Anatomy of a Wine Glass : Size & Shape Matters

Anatomy of a Wine Glass - Size and Shape Matters

It’s the question that burns in the mind of every novice wine drinker: do all the different sizes and shapes of wine glasses really matter?

The short answer: Yes. Although wine glasses are often admired for their beauty each element, from the bowl to the stem to the foot, serves an important purpose in making sure the wine is served up and enjoyed in its most perfect state. Here’s how the basic anatomy of a wine glass breaks down (no pun intended).

The Foot The foot is the flat base that allows the wine glass to stand on its own and not tip over, especially when filled.

The Stem The stem was created so that a wine drinker’s hand need never come in contact with the bowl and risk either smudging the glass (and ruin the view of the wine) or warm it with body heat.

The Bowl The bowl of a wine glass is perhaps the most important element, as well as the most stylized. The shape and size of the bowl affects how the aromas are trapped and circulated, how much aeration occurs, and how the wine is showcased

Shape The most common shape is tulip, which is slightly wider at the bottom and tapered near the top. This shape allows the wine to be swirled and observed while the aromas are trapped by the narrower opening and directed towards the nose. Glasses for full-bodied red wines are wide and full at the bottom to allow for more exposure to the air and room for the rich flavors and aromas, while glasses for white wines are narrower to help keep the wine cooler longer and to help concentrate the lighter aromas in a smaller area. Champagne flutes are especially tall and narrow in order to showcase the rising bubbles, and to help maintain the chilled temperature.

Size Wine glasses come in many shapes and sizes but a good rule of thumb is that the glass should be large enough to hold a full serving and not be quite halfway full. This allows room for swirling without spilling, and for the aromas to rise and collect in the glass.

Color Although colored glasses or those with decorative accents like etchings can be beautiful, the best wine glasses are smooth, plain, and clear to allow the beauty and subtleties of the wine to show through.

Rim A good wine glass will have a ‘cut’ rim that is smooth to the touch and does not inhibit the wine as it flows out of the glass. Avoid those with rolled or bumpy rims.

By Rigel Celeste | Source ::