THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE COMING HOME FROM A HARD DAY’S WORK AND RELAXING WITH A GLASS OF WINE IN HAND. BUT HAVE YOU EVER STOPPED TO CONSIDER THE GLASS YOU ARE USING? LEIGH MARIE DODD PROVIDES AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WINE GLASSES AVAILABLE, AND HOW THEY CAN BE USED TO ENHANCE YOUR FAVOURITE DROP.
It’s not something that immediately comes to mind when drinking at home, but the vessel we choose to pour our wine into can make a powerful difference to its taste.
With so many varieties on the market, from full-bodied cabernet sauvignon to spritely rosé, it’s easy to see why one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. It’s imperative to know the benefits of different types of glassware, as choosing the correct glass to suit your wine of choice will release aromas and flavours that enhance its taste. To get the most out of your wine, read on to discover how you can enrich the flavour of your favourite drink.
Subtle on the palate, lightbodied wines such as pinot grigio, riesling and rosé should be consumed in a glass that features a smaller bowl. Using a smaller glass assists in fragrance release, making for a more intense and aromatic drinking experience. Whether light and clean or subtly sweet, when paired with the right glass, these whites can be full of delicious flavour. A small glass will also help to keep the wine cool if it’s been chilled beforehand, making it the ideal drinking temperature.
Tasting Tip: Try holding your glass by the stem. This way, the wine won’t warm in your hands.
DID SOMEONE SAY CHARDONNAY?
For lovers of chardonnay, this wine should be consumed in a wide-bowl glass to bring out its delicious, creamy texture. Perfect for this bold and often woody wine, this type of glass is typically wider in shape, which allows the heavier layers within to permeate and reach your palate. This in turn highlights the intense and rich flavour often masked when consumed out of a smaller glass.
Red wines such as cabernet sauvignon and shiraz should be served in a Bordeaux style glass. Drinking from this type of glass calms the acidity of the wine and allows the flavours to come alive, which is essential for these intense,
strong, fullbodied varieties. This vessel also directs the wine towards the back of the palate, providing a powerful hit of flavour.
When drinking nuanced varieties like pinot noir or tempranillo, opt for a wine glass with a generous-sized bowl, such as a Burgundy-style glass. The space within this type of wine glass is large enough to allow more air to permeate the wine, releasing an intoxicating aroma and layers of generous flavour. Alternatively, this larger style of glass will also bring out the acidity of wine, perfect for full-bodied whites like sauvignon blanc.
What’s a glass of bubbly without the bubbles? Served in one of the most recognisable glass options, sparkling wine, champagne and prosecco should be poured in either a traditional or tulip flute. The former will allow bubbles within the wine to gather and shoot to the top, creating the sparkling look for which it gets its name, while the latter tends to be used for older vintages of sparkling wine. In a tulip flute, bubbles will still travel upwards and enrich the flavour; however, it will also allow the air to infuse with the wine, enhancing its fragrance.
Tasting Tip: Go old school and use a coupe champagne glass. More commonly known as the champagne saucer, this glass was popular in the 1920s, but today can be used to channel a sophisticated, slightly retro vibe.
For something on the stronger side, dessert wines such as port and sherry can satisfy your sweet tooth and are the perfect after dinner treat. Served in small glasses, similar in shape to an inverted triangle, these fortified wines are often higher in alcohol content – thus their small portion size. Using a sherry or port glass will direct sweetness to the back of the mouth, ensuring that your palate isn’t overwhelmed.
A PERFECT ADDITION
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the large array of drinking glasses, fear not. You could always opt for a stemless wine glass. While you might not get the full intensity and taste that you would with a more specific glass pairing, these can be a handy all-rounder to add to your glassware collection. Ideally, opt for a wine glass that is durable and dishwasher safe.