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wine-glasses-shapes

[Wine Glasses / Eanomm]

 

Most everyone can distinguish a champagne flute from a wine glass. But the various wine glass shapes can stump even the most devout connoisseurs. The size and shape of a wine glass really does affect the taste of wine, so allow us to demystify the glassware.

 

Rule of Thumb (Nose?)

 

Good wine glasses are shaped to direct wine to the part of your mouth where its flavor will be best appreciated. Impressive, right? All wine glasses have bowls that are tapered upward to be slightly narrower at the top than the bottom, to help distribute the wine’s aroma toward your mouth and nose. And the bowl is large enough to swirl the wine, so all that delicious air can get in and work its magic.

 

Here’s Where It Gets Complicated

 

red-wine-glass

[Red Wine Glass / Ralphunden]

 

If you’re a red wine lover: Look for a fuller and rounder bowl - they’re generally shaped like an egg - with an opening large enough to stick your nose in. The complex flavors of red wine warrant a glass that gives the wine access to more air.

 

three-wine-glasses

[Three Glasses in a Row / Alison e dunn]

 

If you’re a super-specific-about-your-red-wine-lover: Get a taller Bordeaux glass with a smaller bowl, designed for heavier red wines like Cabernets and Merlots. The length of the glass allows the wine to go straight to the back of the mouth for maximum flavor. Get a Burgundy glass for lighter wines like Pinot Noir. Not as tall, the bowl is larger, sending the wine to the tip of the tongue where you can taste more delicate flavors.

 

bright-field-lighting-wine-glass

[Bright-Field Lighting / Kyle May]

 

If you’re a white wine lover: Look for upright U-shaped bowls. These allow the aromas to run free while keeping the wine cool.

 

champange-glass

[Champagne Glass / Illusive Photography]

 

If you’re a super-specific-about-your-white-wine lover: You want a narrow flute for sparkling wine and champagne.

 

dessert-wine

[Dessert Wine / Dinner Series]

 

If you’re a dessert wine lover: Look for the smaller wine glasses - they direct the wine to the back of the mouth to keep the sweetness from being overpowering. Dessert wines generally have a higher alcohol content, so you want a smaller serving. Or maybe you don’t. No judgment. 


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