I am often asked… What is the real importance of glass shape when drinking wine? The answer to that questions is simple really. Enjoying any food or beverage is all about the aromas.
Tasting is mostly determined on the nose. Glass shape can have an effect on how the wine tastes. For a person learning how to taste wine and appreciate it’s complexities, it is best to start with the right glass. I can be quite the stickler about which glass I use to serve my guests. Yet, I still remember the days when I happily poured my friends wine in any old glass… amateur.
Back to the nose. Having the right amount of exposure to air is important in letting the wine open up and show what it’s got. And no, I don’t mean it needs to open up “emotionally”…As the alcohol volatilizes from the surface of the wine, the aromas are then released.
The other day I was served a chardonnay in a wine glass that was thicker than most of my coffee mugs when visiting a restaurant. When becoming accustomed to drinking wine in a glass with a “thin lip” after years of wine tasting, it was difficult to enjoy the Chard and my own point was proven once again. The less “in the way” the glass gets to your nose, the better.
Increasing the surface area to nose helps to optimize the releasing of aromas while you are sipping. Swirling your wine in the glass also helps to increase “surface area” exposed to the air. Having a glass that makes it easy to swirl is important to your nose detecting the finer notes.
Try to remember that there are not “set rules” to pairing red or white wines with a glass. There is however an adopted set of standards that most Sommeliers and wine experts alike follow. Red wines typically will have a larger bowl area so that exposure to the air is maximized as much as possible, whereas, white wines will have a smaller bowl area to help the wine to stay cooler longer.
Another important tip to remember is that the size of the pour is just as important as the size of the glass. Always keep in mind the swirl when pouring. Leaving space for wine to be swirled and reach the top edges of the glass is what helps the nose to open up and the wine nuances to come out.
As you are practicing your swirl, notice the unlocked aromas that collect along the sides of the glass, allowing us to better smell them.
What a big nose you have….my dear.
Remember back in the day when we happily sipped our wine from Red Solo cups at the local college party and didn’t even think to detect any “notes” of anything? Crazy to think that we go through such lengths these days to appreciate what we have in the glass. Must be something to say for this growing up stuff.
When You’re Ready to Pick a Glass, See My Fave Wine Expert HERE FOR WINE TIPS: