Wine drinking has many fascinating aspects and one is that different types of stemware are recommended for different wines. In addition, decanters are recommended for use when drinking certain varieties of wine. At Rosehill Wine Cellars, we appreciate the beauty of crystal and believe that all wine glasses should be made with flawless crystal. The shape of the glass can make wine taste better. For instance, the distance of the nose from the beverage determines which aromas you smell. Of course, aroma is a large part of the experience of wine drinking.
Components in wine are: water, ethyl alcohol, glycerine, pectins, acids, polyphenols, and traces of flavor elements.
The following gives you a few basic insights on which stemware shapes to drink with which wine variety.
Glasses for Red Wine
Tannins are present in red wine, and choosing the glass has much to do with mitigating the accompanying bitterness.
The bowl of the glass should be larger when enjoying red wine. This way, more elements of aroma are delivered to the nose and the burn of ethanol is further from the nose. The ethanol alcohol is able to evaporate better because of the larger surface area. The wine has a smoother taste when there is a wider opening.
High tannin red wine with high acidity is best in a glass with more length coupled with a wide bowl. Low tannin red wine with low alcohol content and more delicate aromas – such as Gamay, Schiava, and Pinot Noir – are best enjoyed in a glass with a large bowl and less height.
Glasses for White Wines
For white wine, glasses with smaller bowls are usually preferred. A smaller bowl accomplishes the following:
- Preserves floral aromas,
- Maintains a cooler temperature, and
- Due to proximity to the nose, more aromas are delivered.
Some full-bodied white wines are often desired in stemware with larger bowls, such as orange wines, aged white wines, and oak-aged Chardonnay.
A Little About Decanting
Before pouring wine into the perfect glass, is it necessary to first decant it? Decanting wine involves pouring it from one vessel into another. Not all wines need to be decanted further than simply pouring it from the wine bottle into the glass. When wine is poured from a bottle into a decanter, it is usually then poured into glasses from the decanter. Restaurants often pour wine into a decanter and then back into the original vessel for service. Decanting involves allowing the wine to mix with oxygen, which affects flavor. Decanting needs to be done especially slowly and carefully with older wine, in order to separate the wine from the sediment. If the sediment is left to mix with the wine, it imparts an unpleasant astringent flavor that is very noticeable.
Be sure to check our selection of crystal stemware and decanters at Rosehill Wine Cellars. It is generally recommended to keep a set of six red wine glasses and six white wine glasses, at minimum, to serve wine with meals at home.