Enjoying a good glass of wine is primarily about the sensory experience – being able to appreciate the feel, the aroma and the color all go a long way. Having the right glassware plays a big part in enhancing your enjoyment of a wine. From the point of the wine’s first contact with your tongue, to the aroma suspended in the glass, to the thickness of the rim, every detail matters when picking the right glassware.
Hand-blown vs Machine-blown Glass
Hand-blown glass makes for a more graceful, light and delicate wine drinking experience when compared to machine-blown glass. That said, hand-blown glassware is more expensive because of the labor involved in its creation. Hand-blown glassware tends to have a finer rim that allows for the wine to be tasted in a way that is superior to thicker, machine-blow rims. Combined glassware is also widely available nowadays with hand-blown bowls mounted on machine-made stems.
Wide vs Narrow
Red wine is usually served in wide glasses in comparison to sparkling wine or champagne, which are served in narrow flutes, with a tapered rim, to preserve the bubbles and aroma.
Red wines benefit from larger bowls as it gives the wine room to breathe (and for you to swirl without spilling!) while white wine glasses are usually slightly smaller to keep their contents chilled for longer.
TOP TIP: For the ultimate champagne-drinking experience, invest in tulip glasses that have a slightly wider bowl than a flute, allowing the bubbles to hit your tongue rather than your nose.
Tapered or flared?
Though both retain the aroma to varying extents, the difference is more so in directing the wine to different parts of your tongue. A tapered glass would direct the wine further back in the palate, while a flared rim would direct wine to your front palate where you’re more likely to taste the sweetness of the fruits while softening the acidity.
Stem or no stem?
The point here is to hold the wine glass comfortably, while not warming its contents. A stemmed glass has the advantage of being able to be stored hanging upside down to prevent any dust from gathering in it. No-stem glasses are less formal and can be used for casual entertaining. They can also be stacked and take up less space when storing.
When it comes to glasses, don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun! Pick up a variety of styles for formal and informal entertaining and make experimenting with glassware a part of your wine drinking journey.