Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wine Glassiness

So I have a little confession to make - I am a bit of a wine glass snob. I can be rather picky when it comes to my wine glasses. I like a nice large, lightweight, clear and beautiful glass to sip my vino from. I also have another problem when it comes to wine glasses - when I find one I like - I need to have it. SO I have developed a bit of an eclectic wine glass collection - and I love it! Who ever said you need to have a complete set of one type of wine glass? I love setting my dinner table with a variety of wine glasses! Check out my Thanksgiving table here.

I am even OK with serving white wine in a red wine glass and vice versa (although I wasn't always this way that was a bit of a progression). My feeling is if it feels good - go with it! But drinking out of a bad wine glass is the worst! For your general knowledge here is a basic outline of the different types of wine glasses.
  1. Port, 2. Brandy snifter 3. white wine, 4. red wine, 5. red burgundy,6. Champagne flute 7. Champagne coupe
1. Port, 2. Brandy snifter 3. white wine, 4. red wine, 5. red burgundy,6. Champagne flute 7. Champagne coupe

So what makes one wine glass good and one bad?

There are a lot of articles and expert advice on how to pick a wine glass and what wine to drink from what glass from the real wine snobs out there. You can read this article here from Forbes magazine where CEO of crystal glassware company Reidel, Maximillian Reidel explains his process and how he goes about making the proper glass for wine. He gives two tips to get you started into the wine glass world.

  • 1. Buy the varietal specific glass of the varietal you enjoy the most and built your collection from there. If you love Pinot Noir, buy a Pinot Noir glass, for example.
  • 2. Spend approx. the same amount of money per glass that you do on your bottle of wine.
Now I don't necessarily think you need to go with the most expensive wine glass, I believe there are some cost effective glasses out there that work just as well. And as I mentioned earlier I tend to gravitate toward the larger glasses which are typically for red wine and I like to drink white wine from them as well. But that is just a personal preference and it's kind of like one of those instances where you know the rules and you purposely choose where to break them for your preference. My biggest issue with wine glasses is the thickness of the glass. A very thick-lipped glass is not meant for drinking wine. Like these from Libby - stay away from these!!
Libby Glassware
When you have a thinner lip the wine can fall into your mouth much smoother. Also a large body allows for swirling, breathing and movement for the wine. Here is another article from Wine Spectator that is helpful. They point out that it is best not to fill the glass completely when serving, give the wine some space to move around in the glass. Check this out regarding swirling your wine. Moving the wine around in your glass helps to aerate the wine and brings out the natural aromas and flavors.
For my wine glass collection I do have a few "sets" of wine glasses but I would get depressed when one broke and then I had an uneven set. SO decided to throw the idea of a set of wine glasses out the window and I started buying up glasses that I loved. Marshall's and TJ Max are great for this. They usually have single glasses for sale and often on clearance so you can get a great deal on a typically expensive glass. Garage sales and thrift stores are good too. Also when I go to wine shops or wine bars they will sometimes let you purchase a glass or it is sometimes included in a tasting! OK OK and maybe when I go to a restaurant and really really like a glass they served the wine in, and since it wasn't for sale, it might have ended up in my purse on the way out the door (but of course I will never admit to that if you asked me again). So here is a birds eye view of my collection that sits nicely in my china cabinet.

I have so many different glasses in the collection I can't even tell you where they all came from (and I might incriminate myself) but here are some of my favorites in the the wine glass world.
1. Crate and Barrell Hip Red wine glass 2. Reidel Vivant Pinot Noir glass 3. Lenox Tuscany Classics Balloon Glass 4. Waterford Marquis Full bodied Red Wine glass
OK what if you don't have access to a fabulous wine glass? I find it a sin to drink wine out of a disposable plastic cup - but alas I know that there are times when this is necessary.  For instance picnics and outdoor arenas that do not allow glass are such instances. Over the summer I discovered this amazing product and I have to share it with you! They are acrylic wine glasses by govino, they are super durable for outdoor use, and they feel great and have a super thin lip. A great alternative to a plastic cup. I discovered them at this wine shop in Brooklyn but you can buy them online! Amazon has them for $12.95 for a pack of 4.

via govino
So I hope I have offered you some insight into proper glassware and perhaps I have narrowed in on the quest to outlaw thick-lipped glasses used to consume wine. Or at the very least you will think twice when you grab for the stemware you serve or drink your next glass of wine in. 

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