How The Shape of The Wine Glass Affects The Taste of Wine

If you enjoy a glass of wine from time to time (or any day that ends in ‘Y’) you are already aware of different size wine glasses. Most wine drinkers have a general idea of different types of wine glasses, but do you understand why wine glasses are specific to wines? You don’t have glasses that are specifically for Coke, and some others for just Sprite, or ones that are reserved for only orange juice, so why do different wines require special glasses?

photo 5gWines evoke different tastes; some have fruity notes, some floral, and some offer a musky tone. In order to garner those flavors, it’s important to present the wine in a glass that will represent those notes best.  For example, a full-bodied white wine such as a Chardonnay or a Viognier, vintage sparkling or white wines, are typically served in larger bowled white wine glasses. These types of glasses will maintain the cool temperature the wine should be served in; delivers more aroma (due to the shape of the glass and proximity to the nose when bringing it up to drink), and preserves the floral aromas of these complex wines.

Light-bodied wines like Riesling and Gewürztraminer are best served in small bowled wines that are slightly taller than their counterparts. This allows less air to come into contact with the wine and brings forward the floral tones of these complex wines.

Red wines are typically served in large bowled glasses; however, the type of wine will determine how large the bowl of the glass should be.  The taller, smaller-bowled glass is best for medium to full-bodied red wines with high tannin and high acidity such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. The large-bowled, smaller opening glassGreenhill4 is best for showcasing the Zinfandel, Syrah, or Malbec. These full-bodied wines have higher alcohol content and ample tannin.  The largest-bowled glasses work well with low tannin red wines with low alcohol such as the Pinot Noir. The delicate aroma has space to grow and the shape of the bowl brings the notes to the nose, making it more enjoyable.

Port should be served in a special glass all its own. The high alcoholic content is preserved by the small-bowled glass and very narrow opening which reduces evaporation.

Join us for a tour of Virginia Wine Country where you will learn about the different types of wine the area has to offer; we will also go in more detail about how to best taste the wines, and which glasses to enjoy them from!  Valentine’s Day is just around the corner if you are looking for the perfect way to celebrate the day!

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