Not only does drinking your wine from the industry-standard "correct" stemware make it taste better (and that's a fact!), but once you learn which wine glass goes with what type of wine, you can stock your bar with the right stemware to go with the usual suspects you pour at dinner parties.
Choosing wine glasses is simple once you narrow down what you need, but there are a few basics to keep in mind:
Glasses that go with white wines like Chardonnay are narrower than red-wine glasses. White-wine glasses are also smaller in capacity and egg shaped, with a small mouth to prevent too much oxidation of the wine, keeping the wine fresh and crisp in the glass.
Red-wine glasses are characterized by their wider mouths, which make the wine oxidize at a faster rate, thus developing the aroma and flavor of the wine. The Bordeaux glass is designed for full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Burgundy glass is even larger, allowing it to develop the flavor and aroma of wines like Pinot Noir.
Sparkling wine is classically served in tall, thin glasses that make the carbonation last longer and improve the aroma. There are a variety of sparkling-wine glasses, although the most common ones are flutes and tulip-shaped glasses. And as with everything, what is old is new again, so the coupe glass — a shallow and broader-bowled glass used in the 1930s — is now in fashion.
Dessert wines include such varieties as ice wine and Riesling. As a rule, dessert wine should be sweeter than the dessert itself. Fortified wines like Sherry, Port and Vermouth are blended with some form of liquor. The glasses for all these wines are smaller in size because the amount of wine served is less than a traditional pour.
Although using glassware with a stem offers you the option of avoiding warming up your wine via direct contact with your hand, stemless glassware has its own advantages. It's easier to store, usually dishwasher safe and not as breakable as other glassware.
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