Does the Wine Glass make a Difference?
Is any glass with wine in it a “wine glass”, or does the wine glass make a difference?
I have a friend of many years who is adamant that any glass functions for wine as well as any other.
Although in some spontaneous moments in life I have certainly used a variety of vessels to transport the nectar of the grape into my bloodstream, when given the opportunity; a proper wine glass will make a difference.
The variety of wine glasses available is mind boggling! There are wine glasses made for specific wines claiming that this specific shape will absolutely enhance this specific wine to its fullest. Embracing this concept I proceeded to collect these various ideal stems for the wines in my cellar.
At one time I had stemware for a variety of specific wines, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Champagne and many others. However when it came time to drastically downsize my living quarters I had to reduce the 40+ stems down to a mere dozen.
Now that I have embraced the philosophy of KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) I have only one style of wine glass in my smaller quarters.
Here are considerations for choosing the best all-around wine glass for your home.
1) It should have a stem, the ‘stemless’ glasses are cute but the proper serving temperature for wine is critical and holding a stemless glass will soon impact the temperature in a negative manner no matter what type of wine is in it.
2) It should be crystal, a regular glass stem will inadvertently have a rather thick or heavy rim on it this does impact the way the wine hits your tongue thus impacting your perception of the flavors. I have found that Spiegelau (Platinum crystal) and Schott Zwiesel (Triton crystal) make crystal stems but rather than using “lead crystal” they use either titanium or platinum in their glass that gives you a true crystal glass that is more crack and break resistant. The big plus to these stems is they are dishwasher safe, no more hand washing wine glasses!
3) The stem should hold a generous portion of wine when filled by one third.
4) The opening of the stem needs to be large enough for your nose to fit inside when taking a drink. Two thirds of your sense of taste is through your sense of smell so make sure the nose gets it’s share of the aromas.
The image here is from one of these producers, it is their “tasting” glass. Professionals tend to taste wines from a single style of stem to give their evaluations some consistency.
Having been a wine consultant for over 27 years I feel I can effectively experience all the nuances of the wide variety of wines I review utilizing a single glass format.
Of course if you have the space, and wherewithal to acquire the ‘perfect’ stem for every wine by all means do so. However if you like to keep things simple one glass will certainly do.
-Pat the Wine Guy
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