Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Proper Glass

The more I realize how much work goes into the production of wine, the more eager I am to partake in the full wine experience.  If that means buying a series of trappings and frills, so be it.  Today and tomorrow we’re going to highlight some of the follow-up purchases you can make to get the most out of your wine.  For starters, lets touch on wine glasses.

Wine is complex, so there are a lot of factors that contribute to it’s success or failure even once it’s out of the hands of it’s maker.  Temperature, for example, changes the taste of a wine altogether, which is why you should only hold your wine glass by the stem whenever possible.  Believe it or not, the heat from your hand has the capacity to cheapen decades of work.

There’s no limit to the amount of glasses a wine connoisseur may have, but at the very least it’s great to have the basic red wine and white wine options.  Red wine glasses are typically rounder with a wider bowl.  Remember, nothing is arbitrary…the reason for this is to give the wine more space to “breathe”.  The two most popular red wine glasses are Bordeaux (dry) and Burgundy (sweet)- their shape directs the wine to different parts of the mouth (Bordeaux- directs to the back of the mouth, Burgundy- directs to the tip of the tongue) so if you can’t choose both at least you get the one that compliments your taste in wine.

White wine glasses are narrower, which allows them to better keep a chilled temperature.  Champagne flutes are narrower still, with a bowl shape designed to keep their carbonation.  If you find it difficult to justify purchasing sets of so many different glasses or even if you simply can’t afford it, go with a narrow tulip-shaped glass (like one you would normally choose for white wine).  It’s not ideal, but it’s the most versatile. 


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