C4 Deli Resident Bartender, Wine Purchaser and Texas native James Wall is the person you want on your best buddy list. Look out for his ‘red and white’ insight every Wednesday on ourWino Wednesday: Ask A Wino Q&A.
Q: What’s the best glassware to serve wines in?
A:While it may seem fussy and pretentious to be concerned about what type of glassware to use when serving wine, glassware is actually the single most important aspect of a good tasting experience. You may not believe it until you try an experiment of your own, but different glasses have the ability to significantly alter the taste of wine. They have the power to mute flavors through emphasizing or hiding certain key aromas, which are a vital part of the flavor experience. Bad glassware has the power to turn a perfect glass of wine into one that is very ordinary, and even the cheapest of wines can be transformed both positively or negatively if it is poured into different glasses.
If you are looking to purchase a “general” wine glass for an all-purpose type of use, a safe option would be one that is made of clear crystal, with thin-rimmed, large bowls big enough to hold ten to eighteen ounces, which taper a little at the top and provide good balance in the hand. The clearer the glass is, the more appealing and true to color the wine will look. The thinness of the glass will provide less distractions as you sip, and a large bowl with a narrow opening will allow for the perfect environment for the wine’s aroma to expand.
If you have a bit more to spend and plan on having many dinner parties with wine being served, I recommend purchasing a collection of glassware for all-purpose reds, all-purpose whites, and champagne flutes. Glassware should be larger and rounder for reds, tapered for whites, and flute shaped for sparkling wines. If you really want to get fancy, there are certain glasses specially designed for different types of wines within each general category, but I won’t get into that now as I assume most of you aren’t that far in your wine game yet. Whichever glass you choose to use, always remember it is best not to fill a wine glass more than half full, it is important to leave space for the swirling and sniffing experience. Don’t be concerned that your guests may think you are being stingy, if they call you out they will look like idiots.