The type of wine glass that you serve your wine in can have a dramatic impact on the flavor and quality of the wine. There are many factors associated with wine glasses that may add or subtract from the wine's flavor, appearance and quality. There are also some glassware basics that should be considered when choosing glasses.
For a home wine-connoisseur, you may need to take your wine glass selection very seriously. For those individuals that enjoy a variety of different types of wine, you may opt for an all-purpose wine glass. These are tulip shaped and hold approximately 8 to 12 ounces and are appropriate for most types of wine. There are, however, specific types of glasses that you may be interested in purchasing if you enjoy a particular type of wine on a regular basis. You do not necessarily need a special glass for each type of wine, but if you routinely enjoy a particular wine and you have the storage and budget, then you may be interested.
So what are the differences in white and red wine glasses? There are several differences and each affect the bouquet of the wine as well as help to maintain the appropriate temperature of the wine. And of course, white wines are best served out of glasses designed for white wines and red wines are best served out of glasses designed for red wines.
The white wine glass has a narrow mouth, which allows the wine to maintain its chilled temperature. The reduced surface area of the glass does not allow air to permeate the wine as much as it does in a wide mouthed red wine glass. The reduced amount of air means that the air will not warm the wine. The smaller bowl of the glass also means that there is less contact by the heat of the hand, which can also warm the wine.
Chardonnay glasses feature a narrow rim of glass that helps to direct the wine to the middle of the palate. This applies the fruit flavors and acidity. The longer bowl of the glass keeps the wine chilled and captures the aromas of the wine. This type of glass works well for Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, White Bordeaux and Burgundies, White Pinots and Viognier.
Sangiovese and Riesling glass feature a smaller bowl and even narrower rim. The smaller bowl is due to the fact that these wines are usually consumed in smaller quantities as dessert wines. The smaller and elongated bowl also allows the wine to stay chilled while you are enjoying your dessert. These glasses are also great for wines that are sweet and may be drunk in smaller amounts. This type of glass is also appropriate for Bardolino, Chianti, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano and Zinfandel. If you frequently enjoy white wines, you may enjoy an all-purpose glass that is designed for different white wines.
Red wine glasses are usually noted as having a large bowl and wide mouth. These glasses are similar to the Bordeaux and Burgundy wine glass. The Bordeaux wine glass is designed specifically for these red wines. They have a large and round bowl, which allows the wine to breathe, which brings out the different aromas that the wine has to offer. Allowing the red wine to sit in the glass will have a similar effect that decanting has on a wine. These glasses are tall and shoot the wine straight to the back of your mouth where most red wines will react with the back of the palate.
The Burgundy glass is also a good wine glass that is appropriate for reds and full-bodied wines. They have an even larger bowl than the Bordeaux glass and focuses the wine to be absorbed at the tip of your tongue. This allows the drinker to enjoy the sweetness of this wine. This glass is also appropriate for your Pinot Noir wines and is best for gathering the delicate bouquet of your red wine.
Red wine glasses also allow you to drink your red wines at room temperature. The larger bowl is designed to allow the wine to cool after it is exposed to the heat of your hand. If you enjoy red wine on a regular basis, you may be interested in buying a set of these glasses.
When purchasing wine glasses, you will want to look for clean and clear glasses. This will allow you to examine the wine and check its clarity and color. A clean glass is absolutely necessary for enjoying wines and after washing you will want to remove any soap residue that is left on the glass. Thin glasses are also the best, as a rolled rim will cause the wine to dribble into your mouth while a thin glass presents less obstruction between you and the wine. Stems are also necessary, as you do not want to hold the bowl of the glass. The glass should also have a tapered rim, which will keep the wine from spilling when you swirl. It will also help to capture the aroma of the wine.
Cleaning tips for your wine glasses
There's nothing that detracts from the enjoyment of fine wine like drinking it from a cloudy wine glass. Wine glasses should always be sparkling clear, especially if you are serving wine to guests.
Unfortunately, it's easy for even the best crystal stemware to develop a foggy look that is hard to remove once it has "set." The best course is to keep this from happening in the first place. But if you already have foggy wine glasses, there are things you can do to clear them up.
It should go without saying that you must always wash good crystal, including wine glasses, by hand, never in the dishwasher. Dishwashers get very hot, which is not good for crystal--it can cause it to develop fine cracks. Also, dishwasher detergent can "rough up" glass surfaces. Both of these can lead to a cloudy look over time.
When hand washing your wine glasses, use warm--not hot--water and regular dish detergent. Adding a little vinegar to the water will help keep the glasses from fogging.
If you have taken good care of your wine glasses, including washing them as described above, and they have developed a cloudy appearance anyway, it could be due to the condition of your water supply. Hard water in particular is prone to imparting a foggy film to crystal.
To remove cloudiness from glassware, soak the pieces in straight white vinegar for an hour or two. Then, hand wash normally and dry using a lint-free cloth. You might have to repeat the process two or three times before you can get all of the filminess off, but you'll agree it's worth it when your wine glasses sparkle again.