This article was published on March 24th, 2015
You see a flute-shaped, a stemless, and a U-shaped wine glass at the store. It further breaks down into glass or crystal and a 12-oz versus 9-oz. Which wine glass should you choose for your red wine tonight?
Whether it’s a sweet, dry, red, white, or sparkling wine, the type of wine glass you use affects its flavour potential. In addition to serving your wine at the proper temperature, a specific style, quality, and type of glass is recommended for each type of wine. The next time you pick up a bottle of wine, here are four tips to keep in mind for the kind of glass you should use:
1. Stick to the clear- Wine glasses are typically made out of crystal or glass. Regardless of which type you choose, the rule of thumb is to have a glass that is plain and clear. An important aspect to wine tasting is being able to appreciate its colour. The colour of the wine often reveals important information about the grape varietal, the age of the wine, region and etc. By choosing a glass that is clear and plain, you’ll be able to properly evaluate the appearance of the wine for your tasting note.
2. Size matters- Before getting into the shape of the bowl on the wine glass, always choose a wine glass that will be large enough to allow a decent amount of wine to be poured in the glass while leaving enough room for the wine to be swirled without spilling. When you swirl, the wine is able to breath (aerate). This process helps to release aromas and flavours from the wine, which enhances your tasting experience.
3. Grow a stem- Your wine should have a stem between the foot and the bowl of the glass. Holding by the stem prevents you from accidentally transferring the heat from your hands to the wine and increasing its serving temperature. This is especially important for a wine that is to be served chilled. As well, greasy fingerprints will not be smudged over the bowl of the glass to affect your evaluation of the wine’s appearance.
4. Shape up- The bowl of the wine glass comes in many different shapes and styles. Depending on the kind of wine you are serving, you’ll want to choose accordingly.
- Red wine- Best served in large wine glasses with fuller and rounder opening. This allows more oxygen to be entered into the wine to release aroma. As well, you’ll have an easier time dipping your nose into the glass to smell the aroma.
Taste: 2012 Black Muscat– A unique wine, and as far as we’re aware, Blue Grouse is the only vineyard growing it in all of Canada. It’s a wild child with powerful, unmistakable aromas of lavender, lychee, black currant and sweet spices.
- White wine- In order to maintain a cooler temperature while allowing the aromas to be released, the white wine glass bowl will be more “U” shaped and upright than those of the red wine glass.
Taste: 2013 Pinot Gris– One of the oldest Pinot Gris vines on Vancouver Island. Aroma of white peach and honeysuckle with loads of old world minerality, fresh honeydew melon, lime, and a firm backbone of acidity on the finish.
- Sparkling wine- To maximize the flavour, fizzy texture and bubbles in the glass, choose a glass that is upright and narrower/fluted. A narrow opening helps to retain the carbonation and aromas of the sparkling wine.
- Dessert wine- Dessert wines, such as Sherry or Port, have higher alcohol content and are sweet. Choose a wine glass that is smaller so the sweetness does not overwhelm your palate.
This post is presented by Blue Grouse Estate Winery in Duncan, British Columbia. Visit Blue Grouse for flavours of BC wine that reflect the cool and refreshing climate of the Cowichan Valley.