedel) and fits the two requirements above, just without a stem.
Now, for finding the right glass for a specific wine… you can get just about as specific as you want here. Riedel (rhymes with needle), the famed Austrian glass maker, has a number of different glassware lines, some of which even have different glasses for a Riesling vs. a Rhiengau. The founder of the company, Claus Riedel, recognized that wine smelled and tasted differently depending on the type of glass used to drink it. So over the past 50 years, the company has attempted to perfect the art of the perfect glass for every wine. Each shape and design is meant to heighten the enjoyment of the style of wine meant for it. Not trying to advertise for Riedel, but they are one of the pioneers in this sector.
But while Riedel has a glass for everything, chances are you don’t need to. In general, having a good glass for red and a good glass for whites is good enough. The classic white size is that for Sauvignon Blanc, and has a more narrow bowl and smaller shape in general. The classic red glass is for Bordeaux/Cab/Merlot and has a wider bowl and is larger in general. If you want to increase your selection, we recommend a Pinot glass, which is great for, what else? Pinot! But also wonderful for Chardonnay. Between those three glasses, you’ll be set. You don’t need to get the highest of high end, just stick to the basics above (no rolled rim, tulip shape) and you’ll be good to go!
Looking for just one glass to fit all? We love the Riedel Overture and it’s what we use in all our wine tastings here at the office – it’s an ideal all-around glass.