Fetch My Glasses
So, you’ve received your order of delicious Vintner wines and are wondering how to enjoy these little beauties at their best. You’ve got them to temperature (we can help you with that here) and now all you need is a glass. Opening the cupboard, you find a myriad of glassware in every conceivable shape and size. Wasn’t this supposed to be the uncomplicated part? Pour and sip, right? Getting the right glass is one of the best ways to enhance your tasting (drinking) experience, but you don’t have to be a sommelier to get the best experience. Here are a few simple tips to picking the right vessel for the vino.
If you’ve ever wondered why there are thousands of different styles to choose from, or why they’re all different, then read on! A lot of the time, the differences are purely aesthetic, however, some clever folks have carried out some pretty intensive research into choosing the “best” glass for your wine of choice. The most important thing here is to remember that there’s no real right or wrong choice, and as with everything wine related, it really comes down to personal preference (or what you have in the cupboard already).
First of all, we are assuming you’re not a heathen. There is a scale of acceptability at play here. Drinking directly from the bottle is, of course, perfectly acceptable. But the following are not:
- Shot Glass – Too small
- Pint Glass – Too big
- Children’s sippy cup – Too challenging
- Coffee Mug – Too bitter
- Almost empty jam jar – Too jammy
- Fishbowl – Too fishy
Now when it comes to the serious glasses, you should begin by thinking about the wine you’re choosing to put in it.
Opening a bottle of fizz is always a celebration (even if all you’re toasting is Tuesday), and part of the theatre of the pop is getting the flute glasses out, so that’s a good enough reason to choose a flute in itself! The thinner structure of a flute helps keeps the fizz fizzy, as wider glasses let bubbles escape faster. The thinness also helps keep the wine cooler, so a flute is the instrument to make your bubbles sing.
There’s a very definite white wine craving that can be separated from just wine craving. It’s that cool, refreshing first sip that lifts the soul after a hard day, or makes the sunshine feel that little bit brighter (for ultimate refreshment, reach for the Oliver Zeter Riesling). To really satisfy this craving to its fullest, you will want a white wine friendly glass. The way to tell the difference between white wine and red wine glasses is that white wine glasses will generally be smaller. Smaller glasses are less exposed, keeping their chill and also expressing acidity better (cold Chablis is one of life’s great pleasures). Because scents are harder to pick up when at colder temperatures, the smaller glass means the contents are closer to your nose, so you get all the best aroma too. Fuller bodied white wines (like our J. Lohr Chardonnay) can handle bigger glasses, as the balance of acidity tends not to be as high, and these kinds of wines can be enjoyed at slightly higher temperatures (if temperature is proving an added confusion, find out more here).
If you’re in the mood for a drop of rose, serving this in a white wine glass will work perfectly.
What we love about red wine glasses is that they’re always the biggest of the bunch, so you can fit more of the good stuff in! If we were being more ‘scientific’ (entirely overrated, but learning is always fun), red wine has tannins from contact with the grape skins, so making the wine taste as smooth as possible is really important, and glasses with a slightly wider opening than white wine glasses help to create this effect. Those massive, balloon-style glasses are normally for lighter, more delicate red wines, as the round bowl helps to collect the aromas. If you have a large-bowled wine glass (not a fishbowl) at home, give our Vieilles Vignes Gevrey-Chambertin by Hervé Kerlann a try in there (any excuse to open a bottle of this!). For bigger, bolder red wines, something smaller and taller is great because the spicy notes are softened, and the flavours hit your tongue more progressively. Want to test that theory? Give it a go with our 2018 Cascadia Syrah from Yakima Valley, Washington State.
Ultimately, it’s all about enjoyment – drinking all wine out of the same glass (not mixed together) is absolutely fine, but if you’re feeling like filling your glass cupboard, there could be some benefits to choosing a glass to match the style of wine you tend to drink the most.
Lastly, if you’ve got some wine glasses at home and you’re not sure which style of wine would work best in them, send us a photo and we’ll check them out for you!