The Right Wineglass
Some wine lovers invest in an extensive array of glassware, with a variety of stems designed for specific grapes. In such a collection, not only is a red wineglass different from a white wineglass, but a Riesling glass differs from a Chardonnay glass, which differs from a Sauvignon Blanc glass. Indeed, if you wish, you can buy a glass specifically designed for every major varietal.
The good news for the casual wine drinker is that you needn't invest in all those fancy stems to enjoy your favorite wine. If you drink both red and white wines, and occasionally drink sparkling wines, the following three styles of glasses will serve most of your needs:
- White wineglass: Because white wines are served chilled, these are generally smaller than red wine glasses. Less surface area helps keep the wine cool.
- Red wineglass: Serving red wine in large glasses allows the wine to have more contact with air, which helps the flavor and bouquet develop.
- Champagne glass and dessert: Narrow, fluted glasses are best for Champagne and sparkling wines because they help keep the bubbles intact and preserve the fizz. Dessert wines-typically sweet and often fortified-are usually consumed in small quantities. They're best served in small glasses for delicate sipping.
If you're not ready to invest in red and white glasses, it's fine to have an all-purpose wineglass for both. Just be sure to look for wineglasses that become narrower at the top—this helps concentrate the bouquet. Also, clear wineglasses are definitely best, as they let you see the wine's true colors.
The Right Pour
Remember, too, that when pouring wines into the glass, fill the glass a little less than half full. This gives the wine's flavors and aromas room to develop and lets you swirl the wine in the glass without splattering any on the carpet.