So there are different shapes of glasses for different wines. What the hell are they all for? Why can’t I just use a pint glass for wine? Truth is, you can really use whatever shape glass you like. Even drink the wine straight from the bottle if you so fancy.
However, you could certainly make an argument to contrary. These different shapes of wine glasses were developed to help the wine properly express itself. Different wines have different personalities. Some have more delicate aromas and flavors while others hit you over the head like a hammer, so why not have a glass that is engineered to highlight that?
We’re seeing more and more stemless wine glasses these days, but the traditional wine glass has three parts: The bowl, the stem and the base. Generally speaking, its the bowl that varies from style to style. And while stemless wine glasses can be convenient, they are easily gunked-up with fingerprints and your body heat will actually warm the wine unnecessarily.
Two things to consider when it comes to wine glass shape:
- Wine needs to be exposed to air to express its nuances/personality.
- The size of the bowl dictates how much air will touch the wine.
So, the more narrow the bowl of the glass, the less air the wine will touch. Think of sparkling wine flutes and white wine glasses. These glasses are shaped to introduce smaller amounts of oxygen to preserve the gentle, nuanced characteristics of the wine.
And by contrast, the larger the bowl of the glass, the more air the wine will touch. Think of behemoth, fishbowl wine glasses for huge red wines. Reds tend to be more sturdy and, therefore can require a little bit more coaxing in the glass to show their true character.
To sums things up…whether you are a fan of whites, reds or sparkling vino, the choice of glass doesn’t matter as some wine experts may say. We believe, if you are drinking with friends and drinking well you can sip wine from just about anything.