Which glass should I choose to serve my wine in?
It is very likely that, at some point, you have asked yourself this question.
In fact, the pleasure that a good wine provides is greater if it is served in a glass that is adequate for its characteristics.
And what is a suitable glass? It is the glass that will enhance the particularities of the wine you are tasting and highlight the various sensations it awakens, from its appearance to its aromas and flavours.
In this article we will introduce you to some principles that will help you choose
the ideal glass for each type of wine.
What you need to know before choosing the glass in which to serve the wine
There are several types of glasses.
Choosing the glass that will allow you to get the best out of the wine you are tasting can be, at first, a somewhat confusing task, since we find glasses of countless sizes, shapes and materials.
During a tasting, the performance of each glass can, in fact, vary according to these elements.
To understand the difference between the various models, you first need to know the three parts that make up a tumbler. They are:
- the bulge - the wider part where the wine is served;
- the stem - which connects the rim and base and where the glass should be held (to prevent the heat from our hands heating the wine);
- the base - the structure that supports this whole object.
Before you think about investing in a new collection of glasses, we share with you some basic guidelines that will help you evaluate the options you currently have in your home.
The size of the glass
The wider the brim of the glass, the more contact the wine has with the air. This will allow the wine to open more easily and release its aromas. In a tasting, the aromatic experience is as relevant as the tasting. For this reason, the more closed the wine is, the wider the brim of the glass should be.
The shape of the glass
Just like the size, the configuration of the glasses can also influence the complexity and intensity with which we feel the wine's aromas, as well as the perception of flavours when passing from the liquid into the mouth. The more tapered the glass, the greater its capacity to retain aromas.
The colour of the glass
Whenever possible, it is important to favour the use of transparent glasses. The appreciation of the colour and hues of each wine is part of the tasting experience and should not be underestimated.
The material of the cup
As well as being colourless, the glass should be made of good quality glass or even crystal.
Because they have thinner and more porous walls, crystal glasses are generally preferred by great wine lovers, as they allow a greater concentration of aromas and a better assessment of the visual aspect of the wine's tear.
After this initial analysis, we will now explain some more specific aspects that are important to take into consideration to find the perfect glass to serve each type of wine.
The glass for red wine
With very intense aromas and flavours, red wine needs room to breathe.
For this reason, the glass should have a large body, so that the wine can release all its strength. A wide body will allow the alcohol to evaporate more quickly, accentuating the aromas, attenuating the bitterness of the tannins and softening the wine.
This format also provides enough space to swirl the liquid inside the glass. It is therefore advisable not to fill up the glass and to serve the wine to only one third of its capacity.
There are two most common types of glasses for red wines: Bordeaux and Burgundy, so called because of the famous wine producing regions in France.
The type of glass designed for fuller-bodied wines, with higher alcohol content and rich in tannins.
With a large and slightly rounded rim, this tulip shape favours the rapid evaporation of alcohol, making the wines smoother and more aromatic. At the same time, it directs the drink towards the tip of the tongue, allowing creaminess and fruity flavours to dominate before the tannins gain presence at the back of the mouth.
Ideal for more complex and delicate red wines, with a good freshness and a balanced natural acidity. This glass has a balloon shape, which ensures greater air circulation, favouring the release and gathering of aromas. The way it was designed allows us to explore the olfactory experience and direct the wine towards the tip and centre of the tongue, which reduces the perception of acidity and highlights its more mature qualities.
The glass for white wine
For white wine, which is usually lighter and more aromatic, a tulip-shaped glass is recommended, similar to the one for red wine, but slimmer and a little smaller.
This format helps maintain the low temperature at which white wine is served, since there is less heat exchange with the environment, and enhances its characteristic acidity. At the same time, it better preserves the floral and fresh fruit aromas, making them more evident due to their proximity to the nose.
For fuller-bodied white wines, it is preferable to choose a glass with a wider rim, so that its creamy texture can gain some prominence.
Rose wine glass
Rosé wine has the tannins of reds, while its aromas are close to the light and fruity character of whites. To taste this particular combination, a tulip type glass is recommended, similar to that of white wine, but wider. In this way, rosé can release all its aromas, accentuating its acidity and sweetness in a balanced way.
If it is not possible to have a specific glass to serve rosé, the best option is to use a glass for white wine as, in terms of objectives, it is the most similar.
The Port wine glass
Port wine, as well as other fortified wines, is usually served in small quantities.
For this reason, smaller glasses with a narrower top are usually used.
Since they are more alcoholic wines, this format reduces the evaporation process and helps to bring the wine directly to the tip of the tongue, where the perception of sweet flavours is more accentuated.
The use of a glass with adequate proportions, with a thin thickness and made of transparent and good quality glass are, therefore, the main aspects you should consider when serving a wine.
This is not to say that you have to throw away the glasses you have at home. We believe that, by knowing the characteristics that best adapt to the wine in tasting, you will be able to make a better assessment of the options available. According to your profile and your preferences, you can then decide which glasses you should invest in.
Follow the guidelines that we leave you and allow yourself to appreciate all the potential that each wine has to offer. We have a diversified selection of proposals that will surprise you. Get to know our suggestions at UVA Wine Shop.