When you’re on a picnic or sitting on a sandy beach, wine may just taste better, even if you’re sipping it from a plastic cup or juice glass. But when you really want to get fancy and enjoy a special bottle, or just make the most of your so-so bottle, wine experts agree that using the right glass can give it a serious upgrade. There are specific glasses to go with all different types of wine, but the average wine drinker doesn’t need to over-complicate things with each of those. These expert tips can help you choose the best glass for your vino.
- Size and shape matter – In a wine glass, the size and shape affect the aromas and flavors of the wine. Certain wines, like Bordeaux, Pinot Noir and some whites, like oaked Chardonnay, need room to “breathe” in order for them to taste their best.
- For reds – If you can’t see through the wine – like a Cabernet – go for a big, Bordeaux-style glass with a large, tall bowl. If you can see through the wine – like with a Pinot Noir – use a Burgundy glass, which has a tapered rim and a large bowl and is better for the “more delicate aromas.”
- For whites – You can get away with a catch-all glass with whites because they don’t have tannins to consider. White wine glasses tend to be slimmer in size and shape and some people prefer to drink champagne out of them as well because they have more room than a flute for the bubbly to “open up.”
- Stem vs. stemless – This choice depends on lifestyle factors like how many kids you have running around that could pose a danger to long-stemmed, delicate glasses. Stemmed glasses are always good because holding a stemless glass in your hand for five minutes can warm up the wine to a less than ideal temperature.
- If you’re going with the basics – If you’re not devoting a lot of cabinet space or money to your wine glass collection, having one set of “universal” glasses for everyday drinking and one set of Burgundy glasses for your more delicate wines. Beyond that, if you regularly sip on a specific varietal, like a Riesling or Syrah, you may want to treat yourself to a varietal-specific glass to make your wine a little more special.