Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wine Glasses

          This is off topic compared to the last few blogs that I have written but I did say in my introductory that I would write about more than just films in general.  Has anyone ever looked up at your cabinet or bar and wonder why they have different kinds of glasses for different kinds of wine?  Many probably overlook why there are different kinds of glasses for wine because they think its a different style and nothing more but there actually is a reason for the different shapes.  There are three different kinds of wine glasses, white wine, red wine, and champagne flutes. 

          A red wine glass has a much broader and wider bowl compared to other wine glasses because it increases the rate of oxidation.  Oxygen chemically interacts with the wine and alters the flavor which generally smooths out the flavor and is typical for red wine.  There are actually two different styles of red wine glasses; a Bordeaux glass, which is designed for full bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Burgundy glass, which is much bigger to gather up the aromas of more delicate red wines like Pinot Noir.

         White wine glasses are typically not as wide as a red wine glass because oxidation is not needed, this alters the flavor which is usually not needed, its typically served slightly oxidized.  To preserve the flavor the glass has a much smaller mouth which reduces the surface area and minimizes the oxidation process, this gives it a crisper and cleaner flavor.  

         The last  of the wine glasses is the champagne flute, a beverage that most will be toasting in the coming new year.  Champagne flutes are typically tall and narrow and are made to be held by the stem so that the heat from our hand doesn't warm the champagne.  The bowl is designed small and narrow in order to keep it carbonated and is usually much taller compared to the other glasses, this gives us a soothing visual of the bubbles rising to the surface because they have farther to travel.

         Now a lot of what you just read is controversial in the wine community.  Some say that the shape of the glass has no effect on the taste of the wine and others say the complete opposite.  There is no scientific reasoning to back up that the glasses shape helps in the taste, but that doesn't stop the controversy and of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  My next question is why are martini glasses shaped the way they are?  Good question you say?  Well maybe I'll research that and get back to this topic sometime.


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