The right glass is said to bring out the best of your wine’s character and nuances. However, over the last decade or so, an abundance of wine glass shapes have hit the scene that range from basic and inexpensive to elaborate and exorbitant, making it extremely difficult to understand which wine glass suits your wine needs.
So, we have broken down a simple guide to choosing the right wine glasses for your red and white wine needs and your guest’s needs.
The first rule of thumb when selecting your wine glass is to remember that size does matter (no pun intended)! Whether your wine is red, white, rosé or sparkling, aromas play a pivotal role in its overall character. The smaller the bowl, the harder it is for all of those aromas to escape.
With wide bowls, much of the wine is exposed to air, allowing more of the wine’s aroma to reach your nose. With narrower bowls, less wine is exposed to air, and less surface area is present, to release the aroma to your nose. Plus, larger glasses/bowls allow for more oxygen to come in contact with the wine.
That said, you’ll want to choose a wide bowl glass for reds. This is because wide bowls best allow the bigger and bolder aromas and flavors of red wine to emerge. Wider wine glass bowls also help aerate the wine as you drink, releasing more flavor.
Your traditional red wine glass. A larger bowl with more height creates more distance between the wine and the drinker, causing ethanol to dissipate on the nose and allowing more oxygen to encourage tannins to soften. There are several places to purchase a set of traditional red wine glasses. Our preference is Williams and Sanoma’s Open Kitchen by Williams Sonoma Angle Red Wine Glasses, Set of 4. However, there are several other options we recommend such as Elixir Glassware Red Wine Glasses that can be easily purchased on Amazon.
When it comes to white wine, you’ll want a narrower bowl. Because most white wines have more delicate flavors and aromas, a narrower glass helps channel these subtler aromas toward your nose. The smaller bowl size also keeps white wine colder than the large bowls used for reds.
Unlike red wine, the stem length of your wine glass is more important when dealing with white wine. This is because white wine needs to be served at a cooler temperature, and a source of heat like your own hand can affect the wine you’re tasting. Like red wine glasses, there are several places to purchase a set of traditional white wine glasses. Our preference is Crate&Barrel’s Vineyard White Wine Glasses. However, if you’re looking for a slightly more affordable set of wine glasses, we prefer Williams Sonoma’s Open Kitchen by Williams Sonoma Angle White Wine Glasses.
But, universal wine glasses work well for both white and red wine. At the end of the day, universal glasses seek to become the perfect choice for every wine style. If you don’t want to worry about having the perfect wine glass for every wine while hosting guests, then the universal glass is the way to go. Sized somewhere in between a Chardonnay and a smaller red glass, it’s the most versatile option to enjoy all of your favorite wines, including sparkling!
For those of you doubting the universal wine glass, it is a legitimate option if you don’t have much storage space or you don’t want to invest a lot of money in wine glasses. However, the best universal wine glasses will have a thin-cut rim, not a rolled rim. The thin rim is less distracting as you taste your wine. Our universal wine glasses of choice are Wine Enthusiast’s Fusion Air Universal Wine Glasses and Libbey Vina White Wine Glasses.
Of course, the best rule to remember when purchasing wine glasses is that, ultimately, the best wine glass choice for any particular wine is the one in which the wine tastes best to you!
As always we would love to hear from you and learn more about what wine glasses you prefer with our Premium California Wine! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.