Commentary by Ron Hopwood
Glassware is important to wine appreciation. It influences how you perceive the color, aromas and taste. There are many options on the market so you can find a glass that’s right for you.
Look for crystal clear glass. The clearer the glass, the richer the wine’s color appears. The thinner the rim, the less the glass distracts from the wine as you sip. Look for a large bowl, 10 to 18 ounces, that tapers slightly at the top. This helps magnify the wine’s aromas, providing plenty of space for the aromas to expand, but little room for them to escape.
Many glasses are too small; few are too large. Wineglasses traditionally have stems so that your hand doesn’t touch the bowl, obscuring the glass with fingerprints or warming the wine above proper serving temperature.
Many wine lovers find an all-purpose, everyday wineglass that does the trick for them. The next step up would be to get an all-purpose red wine glass and white wine glass. Generally, red-wine glasses have larger bowls and wider openings than those for white. There are also wineglasses that are designed to showcase specific types of wines – say, one for Chambourcin that’s different from one for Vinifera based wines.
The sizes and shapes of the bowls influence the intensity and complexity of the aromas, while the shapes of the rims determine where the wine initially lands on the tongue, affecting the perception of its taste. Whatever you choose, its best not to fill a wineglass more than half full. You need to leave enough air space to swirl and release the aromas.
Don’t worry about looking stingy with your pours in front of guests. Now that you’re serving your wines in perfect condition, they should be getting twice the enjoyment out of every glass.