Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Special Tools: Wine Glasses

Wineglasses are made to help the wine find the part of your mouth where the flavor tastes best!  Wineglasses are comprised of the base, bowl and stem. (Although, there are variations on these requirements as well - but more on that later.
The wineglass is shaped so the top is tapered which causes the aroma of the wine to linger inside the glass, allowing the wine drinker to breath in the scent and taste the wine at the same time.
Wine glasses have a large enough bowl to allow the drinker to be able to swirl the wine inside the glass. This is important as it allows all the aromas to be released.

A legal serving size of wine is determined to be one that contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. This is approximately 5 oz of table wines.

The red wine glass is larger than the white wine glass. Red wine needs more space to breathe, so a larger glass is necessary. A typical serving size is 4 -5 oz.  The opening of the glass is wide.  There are many types of red wine glasses:
1 - Merlot glasses are large, sometimes are large as 30 oz, to allow a lot of room for wine swirling.  The base is larger than other red wine glasses and stems are of average size.
2 - Pinot Noir is a wide and large glass holding as much as 35 oz.  The stem is shorter than other wine glasses.
3- Shiraz or Syrah glasses are smaller than other red wine glasses.  They have a 20 oz volume and mid size stem.

A white wine glass is smaller than the red wine glass and tends to be U shaped. It holds a smaller amount of wine, which in turn has smaller surface area.  A typical serving is 3 oz.
This keeps the wine cooler for a longer period of time.  Many white wine glasses have a longer stem than red wine glasses and a smaller base.  There are 3 different types of white wine glasses:
1 - Chardonnay glasses are large enough to hold 5 - 7 oz.  This allows for much swirl room with a 3 oz serving.  They usually have a a longer stem to keep the wine as cold as possible.
2 - Riesling glasses have a 6 - 7 oz volume. The Riesling is a sweet wine that is to be served cool.
3 - Sauvignon Blanc glasses have a 5 -6 oz volume and a narrow bowl.

Variations of Wine Glasses -

Stemless wine glasses have many advantages. They are smaller and less delicate as they are missing the stem and less likely to break. They are easier to store, requiring less shelf height (but can not be hung by the stem as is common in bars). Because there is no stem to hold the wine, they are likely to warm by the heat of the user's hands, but double walled glasses solve this problem.

Colored and dark wine glasses offer unique ways to present wine.  The drawback is that the body and natural beauty of the wine is masked by the glass.  When used in blind tastings, they to have their advantages, though.

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