27 September, 2010  |   Comment

Wine questions, answered.

Wine coaster

All the books have been claimed!
I’ll follow up with those of you that forgot your home addresses this week.
Thanks for sending me your questions!

This question showed up several times, so I’ll just hit it up first.

Question

What’s the deal with the different glasses for different kinds of wines/beverages?
Do they really make a difference?

Answer

The deal is part marketing, part truth. They do make a difference, but only to a point.

1. If you can’t afford to break the glasses, don’t buy them. I break roughly twelve wine glasses a year, so if they’re $80 each, I can’t afford that. You are probably more careful than I am, so pick the price you can commit to wine glasses and work from there.

2. I like my wine glasses to have big bowls. No matter the shape of the wine glass, the mouth should be smaller than the bowl at the widest point. This keeps the aroma in the glass. You can maximize the flavor of wine by aerating it. (Aerating: Swirling it in the glass.) If the glass is too small to swirl your wine in, you might miss out on some more nuanced flavors.

Aerating wine isn’t just for weinerheads, we can all learn from a little swirling ourselves (more on this later this week).

Wine Women and Shoes, wine3. You really don’t need to buy smaller glasses for white wines and larger glasses for red wines. Since both kinds of wines do better after swirling, from a factual perspective, it’s perfectly fine to serve both colors in the same glass. However from an aesthetic perspective, I prefer smaller wine glasses for white wines – in my mind, the smaller glasses make white wines taste a little better. Again, this is only in my mind.

3. My personal preference is for clean, clear glasses that aren’t etched or colored. That way you can really see what you’re tasting. Crystal glasses are a little fancier than regular glasses, but you don’t really need them. We have a set of crystal glasses for dinner parties and special occasions linked to below.

4. As well, I like to have a stem on a wine glass. The stem does two things, you can hold the glass without warming your wine too much and it allows you to swirl your wine easier.

5. I also think it’s worth the storage space to keep champagne glasses on hand. The narrower bowl lets you hold the glass and not warm the wine. As well, by having a smaller surface area, it keeps the bubbles going a little longer.

Cheers!

Our dinner party glasses?
For white wine, I love my Spiegelau White Wine glasses.
For red, I love my Spiegelau Burgundy Glasses.

I try to be oh, so careful with these glasses, but that doesn’t stop me from breaking them regularly. Sigh.

Our everyday drinking glasses?
Wine glasses from Target or Ikea. Same goes for the champagne flutes. Champagne is celebratory no matter the quality of the glass.

Personally, I love those tiny tumblers that old Italian men drink out of. I’m fancy like that.


Hooray for replies!