Choosing an Appropriate Wine Glass

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Let's start with the obvious, you can drink wine out of any glass you want.  Do what makes you happy.  There are lots of varieties of wine glasses some of which are designed for aesthetics and appearance and others are designed for enjoying the wine.  I don't need a "pretty" glass to do that, but if you do, then feel free to go for the most glamorous glass you want.  Here are the things I look for in a wine glass.

  • Clear glass - I prefer clear glass because it allows me to see the wine's color without it being altered by the color of the glass. 
  • Sturdy - Having a Labrador Retriever who can send several glasses flying  from the coffee table with one swish of his happy tail and a wife who talks with her hands, I am partial to sturdy glasses with thicker stems and bowls.  Some people prefer the made-up romance of the wine glasses so thin that they break if you look at them sideways. Frankly after trying to sweep up those micro-shards of glass after an "incident", I don't even want them in the house.
  • Form follows function - Perhaps it is from watching too much TV or too many movies, but I do like to swirl my wine (especially the red).  Perhaps it is a nervous tick.  So I prefer a glass with a bowl shape to it so that I can swirl without ending up wearing the wine.  For white wine glasses I prefer a more narrow glass, because I swirling a white wine isn't as much fun (I know, I have issues).  And of course for sparkling wine I prefer the tall narrow flute because I like to watch the bubbles climb.  You will notice that few of my reasons for shape are very good, but they are honest.  Few of the reasons relate to the sense of taste.  Some wine "experts" claim that the shape of the glass can alter the flavor...I've yet to fully believe it.
  • Size - I prefer the size of a wine glass to be such that it holds 1/4 of the bottle of wine.  This allows me to keep track of my consumption.  However, if heading down to the beach, I prefer the plastic goblet that holds 1/2 a bottle ... saves me from having to climb the stairs.

In this video, certified wine specialist Kathleen Lisson illustrates some of the common thought / tradition on wine glasses.



 

I am also partial to acrylic wine "glasses" because when they fall they don't break (in this house, the fall is inevitable, so not breaking is a good thing).  I also like the idea of the new variety of stemless wine glasses.  They look like traditional wine glasses only the stem has been removed.  For red wines I like this because your hand warms the wine to give it a nice aroma (similar to a Brandy snifter).  For whites, I am not as thrilled with stemless as I don't typically want them warmed up.  I do like that the stemless wine glasses are less likely to tip, and if they do, they are less likely to break.

Wine glasses may or may not make your wine taste better, so I say choose what makes you happy, because when you are happy, you are more likely to enjoy the wine. ;-)

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