Questions concerning wineglasses are a recurring topic for Uncorked readers.
And it’s quite understandable considering the ever-growing selection of choices.
For some, selecting the right glass can be as confusing as shopping for the wine itself. We are bombarded with choices ranging from stemmed or stemless, goblets or flutes, wide or narrow bowl, clear, frosted or colored glass.
The good news is finding the ideal glass is not as complicated as many think. The best wineglass is the one you personally enjoy using.
That being said, here are some points to keep in mind when selecting wineglasses.
- The type of glass offers several enhancements to a wine. There are many colored wineglasses on the market. They look very pretty at a place setting at our dinner table or behind the glass of a china cabinet, but colored glass can take away from the appreciation of the wine. When you pour wine into a colored wineglass you are not able to see the wine as clearly and may miss specific characteristics important to evaluating a wine: variations of color, young, aging, deep, opaque, pale, etc. If the glass is clear and clean it accentuates the wine’s color, an important part in the appreciation of wine.
- A stem is not just for looks but offers a place to hold the glass without warming the bowl or leaving smudge marks. The bowl size allows aromas their optimal expression.
- Fragile, fragrant and delicate wines such as Champagne need a small bowl and narrow body to enhance the flowing bubbles.
- White wine glasses, though larger than Champagne flutes, are smaller to enhance the fragrance but most importantly the smaller bowls allow the wine to stay cooler longer.
- Red wine glasses with large, round bowls and wide rims allow more contact air, something usually needed to fully appreciate powerful, robust styles.
- Price is an obvious consideration but don’t forget about space. Wineglasses take up room and larger, varietal-specific glasses demand lots of shelf or rack space.
- How you care for your wineglasses is just as important. Although most modern wineglasses are dishwasher safe — properly loaded wineglasses are unlikely break or be damaged in a dishwasher — but washing them in the machine could alter the taste of your wine.
Small, sometimes microscopic scratches accumulate trappings of detergent that interfere with the aromas and appearance of a wine. Also, rinse aids add further layers of unwelcome film. The best method for cleaning wine glasses is simply a soft cloth and hot water with no detergent. Of course there are times we need to use detergent to remove lipstick, food smudges or greasy fingerprints, but be sure to use a mild one. After washing, avoid water spots by drying glasses with a soft, lint-free cloth.