Wine glasses come in many different shapes and sizes. Some modern wine glasses are stemless, but the classic design we all know well consists of a base, which supports the glass, a stem, which connects the base to the bowl, which is where you pour the wine.
Your wine glasses should be appropriate to the type of wine served. Though this is not always possible, it would be ideal to acquire a set of red, white, sparkling and Port wine glasses. The glass should be clear, with no adornment, in order to fully appreciate the wine’s colour and clarity. They should have thin rims and walls, and a good stem.
The glass should be big enough to allow you to swirl the wine without spilling it, and it should have enough capacity to hold approximately 60 to 80 ml of wine, which will occupy about 1/3 of the glass. Try to change glasses when serving new wines, or rinse with un-chlorinated water to prevent off flavours.
Hand-wash your glasses using no detergent at all, then dry them with a clean lint-free cloth and store them upright on a closed shelf, away from dust and smoke.
Size Does Matter!
The shape of the glass has a great deal to do with our enjoyment of any wine. When tasting reds, you should use glassware that features a large bowl. This is partly in order to give you adequate room to swirl the wine, and partly for aeration (also known as letting the wine ‘breathe’). These glasses can be very round and bulbous, or large and cylindrical, but most are tapered in slightly at the opening, and have the capacity to hold sometimes more than twenty ounces of wine. Take special note here: the maximum you should pour into a red wine glass is about five ounces. Even if this doesn’t look like much in such a large glass, this is about the size of an average glass of wine, and keep in mind that the glasses are not meant to be filled completely! If you are tasting the wine, and especially if you are planning on tasting several different wines, you should not pour more than two ounces at a time. White wine glasses are often significantly smaller than red wine glasses, and most feature a more slender bowl shape. Often the capacity of a white wine glass is much less than that of a red, but your serving size should be about the same.
Holding a Wine Glass
Easy Rule: always hold your glass by the stem! There are several reasons we never hold a wine glass by the bowl: first, it leaves fingerprints on the bowl, which will interfere with your enjoyment of the colour and clarity of the wine. Secondly, it affects the temperature of the wine, warming white wines that should be served chilled, for example. By holding your wine glass properly (by the stem), you ensure that you are not altering the wine’s temperature in any way, and will also show others that you are knowledgeable of proper wine tasting etiquette.
TYPES OF GLASSES
Red Wine Glass
It is round and narrows slightly at the top to concentrate the aromas. The bowl is meant to be filled only to the widest part of the bowl to allow it to breathe.
White wine glass
Has a smaller bowl than the red wine glass, since white wines don’t need to breathe as much as reds.
A Champagne flute has a thin tulip shape, allowing the bubbles to last longer.
Port wine is served in small quantities, therefore the bowl is smaller with a tapered rim. The glass should be completely filled.