A quick trip to your wine rack to select the perfect bottle of wine for that special occasion, you suddenly realize you need the right wine glass to accompany it. So what does it matter that the appropriate glass is selected for that delectable wine? In a short word … everything.
Wine glasses can generally be divided into three main categories – – full, round ones for red wine, slightly narrower ones for white wine, and flutes for champagne.
Choosing the right glass will enrich the flavor of the wine and keep it at the perfect temperature for drinking. When serving a red wine, most wine experts will recommend a larger glass with a bowl shape at the bottom. By having a large glass, the drinker is able to swirl the wine in between sips to aerate it. These glasses are also generally characterized by a sturdy base and stem to prevent the glass from toppling.
The full bowl shape allows the wine to cool quickly to room temperature after having been warmed by your hand (because of the large surface area). While these glasses are primarily designed for red wines, they can also be used for white wines if you don’t want to splurge on two different sets of glasses.
Unlike red wines, white wines are meant to be served chilled. In order to reduce the heat escape from the wine while it is in the glass, the glasses for white wines are narrower than those for red wines. This provides a smaller surface area and therefore less heat is able to escape from the wine. As with any glass, white wine glasses are meant to be held by the stem to prevent heat transfer between your hand and the liquid.
Last, but certainly not least in our description of wine glasses, is the champagne glass –- also known as a champagne flute. The flute is a very narrow and tall glass that is designed to help the beverage retain its carbonation throughout its duration.
Most carbonation escapes through the top of a glass, so the champagne flute is designed to be as narrow as possible to limit the amount of escaping carbonation. Regardless of which glass you select for your wine, choose a glass that is within your price range.
Additionally, many wine glasses are broken by an enthusiastic wine drinker during conversation, so don’t purchase a wine glass that you can’t afford to replace if it breaks. Remember, it is the wine you are savoring -– not the wine glass.