You may have read articles, seen ads or simply seen in stores that there is a large variety of wine glass shapes and sizes. Some wine glass manufactures will make different wine glasses for each of the different wine varietals. And you ask yourself, "Does it make a difference which wine glass I use?"
Enjoying a nice glass of wine can be an experience. And, to a certain degree, the glass that you use can add to that experience. There are several characteristics of a wine glass that can affect your wine drinking experience. But first let's start with the basics. Your tongue plays a huge role in what you taste, but your nose also plays an important role. So to get the most out of anything you eat or drink, those two senses are critical. Then there are the senses of sight and touch. These too can play important roles in the wine drinking experience.
So taste, smell, touch and sight are factors. What does that mean for enjoying a glass of wine? Well, if you are served a glass of wine in a paper or plastic cup, your senses are going to tell your brain one thing versus being served a glass of wine in a tall, thin wine glass made of fine crystal. So right away you are going to have a better wine experience with the fine crystal.
What does this mean for choosing the right wine glasses? That size, shape and feel of a wine glass are important to the wine drinking experience.
Size - Generally speaking, a wine glass should never be filled more than one-third full. But to make the quantity in the glass a reasonable amount, you need to pour 3 to 4 ounces of wine into it. Thus, a wine glass needs to hold at least 9 to 12 ounces.
Shape - Most all wine glasses are bowl-shaped; broader at the bottom and narrower at the top. The reason for this is to give the wine a relatively large surface area in the base to expose the wine to air and allow for aromas to be released. The narrower top will somewhat trap the aroma in just the place where your nose is naturally going to end up. This way both the sense of smell and taste will come directly into play as you sip the wine.
Feel -- When you see a wine glass, and then pick it up, you are immediately going to use your sense of touch. The thickness of the glass will directly affect the weight of the glass. And generally, a thinner, light-weight wine glass is going to fell better in your hand. A thinner glass without a lip at the top is also going to be nicer on your lips as you sip the wine. And, the thickness of the stem will also play a part, with a thinner stem having a more delicate feel as you pick up the glass.
So is the kind of wine glass you use going to make your wine better? The simple answer is yes! Your senses of sight, touch, smell and taste are going to affect the way you perceive the wine. And so, using the right wine glass is going to be an important factor in your overall wine experience.
More on glasses next time. But for now, I lift my glass to you. Cheers!