Choosing Wine Glasses for the Home Bar
Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chardonnay, Champagne – there seems to be a glass for almost every wine. If you are a wine aficionado with an extensive budget and ample space to store a myriad of different glasses, great. If you’re an average wine drinker with a budget and limited real estate to store your glasses, you need not worry. Here’s what we recommend;
The two most popular glass shapes for red wine are the Bordeaux style glass and the Burgundy style glass. The Burgundy glass tends to have a lager bowl and is tapered towards the rim. If you are going to choose one red wine glass, we recommend the Bordeaux style, designed to enhance most medium-to fuller-bodied red wines. A standard glass marketed as a “red wine” glass will be closer in shape to the Bordeaux’ slightly narrower profile.
A Chardonnay glass has a large bowl designed to express the nuanced flavours of the variety. Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis glasses are both narrower, allowing less exposure to air and their smaller size keeps the wine cooler for longer periods of time. These are your best choice if opting for one style of white wine glass.
Flutes or champagne glasses are long and narrow, designed to keep the bubbles from dissipating. If your budget and/or available space doesn’t allow for a sparkling wine glass, a white wine glass will work as well in preserving the temperature and enhancing the flavours of your bubbly.
Stemmed or Stemless?
The stem on a wine glass provides a surface the drinker can hold on to without altering the temperature of the wine through the transfer of body heat AND it keeps the glass free of smudges, thus providing a clear view of color and viscosity. So, although a stemless glass provides a nice rustic feel and fits easily in your dishwasher, it is probably not the best choice.
Crystal or Glass?
The thinner the material, the better the wine will express itself. Crystal is the thinnest; if you can afford it, by all means, go for it. If you’re sticking with regular glass, look for the thinnest version possible. This can be done by inspecting the width of the actual glass (not the circumference) at the rim.