Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Do You Need Glasses?

Wine connoisseurs are the first to tell you that having the right type of wine glass with a specific type of wine will make it taste better. As a rule of thumb, different wine should be served in specific wine glasses to achieve the best effect of the wine and all its flavors and aromas. If you have space, I recommend having three distinct shapes in your collection.

Most red varietals usually taste better in a fairly large, elongated and somewhat narrower bowls that will focus their characteristics. Narrower wine glasses are used for lighter white wines as a way to concentrate the "delicate aromas".

You want to make sure that you fill your wine glass about 1/3 to 1/2 full. This allows the "bouquet" to be captured in the upper bowl as it rises when the wine is swirled. Red wine glasses can be held under the bowl since red wine is served at room temperature and this shouldn't affect the taste of the wine but with white wines that are served chilled, always hold them from the stem so that your body heat doesn't warm them.

You also want to look for wine glasses that have a "cut" rim rather than a "rolled or bumped" rim. A "cut" rim lets the wine pour evenly onto your tongue so you get the full effect of the wine. The best wine glass brands are Riedel, Spiegelau, Libbey, Mikasa, Lenox, and Bodum.

Marie Antoinette decided to combine her love of herself and her love of a good party and came up with the idea of casting a wax mold of her breasts. This she had made into a glass, and “Viola!” – the champagne glass was formed. This "D"cup shape disperses bubbles quickly so for Champagnes and sparkling wines, a simple, tall, narrow flute is preferred.

If space is an issue, a tuliped shaped glass is the most versatile. Or if you prefer a more casual trattoria type glass, Riedel has a new line called the Tyrol which takes their popular "O" series and places them on a pedestal.

Most experts suggest washing your glasses in warm water with a neutral soap. Then rinse the heck out of the glass. Soap residue left on your wine glass will interfere with the flavor and aroma of wine. Either air dry or use a scent and lint free drying cloth.

So, Do You Need New Glasses?