Wine 101 – Which kind of wine glasses should I be using?

When thinking about what kind of glass to use, it’s best to think of the wine drinking situation. Is it just you and your loved one enjoying a glass of #CraftWineLA in front of the TV? Is it a party, filled with a few casual wine drinkers? Is it a dinner with multiple courses and therefor different styles of wines?

GLASS OR CRYSTAL?

Glass is more durable and is also much more affordable. Glass is also much easier to keep clean, as you can just throw it into the dishwasher. If you’re lazy and don’t care, or if you’re having a party and serving wine, glass is the way to go.

Crystal on the other hand is much more expensive. But it’s thinner, more elegant. The wine will look, smell and taste much better in a crystal glass. Also, the thinner the rim, the less the glass distracts from the wine as you sip. You should always hand wash crystal glasses and dry them immediately to avoid water spots.

So casual party drinker, low maintenance type person, get glass. If you appreciate the aromas and colors of wine, but don’t mind cleaning them by hand, get crystal!

RED WINE

There is nothing we hate more than drinking a glass of red wine in a glass that is meant for white wine. And probably vice versa for whites. But why does it matter?

A larger, balloon shaped, glass allows red wines to breath. It also allows more room for your nose to get in there and smell the complex aromas and tannins of red wine. The shape of the glass also directs the wine to the correct areas of your mouth. Yes, different areas of your tongue taste different flavors within the wine.

A taller Boudreaux wine glass is best for the French Boudreaux blends and full-bodied California red wines like Cabernet and Merlot. The tallness of the glass allows the wine to proceed directly to the back of the mouth to maximize its flavor. We’re not crazy. Next time you have a glass of Cab, try it out in two different types of glasses for yourself. A cheap bar glass and then a properly shaped crystal glass. The correct glass will have an enormous effect on a wine’s aroma and taste.

The Burgundy glass, is not as tall as the Boudreaux glass, and more round. It’s made for wines like Pinot Noir. It directs the wine to the tip of the tongue to taste its more delicate flavors. This type of glass would be well suited for the first #CraftWineLA bottling.

WHITE WINE

White wine glasses are a little bit more of a U shape, slightly more slender than a red wine glass. It still allows you to catch the aromas of the wine, while also keeping the temperature a bit cooler. Younger whites should have a larger opening so the flavors dance on the tip of your tounge. While more mature and complex white wines should have a slightly smaller opening. Directing the flavors to the back of your mouth.

Sparkling wines and dessert wines also need their own types of glasses and can vary widely based on what it is you are drinking. Wine Folly has a great infographic of the different types of glasses and we’ve included it below.

SUMMARY

Overall you should have the glasses on hand for the types of wine you drink the most. Some people don’t mind having many different types of glasses depending on what kind of wine they are drinking. Some people, like us, have two types on hand. One for Burgundy style and one for Boudreaux style wines. Interchanging whites and reds between the same glasses.

Look for cut over rolled edges to the glass. This is a more finished look and feels pleasant to the mouth touch. Stemless wine glasses can also be OK too, but probably don’t hold the temperature as well as stemmed glasses do.

In our experience, wine always tastes and feels better in a crystal, stemmed glasses.

Wine Folly - Types of wine glasses.

Wine Folly – Types of wine glasses.

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