Wine lovers are often accused of snobbery – many friends will find it intimidating to visit a ‘proper’ wine shop or to buy a bottle of wine for someone that is ‘in the know’ for fear of not knowing what to say or getting it wrong. In reality many of us will be delighted with whatever we get served, but one thing that tends to irritate the wine drinker is the use of poorly shaped glasses that somewhat tarnish our wine drinking experience.
Wine snobbery & common sense
It’s not so much a matter of snobbery as it is common sense – even if your spend per bottle is minimal, a good glass can make all the difference to how your wine tastes. Why not maximise the enjoyment you get from your favourite wine by serving it properly?
It’s so simple to get right – good glasses tend to look pretty plain, but it’s all in the design. It might sound like common sense but in the first instance your wine glass needs to be clear and have a stem to hold it by – any other design is flawed. You won’t notice much difference in the temperature in reality if you are clasping the bowl but it’s such an easy thing to train yourself to use the stem that you might as well get it right. Additionally you won’t end up with greasy fingerprints all over the bowl.
Swirling and spillage
Secondly, your glass needs to be sufficiently deep and large to allow you to pour a reasonable measure that you can swirl vigorously in order to aroma. With this vigorous swirling in mind, it’s best if your glass tapers in towards the top, so that you don’t spill when you swirl.
Good glass, bad glass
Beyond that, it’s a personal matter as to how much you value the selection of a particular glass for a particular wine. Many vendors offer a range of different glasses that extends far beyond one for red and one for white. If you are tasting at the top level, it’s worth investing in a selection. But if you just want to get the most out of the wines you enjoy, the best way to understand the importance of a good glass is to buy a couple of reasonably priced wines and taste the same wine out of a ‘bad’ glass and a ‘good’ glass with the features mentioned above. Take notes if you want to, and be honest. You’ll taste the difference – and you won’t go back to using that bad glass.