Does the shape of a wine glass really matter?
On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we conducted the ultimate taste test with the hosts. Click on the arrow above to play the video.
Wines featured in our tasting included:
La Marca Prosecco, Veneto D.O.C., Italy
Even after I started learning about wine, I’d always secretly believed that varietal-specific stemware was an unnecessary expense, fueled by snobs and glassware companies.
Then one evening, a friend poured some Bordeaux for me in a large, elegant glass at a dinner party. As soon as the gorgeous aromas wafted up from the wine, I realized what I’d been missing.
Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand
Good glasses are like subtle amplifiers: their shape, volume, bowl shape and size, and rim diameter enhance a wine’s inherent qualities. The glass doesn’t change the wine itself, just the way we smell and taste it.
Choose a style of glass that appeals to you, and keep in mind the wines that you enjoy most often to choose glasses appropriate for those styles from reputable companies such as Riedel, Spiegelau (owned by Riedel, but less expensive), Baccarat and Waterford.
(You can read my story about meeting Georg Riedel for a wine tasting.)
Torres Altos Ibéricos Crianza 2012, Rioja D.O.C.A., Spain
Start with one white wine glass: those with a narrow bowl , such as the sauvignon blanc glass, can accommodate most styles of white wine.
For reds, choose a glass with wider bowl to accommodate the robust aromas of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and zinfandel.
Pay particular attention to the rim of the glasses. Thick or rolled rims act like speed bumps, essentially spilling the wine into the mouth.
Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009, Douro D.O.P., Portugal
Thin, straight rims spread the liquid evenly across the tongue and a broad section of the palate. That’s ideal for the prolonged pleasure of wine.
If you want to expand your collection, here are 7 types of wine glasses that will accommodate most styles of wine among them.