Picking the Proper Glassware

October 05, 2017

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When it comes time to pour a glass of wine, does it matter which vino vessel you choose? Yes and no. The glass and how you hold it can influence your wine tasting experience. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your favorite Missouri wines.

What is the proper way to hold a wine glass? A stemmed wine glass should be held towards the base of the stem between your thumb, forefinger and middle finger. Your middle finger should rest on the stem just above the base. Why? Holding the wine glass by the bowl transfers the heat from your hand to the glass and wine. Your wine will stay cooler longer if you hold the glass by the stem. 

Stem or stemless:  Stemless wine glasses have gained popularity over the years. Some wine consumers find this style easier to handle and less fragile. The trendy silicone wine glass, which tends to come without a stem, is virtually unbreakable. This popular glassware is flexible and perfect for wine enthusiasts who are on-the-go. However, whether glass or silicone, you are likely to transfer more of your body’s warmth to the wine if you use a stemless vessel.

Varietal Specific: Wine glasses come in many different styles and shapes and all serve a purpose: to bring out the best in the wines for which they were designed. A specially designed glass directs wine to key areas of the tongue and nose. Studies reveal that more than 70 percent of what we think of as taste actually comes from our sense of smell. If you can't properly smell the wine, you're missing out on a majority of the wine-tasting experience. A couple of trivia facts: Riedel, the famous glassware manufacturer, designed special glasses for Norton and Vignoles. 

Red wine glasses are usually a bit taller and have a larger bowl than white wine glasses. Bold red wines like Norton require a large bowl to allow all the aromas and flavors to emerge. This also gives you more room to smell the wine. 

White wine glasses have more of a U shaped bowl and are more upright than red wine glasses. The U shape allows the aromas from wines such as Vignoles to be released while maintaining a cooler temperature.

Sparkling wine is best served in a sparkling wine glass. The upright and narrow design retains the carbonation and captures the flavor in the beverage.

These wine glass tips will help you savor the delightful flavors in Missouri wines, but in the end, it comes down to personal preference. Stem or stemless, varietal specific or not, what truly matters is that you enjoy the experience. Cheers!