Professor Claus J. Riedel was the first glass designer to recognize that the bouquet, taste, balance and finish of wines are affected by the shape of the glass from which they are drunk.
He worked with experienced tasters to determine aspects such as:
• Which sizes brings the appropriate intesity of aromas for different wines
• Which shapes direct wines to specific parts of the tongue
• Which shapes and sizes emphasize fruitiness
• Which shapes and sizes emphasize tannin
• Which shapes keep Champagne from going flat
The whole approach is not about correcting flaws in certain styles of wines, but of achieving balance in bringing out the distinct characteristics of each style of wine.
Today, the Riedel collections of wine glasses are considered the finest in the world in regards to matching the right glass with various wines.
I think having so many glass choices is OVERKILL! just my personal opinion.
Here are some Basic Tips for Choosing the Perfect Glass:
The Glass: Thin and clear
To appreciate the beauty of wine, get glasses that are not colored or decoratively chiseled. It’s hard to explain (with words) the difference between thin crystal and thick glass. You have to experience it to understand.
The Stem vs. Stemless Tumblers
Personally, while I can appreciate the stylish good looks of the modern stemless tumbler, I am still partial to stemware.
1. I enjoy seeing the colors of the wine as I twirl it around without looking at fingerprints. (I know… I’m it’s very anal of me!)
2. I drink fairly slowly and don’t like my hands warming up the wine too quickly.
To be fair though, not every occasion is a formal one, and it’s fun to be trendy from time to time.
Wine Glasses for Reds:
The Bowl: Wider
The bigger flavors in reds need to spread out. The wider bowl also lets in more air, which releases bold aromas and flavors.
The Opening: Wider
Dip your nose into the wider bowl to get a load of more complex aromas.
Tip: When pouring wines, keep the wine level to the lower one-third the glass. This leaves lots of air and swirl room, both of which enhance the enjoyment of your wines.
BIG REDS (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz):
Get a big bowl and a big opening.
SOFT REDS (Pinot Noir, Merlot):
Get a big bowl that narrows a tinge at the opening.
Wine Glasses for Whites:
The Bowl: Narrower
The smaller capacity helps keep temperatures cool longer.
The Opening: Narrower
The lighter aromas waft well in a narrower glass.
SPIRITED WHITES (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay):
Get a bowl with a little room that narrows slightly at the opening.
DELICATE WHITES (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztiminer):
Get a narrow bowl and a narrow opening.
Hint: If you plan to serve several types of wine but don’t want to shell out the cash for several types of glassware, buy the generic tulip-shaped wine glasses.
One Final Note… The Wash:
I recommend always washing your wine glasses in hot water only. Soap can build up inside the glass and affect a wine’s flavor.
Now that you have some of the facts, you can decide for yourself whether to buy into a range of stemware.
The right wine glasses can really boost the wine-tasting experience and make your senses gush. That’s definitely saying something when you’re spending a pretty penny to get a quality wine.