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Does your wine glass really matter? The answer is an absolute yes! Even subtle differences in glass design can significantly impact how you experience a wine. How, you ask? Because wine glass shape and style impact how much air comes in contact with the wine, how much aroma is released and reaches your nose, and especially where the wine first hits your tongue. All these elements ultimately impact the flavor you taste.
Different glasses are shaped to enhance different aspects of wines. When choosing your wine glass, it's best to first and foremost take bowl shape into consideration, matching the bowl to the type of wine. Then give consideration to stemmed or stemless and to the thickness of the rim. Do keep in mind, though, that all the guidelines about matching wine glasses to wines are simply that: Guidelines. Ultimately the best wine glass choice for any particular wine is the one in which the wine tastes best to you. Don't like how a wine tastes? Before you blame the wine, give it a try in a different glass!
1. Choose a glass with a wide bowl for red wine.
A glass with a larger wider bowl allows the bolder flavors and aromas in red wine to open up and make them more enjoyable to drink. They also allow the aromas to waft out of the glass so you’re able to take them in when you sip the wine. They even help to aerate the wine, which releases more of the subtle flavor notes present in the wine.
Some wine glasses with wider bowls get more narrow towards the rim of the glass, which helps to trap the aromas so you’re able to smell them when you take a sip.
2. Select a glass with a more narrow bowl for white wines.
White wines have more delicate flavors and aromas so choosing a glass with a narrow bowl will help direct them directly towards your nose and make your drinking experience more enjoyable. They’re also often served chilled and the reduced surface area of the narrow bowl will help keep the wine cool while you drink it.
Serving white wine in a glass with a larger bowl will cause the delicate aromas to waft away into the surrounding air, making the wine taste blander.
3. Use fluted glasses for sparkling wines and champagne.
The carbonation in sparkling wines and champagne starts to dissipate as soon as you open the bottle, but serving the wine in a tall and narrow fluted glass will help keep it nice and bubbly. The smaller surface area of the narrow glass also helps keep the wine chilled so you can sip on it for longer.
Fluted wine glasses often taper to a narrow end at the bottom of the glass, which helps keep the effervescence intact as long as possible.
The best glasses to use for champagne are tall narrow flutes that are actually called “Champagne glasses” because they’re perfectly designed to keep your wine cool, crisp, and bubbly.
4. Pick glasses with long stems to sip the wine comfortably.
The stem of the wineglass is designed so your hand doesn’t touch the bowl and spread fingerprints over the glass or warm the wine with your body heat. They also make the glass easier and more comfortable to hold, allowing you to slowly sip and savor your wine.
Because wine is meant to be sipped, you want glasses that are comfortable to hold for a long amount of time.
5. Consider the stem
When it comes to choosing a stemmed versus stemless glass, it's mostly a matter of personal preference. However, drinking from a stemless glass can increase the wine's temperature because of your hand holding the bowl (and in turn the wine) instead of holding the glass's stem. Making stemless less ideal for white wine drinking — however, it is really up to you and what you prefer for your wine drinking experience!
6. Look for glasses with a thinly cut rim to help the wine flow.
Thicker, more rolled rims slow down the flow of wine from the glass when you drink it, and actually make the wine taste more acidic and harsh. Though they’re more fragile, wine glasses with thin rims allow the wine to easily flow onto your tongue, making it taste better and easier to drink. Try to get glasses with little to no lip to help the wine flow even more.
Once you've selected your glass and poured that wine, enjoy the best part — drinking it! And remember, if you don't like how a wine tastes, try it in a different glass! It may just change your whole flavor experience of the wine.