Drinking and enjoying wine can be super painless and straightforward or it can be a deep rabbit hole that seems to never end. At the end of the day, like anything else, what we put into it, is what we will get out of it. Everyone is different, obviously, which means when indulging ourselves within the subject of wine it can multifaceted.
Some are satisfied with the $10.00 Barefoot you purchase at the local store. No judgement here. Others may chase the idea that every bottle needs to be expensive to taste amazing. Not always the case. Culture and media combined, carry a lot of weight in our lives, especially when it comes to our decision making.
Remember I mentioned the rabbit hole concept earlier? The world and media of wine carries strong influence. If you find yourself located too deep within the trail, it can become overwhelming. As with any hobby, choice of recreation, or enthusiast, at the end of the day we want to know what is best for us. This leads to investing our time and finances in hopes of landing what we need or desire without wasting time, effort or money.
Wine is no different. It takes time to know what you’re drinking, how to drink it, where to store it, hunting for affordable prices, decoding the label on a bottle, finding your personal flavor profile, and trying to decipher what glasses work best for what wine. Decoding stemware can be just as magical and mysterious as wine or the gateway to a headache for those who occasionally drink a glass of wine.
History of the Wine glass
In all honesty I wanted to bring you an in-depth history of the wine glass, but I’m struggling. The struggle isn’t in writing about the history. The conflict is found in the fact this is not an essay or history lesson. If you’re in search of history there are plenty of articles online and they’re worth a “Google.”
Anatomy of the wine glass
As much as I am traditionalist with wine, I also bend toward the rebellious side of it. The temptation to skip over the “need-to-know” basics is present as well as the “wild and free” concepts of drinking wine. To sum it all up, you need to know the basics of wine glasses. You don’t have to be a scientist to know wine can be experienced in any given vessel. Dare I even say it can be appreciated straight from the bottle.
First you need to be encouraged to use what glasses you have available. The last intention of this article is to create a false perception about drinking wine. A glass is a glass and at the same time, a glass does matter. Weird. I know. A great way to introduce the wine glass is with the anatomy.
The wine glass can be a machine-blown or handmade glass and has these four parts, from bottom to top: the foot, the stem, the bowl, and the rim.
The foot or also known as the base, is the section of the glass that enables the wine glass to stand upright. The foot of the glass is just as important as your big toe. Yes, your big toe found on your feet. The big toe functions as additional leverage and works hand in hand with your little toe to maintain balance. In terms of the wine glass, having a small or too large of a foot can bring imbalance. A small foot can easily fall over and a large foot can create issues at the table by getting caught on utensils or plates.
Here is your handle for your wine glass. The stem is also known as the neck of the glass. It enables you to hold your glass. The design of the stem is intended for us to keep our hands off the bowl of the glass. Believe it or not our body heat can be transferred to the bowl of the glass and can change the flavor of the wine. True story. A proper size glass for you can be found within the stem. You want it to fit comfortably so the width of your hand with a touch of space between the knuckle of your pinky finger and the knuckle of your pointer finger. You may want to read that again.
The bowl is where you will encounter variations of the wine glass. A well constructed wine glass will have a broader bowl and a smaller opening at the top. Why all the shapes and sizes? Believe it or not, the shape of the bowl actually seizes the aromas of the wine. Without getting too in-depth, the width of the bowl will generally determine the surface of the wine. More on this topic in future articles.
This is a delicate area of the wine glass. Usually the rim is thin and fragile. Wine glasses with thin rims tend to be better than a thick rimmed glass. A thinner rim allows for an effortless flow and enables you to observe the flavors of the wine.
STandard Pouring of wine
A wine glass is created to hold 5-6 ounces of wine. The standard rule is to never fill it more than halfway up the bowl of the glass or above its widest point. It’s not about limiting the amount of wine you’re drinking. When the wine is contained within this area properly, the aroma of the wine is maximized. It enables you to smell all those wild and amazing smells you hear or read about other people picking up when they smell wine. A 10-12 ounce glass is the perfect size.
Picking the right glass
Choosing the right glass and the correct size is a daunting task, but do not fear. The goal is to provide you with an easy understanding to choose what you need. Don’t dread looking for glasses or treat them as a general task on your “to do” list. Have fun with it. Create an experience with friends, family or make it part of your “date night.” Treat it like a treasure hunt. Have a reason why you are in search of glasses.
The size and sight
The ability to see and observe your wine in the glass is all part of the drinking experience. Thin and lighter glasses will allow you to easily hold the wine. Keep in mind you are containing history in a glass. You’re not waving a hammer around at a job site. Look for thin and transparent glass for greater clarity. Think about the size of the bowl to allow your wine to breathe.
types of wine
Do yourself a favor and please do not settle for wine glasses based on two things: Price and the look. When you look for wine glasses, choose the vessel according to the wine you will be drinking. There are glasses formed for white wine, red wine, champagne, luxury and so forth. Like any other products on the market, prices will range from low to high. The main points are to make sure you don’t waste your money on cheap glasses and purchase something long-lasting. If you’re not a huge wine drinker then don’t store up large amounts of glasses. You can locate a universal wine glass (Just “Google” the words universal wine glass).
Harmony and Shape
The last action you need when uncorking and pouring is your glass toppling over or having to balance it awkwardly. Recognize the following within a glass: Thickness of the rim, shape of the bowl, size of the foot, stem or stemless (either are fine), length of the stem and the top of the glass.
I usually get asked about stem or stemless glasses. In my experience and opinion either are fine. There is one encouragement regarding stemless wine glasses. Hold the stemless glass above the line of your wine in the bowl. The reason for this is because our hands contain body heat. The heat from our hands will warm the wine and it can change the taste of the wine. It’s wild how body heat can shift the temperature of wine.
Wine is meant to be enjoyed. How complicated or however simple you want to make it, it’s your choice. The adult liquid can be drank from a Mason jar or an expensive glass. Begin slow. Purchase one or two glasses and work your way into a set of glasses. Remember to have fun and create the moment. There are primers out there on the subject of wine glasses. This post is not one of them. Keep it simple so you don’t miss or lose the story captured in the bottle or when it’s transferred into the glass.
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