How to Choose Wineglasses for a Wine
There are hundreds of styles of wineglasses designed for different purposes and types of wine. But for most wine drinking and wine tasting a few key characteristics can make your choice of wineglasses easy. Here are a few guidelines to help you choose.
1. Choose two different sizes of wineglasses. Select smaller wineglasses for white wine and larger glasses for red wine. Generally, more full-bodied wines work best in slightly larger glasses while lighter, fruitier wines can do well in smaller glasses. The reason that white wine glasses need to be smaller is that white wine should not warm up too much before it is consumed. As for the size of red wine glasses, the more generous, the better, to allow for a third fill and the rest of the glass permitting aeration.
--- Select a balloon shaped wineglass to allow the wine to promote better flavor and to allow the wine to develop its full bouquet. Wine needs room to breathe and a tapered shape is the best for releasing the aroma.
--- For still wine, have a fine, plain and colorless glass. If the glass is chunky, has designs or color, you wont be able to appreciate the appearance of the wine inside.
--- Wine expert Joanna Simon recommends that a glass should be able to fit a quarter bottle of wine to about a third to half of the glass.
2. Choose fluted or tulip-shaped (champagne) glasses for sparkling wines and champagne. This shape helps keep the bubbles intact for longer and ensure the best flavor and aroma while drinking the sparkling wine.
--- Avoid using the Champagne saucer or coupe for champane; it causes both bubbles and bouquet to disappear instantly.
3. Look for cut over rolled edges to the glass. This is more finished look and feels pleasant to the mouth touch.
4. For wine accompanying dinner, choose wine glasses that are slightly larger so that they can accommodate larger pours, around 4 to 6 oz each, while still having ample empty space in the bowl.
5. For wine tasting events, choose small, inexpensive glasses. Wineglasses just for tasting wine at a wine tasting party dont need to be as pretty or expensive. Indeed, since you will often need many and some are liable to be broken by guests, prefer cheaper ones for such occasions. Smaller tasting glasses are optimal, particularly if many wines will be served at one time and over the course of the evening. They are easier to clean and you can fit more in front of each guest on the table. Also, tasting pours tend to be smaller so that each wine can make it around to each guest and each guest can drink more wines without getting too tipsy. A small pour in a very large glass can get lost and be hard to assess how much has been consumed.
6. For serving fine wines, choose glasses that are clear in color and do not have any painted or etched decorations. While colored glass and decorations may make the glass pretty to look at, it detracts from the appreciation of the wine inside, particularly for wine tastings.
7. Purchase the best wineglasses that you can afford. The experience as a whole when drinking wine matters, including the glass.
--- While you can find good deals on stemware on the internet through various companies, it is best to see the glasses firsthand to really appreciate their clarity, size and how they feel in your hand.
How to Drink Wine
All wine should be poured into a clear glass and held in front of a white back ground, so that you can examine the color. The color of wines varies greatly, even with the same type of wine. White wines vary from light green to brownish in color, where a browner tinge usually indicates age and more flavor. Red wines on the other had tend to become lighter in color as they age. While red wine improves with age, aging tends to ruin many whites.
Before you take a drink of wine, swish your glass around to release the different flavors in it, and take a smell of it. Research has shown that taste relies on smell about 70-75%; which is why you cannot taste much when you have a cold. When you take the time to sniff your wine, you are allowing your taste buds to better pick up subtle hints of flavor in the wine. You can smell wine two different ways. You can either take a quick sniff and then sit back to think about the first impression the wine gave you and then take a longer, deeper smell before allowing the smell to make an impression and taking a swig. Or you can just take the deep smell. Usually this depends on the persons preference, so you should try both to see which you prefer. However, you should never attempt to drink a wine before you have taken a long sniff and allowed your senses to take it in.
When you take a sip of wine, allow it to linger on your taste buds while swishing it around the entirety of your mouth, allowing it to come in contact with all of your taste buds, including ones found on the underside of your tongue. Sipping your wine slowly this way will allow your taste buds, as well as your sense of smell to identify the finer points that are not as easily detected in fine wines. Your first swig will be the initial sense you get from the wine, this will awaken your taste buds and get them going. Now is when you should swish the wine around your mouth, and try to draw in a little air. Try to notice the body of the wine. Before you take another sip of wine, relax and see how the after taste is.
This is a basic guide to the novice wine drinker. Many wine connoisseurs take this art very seriously, and many guides and books can be purchased as you become more and more experienced in the fine art of wine tasting.