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Food & Recipes

Do You Really Need Different Wine Glasses for Different Wines?


Many of us question whether there really is a legitimate reason to invest in a unique shape of glassware for each grape varietal or if it’s just a marketing ploy. The short answer, for those of us who appreciate wine and want to get the most out of it, is yes: there is a need for specific shaped glasses for different wines.

The sensory experience of a wine is highly contingent on the stemware selected. Choosing the right glass noticeably influences the aromas and overall tasting experience of the same wine by bringing out different bouquets. “You can pick it up in the aroma and the texture of the wine,” says Plumm ambassador and sommelier Matt Dunne. “It’s true to how it should be.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry published the results of a study that used video-imaging techniques to demonstrate the influence of glass shape on ethanol distribution in wine. It was reported that the shape of the glassware affects the rate at which aromas are released, altering the overall taste.

While it’s not necessary to purchase every glass style on the market, having a few on hand for your favorite variety is worth it for those us who want the ultimate tasting experience. And if you still don’t buy into the idea, it’s always nice to have a selection of beautiful glasses to make cheap wine feel more special or to impress guests.

White Wine

For Chardonnay and richer white wines, a glass with a wider bowl is preferable as to allow for optimal aeration. Aromatic white wines like Riesling and Moscato require a small bowl to enhance the aromatic qualities.

Red Wine

A good red wine glass needs to have a full and rounded bowl. A wide opening allows for a greater surface area for aeration so that the wine can breathe and fully release the aroma and bouquet.

Sparkling Wine

A flute shaped glass preserves the bubbles and is ideal for dry style wines like Brut. A tulip shape glass has a slightly wider bowl that’s perfect for more aromatic, fruity wines like Prosecco.

The Rim of the Glass

And some final notes: A fine lip on a glass makes it easier to drink from and less invasive in the tasting process. 

A flared lip directs the wine first to the tip of the tongue where taste buds are most sensitive to sweetness.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.

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