When was the last time you picked a specific wine glass because it was the right wine glass for the varietal you were planning to drink? Unless you were drinking sparkling wine, chances are you poured your wine into any old glass. The truth is, many of us just don’t give a lot of thought to the stemware we use. As it turns out, using the right stemware for your varietal can greatly enhance your enjoyment of the wine you are drinking.
Wine glasses are designed to enhance your sensory experience. Red wine glasses tend to have a rounded bowl and a large opening to enhance the full-bodied nature of red wine varietals. White wine glasses tend to have “U” shaped bowls and more narrow openings to concentrate the sensory characteristics of softer-bodied wines. Dessert wine glasses are designed to direct these sweeter wines to the back of your throat so as not to overwhelm your senses.
There are a lot of other choices to make with wine glasses as well. Crystal glasses are elegant and sparkly, though they have to be hand washed. Glass is dishwasher safe but more breakable. You also have to choose whether you want stems, which prevent transferring the heat from your hands to the wine, or stemless, which are less breakable and more contemporary.
Learn more about the anatomy and application of different wine glasses from this infographic. You might find you want to experience the difference drinking from the right glass can make!