The Different Type of Wine Glasses and How to Use them

Wine glasses are essential elements of every wine tastings and choosing the right glass for the right wine can sometimes be a bit tricky. In fact, a wine glass can sublimate the wine, reveal its aromas, and they can be found in all kinds and sizes.
If you’ve ever struggle to select your glasses this article is made for you! We are going to give you some advice and help you choose right.

The story of the wine glass

The wine glasses that we know today did not arise until the start of the 14th century. They were, at the time, a reflection of the Venetian craftsmanship of Murano, and were sold throughout Europe.
In France, during the 18th century, people used to taste many different wines during the same meal. Thus, in the 19th century glass sets gained in popularity. Each glass then had by then its specific use. In addition, around that time, glass was popularized and was no longer affiliated to the bourgeoisie.

However, it’s only during the 20th century that a link between the shape of the glass and the influence that it has on tasting is made by Claus Riedel. He then fully changed the style of wine glasses, moving to blown, uncolored and very fine wine glasses.
Thereafter, he released the “Sommeliers” collection, which was the very first series of glasses founded on the style and character of each wine. This was a turning point in glassware dedicated to wine. Riedel is still nowadays one of the largest glassware brands in the world.
Wine Shape INAO
In the 1970s, the “INAO” wine glass became the benchmark glass for professional wine tastings. It is described by specifications from the French Standardization Association (AFNOR) and received its credentials in 1971. The “INAO” glasses are typified by a large bowl and a tight opening.

The structure of the wine glass

There are four main elements that constitute the wine glass: the foot, the stem, the bowl and the rim.
– The foot is the element that allows you to hold your glass during tasting. It links the stem to the glass vessel.
– The stem, also called the base, enables the glass to be stable
– The bowl, also known as chalice, is the vessel and is where the drink is poured
– The rim is the top of the glass or the part that comes in contact with your lips when you drink. That is why, the rim is also called the “mouth” of a glass. Thickness is an important element to determine the quality of wine rims. The thinner the rim, the easier and softer the sips of wine will be.
Structure of a wine glass

How to choose your wine glass

During the tasting, three of our senses are triggered: the sight, the smell and the taste and the wine glass plays a determining role in each one of these.

When choosing your wine glass, it is important to consider some of the characteristics below:
– The transparency and the cleanliness of the glass will have an impact on the visual analysis. In fact, it is important to be able to see the robe of the wine to completely enjoy the tasting experience.
– The size and shape of the glass play a role on the taste and olfactory analysis. In fact, having a diameter that is larger for the vessel than for opening will allow the aromas of the wine to spread and arrive to the taster’s nose. However, if the opening is too closed the aromas might not be detected.
– The thickness of the glass will also influence the tasting. Indeed, for a ideal olfactory analysis, the rim should be as feasible as it allows a better taste to reach your mouth.

As we previously mentioned, the “INAO” glasses are usually suited for all the tastings.

Which glass regarding the type of wine?

You can find dozens of different shapes of wine glasses available on the market. However, if you had to choose only 3 of them, we recommend you to keep one for red wines, one for white wines and rosé and one for sparkling wines.

Red wine glasses

The red wine glass should have a container large enough to enable good aeration to liberate all the aromas. In addition to being flared towards the bottom, the top of the glass must be tightened to appreciate all the aromas at the nose and in the mouth. When serving, it is advised to not poor more than 50% of the glass.
Moreover, if you consume a concentrated wine, aeration is even more to be considered as the aromas are less volatile (for example aromas of ripe fruit and spices).

White and rosé wine glasses

The shape of the white or rosé wine glass is the same as the red one, that is to say a fairly large container, but with a more flared top. As for the size, it has to be smaller in volume in order to revive the wine (it is important for the wine to stay fresh). Moreover, for the wine to keep its freshness, it should not be more than a third full, this will allow the wine in the glass to be replaced more frequently.

Sparkling wine glasses

The sparkling wine glass will be tulip-shaped or shaped flute to help preserve the effervescence of wine. So, beware glasses that do not keep bubbles. For the service, the glass can be filled up to two thirds of its capacity.

As we explained in this article you can find glass for every type of wine. In fact, the shape of the glass can have a very significant influence on the taste of the wine. If you still doubt it we suggest you to taste the same wine in different type of glass and you will notice that it will not taste the same depending on the shape of the glass. Try to taste a top-quality wine in a plastic cup. It is likely that he will lose some of his characteristics!

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