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June 10, 2020
There are many reasons why wine glasses come in different shapes and it is important to understand the characteristics of some basic wine types and the way we taste. Apparently wines have needs too and all good wine glasses are shaped in a way that will direct the wine to that part of the mouth where its flavour can be most appreciated.
Every wine glass will have a slightly different shape, depending on the type of wine that particular glass is to be used for, but it is the bowl of the glass that serves the most important purpose and it is here you will find most of the variation in wine glasses. In all types of wine glasses, both red and white, the bowl must be large enough to swirl your wine, opening it up to more air and allowing its aromas to be released.
Because sparkling wines are carbonated Sparkling wine glasses (or flutes) are tall and thin and, the flutes are designed to encourage carbonated bubbles to remain active in the glass. If sparkling wine was to be served in a shorter, fatter wine glass, it will be exposed to air more quickly, causing the sparkling wine to go flat. And where would the fun be then?
White wine glasses are tulip shaped and are typically medium in size, ranging from 250ml to 420 ml. The bowl of this glass is more U-shaped and upright with the rim tapered inward to a slightly narrower opening directing the white wine's aroma to the nose, greatly enhancing the wine's flavour for the drinker.
The complex aromas and flavours of red wine require a glass with a larger surface area to allow the wine to come into contact with more air. Because of this Red wine glasses are slightly larger than white wine glasses and hold up to 450ml. The bowl of red wine glasses also tend to be more full and round with a larger opening to allow the drinker to easily dip their nose into the glass to detect the aroma.
A dessert wine glass should be smaller to more easily direct the wine to the back of the mouth - where it is less overpowering. Dessert wines generally have a higher alcohol content, making the small glass perfect for a smaller serving.
Zafferano a Venetian based company directed by Federico de Majo has been creating collections of tasting glasses and tableware sine 2001 and are used in many Micheli-starred restaurants throughout Europe and the USA and are now available in Australia.
With the introduction of the range of Esperienze wine glasses has bought a whole new experience to wine tasting thanks to the distinctive ripples at the base of the glass. This unqiue design, the hallmark of these fine crystal wine glasses, increases the surface area in contact with the wine in order to enhance the process of oxygenation. The ripples also allow the full range of colours and reflections of the wine to be observed without having to tilt the glass.
Why not smell and taste the difference for yourself…. Take one of your best reds, and pour some into a standard tasting glass and also into an Aged Red wine glass like the Zafferano Esperienze 8000. Is there a difference in the nose and in the mouth? You be the judge.
Zafferano is now available in Australia and can be found online at www.casaecucina.com.au.
In the hunter see a selection at The Wine Glass Gallery in Pokolbin and The Hunter Jewellers in Singleton or at selected cellar doors.
from a recent article in Wine & Dine Hunter Valley (April 2018)