How to Fully Enjoy the Complexities of Red Wine by knowing your Red Wine Glasses


Red Wine

Red wines are made from dark colored grape varieties. The grapes are fermented along with their skin, which imparts the red color to the wine. The flavors of red wine are robust which make them go well with foods that have a similarly robust taste such as red meats, and pasta. Red wines are rich in antioxidants and provide a wide range of health benefits. They are usually served at or just below room temperature.

How important could the wine glass get?

Oenophiles know for a fact that every fine bottle of wine requires a specific style of drinking glass to be truly appreciated. Understanding what makes a particular style of wine glass ideal for a definite type of wine is essential to getting the full tasting experience. Using the right wine glass brings out all the aromas and flavors of the wine. The wine glass is therefore just as important as the content of the wine bottle.

It is necessary to state that drinking with the wrong glass is just as much a shame as not having to drink at all! Getting to know the types of wine glasses, and exactly the type of wine they are good for, would not only put you in a good light amongst  your social circle but would also see that you make the most out of your personal wine collection.

Parts of a wine glass

  • The Rim: the rim of a good wine glass is thin and does not distract from the wine as it is being sipped. The thinner the rim, the better the glass. The “cut” should be smooth to the touch and not inhibit the flow of wine from the glass. Although less expensive glassware, that have rolled or bumpy rims, could still be functional they definitely would get in the way of enjoying the full experience from your wine.
  • The Bowl: The bowl is the part of the glass that contains the wine. The bowls of all wine glasses are designed to taper upward, with the opening at the top slightly narrower than at the bottom. The idea behind this shape is to capture and distribute the aroma of the wine toward your mouth and nose. The bowl makes for most of the variation that exists between wine glasses. The Champagne glass bowl is designed to have a very small surface area so as to retain the carbonation of the wine and keep it bubbly. The red wine glass bowl has a large surface area meant to allow the wine to breathe, while white wine glass bowls are designed to have a smaller surface area than the red wine glass bowl.
  • The stem: the stem is meant to provide a comfortable grip of the glass whilst also keeping the warmth from the hand from reaching the bowl and influencing the content of the glass. It is also meant to keep the bowl smudge free and allow the full visual enjoyment of your wine.
  • The foot: the foot is the frame on which the glass rests.


Types of Red wine glasses

Red wine glasses are fuller, rounder, and have larger surface area than the other types of wine glasses. This design is meant to allow the aroma of the wine to be fully detected by taking a sniff from the glass. The larger frame allows the wine to come in contact with as much air as the complex flavors and aromas of the wine demand.

  1. Cabernet glass: this is one of the tallest of all the red wine glasses. The shape is specially made to intensify the aromas of the wine, by focusing it and getting it captured by the narrow mouth of the glass. The taste and aroma of the wine is better enjoyed by having small amounts of wine at a time in the glass. Not overfilling the glass makes the wine as fragrant as possible.
  2. Burgundy glass: Burgundy wine glass has a wider bowl than the Bordeaux. The wide bowl meant to accommodate the some of the aromas of wines that are a bit more delicate. The shape of the glass makes the taste of the wine to be gotten first at the tip of the tongue before it moves to the rest of the mouth.
  3. Bordeaux glass: the Bordeaux wine glass is the tallest of all the red wine glasses. The tallness of the glass causes the wine to easily travel to the back of the mouth rather than remaining near the tip of the tongue. The bowl of the Bordeaux glass is much smaller than some of the other red wine glasses.
  4. Zinfandel glass: the Zinfandel glass is a little bit shorter than the Bordeaux glass. The rim is slightly larger than the Bordeaux and the bowl is made to be smaller than those of the Bordeaux and Cabernet wine glasses, but still large enough to allow the wine to breathe.
  5. Pinot Noir glass: Pinot Noir glass has the widest bowl amongst red and white wine glasses. The bowl is made to be wide enough to swirl the wine and also allow it to make contact with as much air as possible so as to improve its flavor and aroma. The glass has a slightly shorter stem than other red wine glasses. The rim is turned out from the glass and directs the flavor and aroma of the wine straight to the mouth and nose.
  6. Rose glass: Rose glasses have a long stem that keeps the warmth from the hand from reaching the bowl. Rose glasses are of two main kinds: those that have a flared lip and those that have a short bowl and taper. The flared lip kind is preferred for drinking younger wines which are less sweet than mature wines. The design directs the wine to the sweet sensitive taste buds, maximizing the sweetness and minimizing any unpleasant aftertaste. More mature wines are preferably served in the short taper Rose glasses.

Crystal clear vs. colored wine glass

Colored glasses provide decorative accents against the actual color of the wine it contains. Crystal clear wine glasses on the other hand allow the beauty and subtleties of the wine to show through, getting the eyes to enjoy the wine as well.  Crystal clear glasses are particularly best for presenting wine, especially during wine tasting events.

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