One of the key to perfect your wine-tasting experience is to pair the right kind of stemware with the right variety of alcoholic beverage. The shape of the vessels matter, because their unique shapes can collect aromas while depositing the wine to the right areas of your palate. Using the correct vessels actually maximise the flavours of different beverages, that in turn brings out their full aroma and taste.
The Basic Anatomy of a Wine Glass
Yes, these stemwares are specific to different wines but there is a basic anatomy that wine glasses follow. A typical wine glass consists of 3 important parts — base, stem, and bowl.
The base stabilises the wine glass while the stem is connected from the base to the bowl to elongate it so the user can pick it up, without affecting the temperature of the wine in the glass. The bowl of the glass is usually quite spacious, to allow the user to swirl the wine without spilling it.
These stemwares, however, are designed differently to hold and bring out the best aromas and taste of the different variations of wine.
Red Wine Glasses
Typical red wine glasses have full, round bowls with large openings to allow users to dip their noses into the glass for a better whiff of the aroma. A larger surface area also aids in oxidising the wines to smoothen out their complex flavours.
Burgundy glasses are greater for lighter reds like Pinot Noirs. Its bigger and wider bowl for accommodates the delicate aromas of the wine, while also allowing the users to easily direct it to the tip of the tongue to taste the full nuances of the wine.
Also, with a longer stem, users can easily swirl the wine to incorporate oxygen that helps releases the aromatic flavours of the lighter bodied wine.
UrbanFindr Picks: Secreto Pinot Noir 2017 750ml Red
The Bordeaux Glass has a taller and less wider bowl as compared to the Burgundy Glass and it is perfect for red wines that are full-bodied with high tannins, like Cabarnet Sauvingnon. A taller bowl ensures that wine is directed to the back of the mouth instead of at the tip of the tongue to maximise the bold flavours while minimising the bitterness of the full-bodied wines as the wine spreads slowly throughout the palate.
UrbanFindr Picks: Pierro Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot L.T.C.f 2015
White Wine Glasses
White wine glasses are more u-shaped as compared to the red wine glasses, with slightly smaller bowls to better preserve the temperature within the glass.
Chardonnay Wine Glass
The Chardonnay Wine Glass is great for full-bodied white wines like Chardonnay and Semillon. The narrower rim aids in concentrating the aroma with a slightly bigger bowl size that gives enough space for the flavours and aromas to come through.
UrbanFindr Picks: Waipara West Chardonnay N Block 2016 750ml
Sauvignon Blanc Glass
The Sauvignon Blanc Glass is best for lighter whites like Sauvignon Blanc. It is shaped tall and slender to capture the delicate fruity and flora aromas. The tapered top also guides the aroma straight to the nose.
UrbanFindr Picks: Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Champagne wine glasses are shaped tall, slender, with a point at the bottom of the bowl to preserve the wine’s carbonation that is essential in bringing out the full flavours of the wine. It also has a tall stem to prevent temperature changes inside the glass.
Flute Wine Glass
The flute is a tall, narrow glass, usually with a long stem and a point at the bottom of the bowl. The point is specially designed to congregate the carbonation, which then allows the bubbles to rise to the top of the glass. This ensures that the user can get the best taste of the wine’s flavour and aroma. The flute is best for young sparkling wines or champagnes.
UrbanFindr Picks: Jacquart Brut Mosaique NV 750ml
Tulip Wine Glass
Very similar to the flute, but its rim is curved inward to better capture the bubbles that in turn, directs the aroma to the tongue while preserving the exquisite taste of the wine. This particular stemware is best for mature champagnes like Prosecco.
UrbanFindr Picks: Pares Balta Cava Blanca Cusine 2010 750ml
Sakes are delicate beverages, and surrounding temperatures can easily alter their tastes and flavours. That is why this traditional Japanese beverage are often served in small vessels to allow users to consume them at a go. This is a great way to ensure that they are enjoy the fullest flavours of the sakes.
It is best to serve premium and delicate sakes in glasses. Premium sakes are smoother in texture, with subtle notes of fruits. Sake glasses usually has thinner rims that allow users to taste the smooth textures and fruity notes of the sake.
UrbanFindr Picks: Jozan Echizen Miyamanishiki
Wooden Shukis are traditional sake vessels made of pure wood that are shaped like traditional Japanese drums. Wood has a natural aroma that is a perfect harmony with sakes, making them milder and easier to drink.
UrbanFindr Picks: Mimuro Sugi Yamada-Nishiki