HOW TO: SELECT THE PERFECT WINE GLASS
It may seem like a trivial subject to discuss, but did you know that the type of wine glass you use affects the taste of the wine to a great extent? Perhaps you have wondered why red wine is served in a larger glass while white wine is served in a slightly smaller glass.
While there's the reasoning behind why different types of glasses work for different types of wine, does this mean that you need to have a dozen varieties of wine glasses in your home?
The short answer is - no.
If you've been following our "Wine Diaries", you will know that we're not about strict rules when it comes to wine. It's just not us. At Brown Bag Wines, we believe that wines should be sourced exceptionally well, and they should taste amazing. Not complicated, just amazing with your food.
However, today we're enforcing one rule - never drink your wine from a plastic or paper cup! Don't get us wrong. We aren't being snobbish here. Plastic and paper alter the taste of the wine, and you won't be able to fully enjoy everything your wine has to offer.
We know there are many, many options of glasses out there. Before shopping online to stare at the wide range of different glasses available, think about what types of wine you enjoy drinking the most. Red, white, bubbly or port.
Next, consider the three factors we've listed out below.
THE RIGHT MATERIAL
Our suggestion is to select wine "glasses" made of crystal instead of glass. This may sound expensive, but you can get your hands on inexpensive crystal wine glasses that are made for commercial purposes.
Crystal wine glasses not only look more refined but most often are thinner - specifically at the lip of the wine glass.
A thin top rim sits better on your tongue when you sip the wine. The tongue's role is to pick up the various flavours in your wine. The texture of the wine glass (in the case of a thick top rim) could get in the way of the flow of wine to your lips which may distract you from the total wine experience.
THE RIGHT SHAPE
You may have noticed that white wine glasses are slimmer than red wine glasses. It is made this way so that the white wine glass contains the temperature and packs freshness and fruitiness of the wine it holds.
On the other hand, a red wine glass has a little more of a "balloon" shape than a white wine glass. Generally, red wine has more complexity. Therefore the wider glass is meant to allow the wine to air adequately when you swirl your wine glass and for the aromas to travel up to you.
If you are a sparkling wine drinker, then you can pick a Champagne flute - the slim, narrow and tall wine glass. That shape is made for sparkling wine as the narrow size helps to retain the temperature and curb the bubbles from escaping too quickly.
THE HEIGHT, STEM AND COLOUR
There's more to the height of a wine glass than just aesthetics. When it comes to height, go with a wine glass which has enough space between your hand (when you hold it) and the bottom of the balloon of the glass.
You may want to avoid a stem that is too short as it would mean resting your hand on the bottom of the glass as that would warm up your wine.
Stemless wine glasses are quite fashionable these days. Our take on these is that they are great for parties! The lack of stem makes it less accident-prone as they aren't top heavy like their stemmed counterparts.
However, if the objective is to have an exceptional wine experience, we still side with a stemmed glass. It allows you to swirl easier, which in turn aids in dissecting the aromas better, they also reflect the clarity and colour of the wine better. They allow you to hold the glass without transferring warmth from your hand to the glass.
As for the colour you should be picking, we encourage you to go with a simple, clear, no-design glass. With clear glass, you will be able to get a good view of the colour of the wine. Believe us, while a glass of red wine may be red, there are plenty of hues - garnet, ruby, purple, tawny, pink that you can enjoy when you swirl your wine in clear glass.
HOW MANY GLASSES SHOULD YOU STORE?
In terms of which glasses and how many to store in your house, our advice is to have a set of six to eight Champagne flutes, white wine glasses and red wine glasses. We feel these glasses should keep you well stocked up for any gatherings you host in your house.
Founder of Brown Bang Wines Aivonne Chong says, "I'll let you in on a little secret. I have a basic set of wine glasses for sparkling, red and white for parties. But I also have one set of red and white glassware for MYSELF! They are more expensive and I just love the way they look! They never fail to make me happy when I drink from them."
Aivonne says that the look of the glass is essential to her adding, "I normally enjoy a glass of wine on my own. It's my me-time. To me, the 'right' glass completes the overall experience."
Salute to that!