A large part of enjoying wine lies in savoring its aroma. The wine glass has to gather the wine’s aroma so you can savor it when you drink.
If you use a regular mug and fill it to the brim, all the characteristic vapors of the wine will be gone by the time you start to sip.
But, there’s more to it than just enjoying the wine’s aroma.
First, let’s step back to see how the modern wine glass came to be.
A Brief History of the Wine Glass
The earliest form of wine glasses are believed to be the silver and pottery goblets used by the Romans in the third century.
The wine glass that you know today, with the base, stem, and bowl, originated in the 1400s in Venice, Italy, where some of the best glass makers were centered.
But it was Claus Riedel in the 20th century, who was the first to acknowledge the correlation between the wine’s taste and the wine glass shape. He launched the first series of glasses designed to suit a wine’s character.
This is the flat base section of the glass that will hold the glass upright on your dining table. A small foot can make the champagne glass imbalanced, and the glass will easily topple on your dining tables. Too large a foot might get stuck under your platters and flatware or tableware.
Crystal wine glasses contain 2-30% of added minerals, which is its primary difference from regular whiskey glasses. Those minerals could be lead, magnesium, or zinc, allowing the crystal to be spun much thinner than glass but still retain structural strength.
What is a “Standard Pour” of Wine?
Usually, in restaurants, a tumbler glass would be around 5oz (~150ml). This portions a 750ml bottle of wine into five servings.
A. Bordeaux glass
This tall glass with wine decanter is meant for bold, full bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Bordeaux Blends.
The glass is tall, but the bowl isn’t quite as large. The bowl’s height creates more space between the wine and nose, allowing room for ethanol vapors to escape, letting you get more of the wine’s aroma and less alcohol vapors.
Some Bordeaux wine glasses to consider:
Zalto Denk Art Bordeaux Glass with glass charger plate
Schott Zwiesel Tritan Pure Bordeaux Glass
B. Standard (Medium-bodied) wine glass
This is an excellent choice for medium- to full-bodied red wine, like Syrah or Malbec. The smaller opening will soften the spicy expression of some of these wines as it hits your tongue, but it keeps the aroma in the shot glass.
C. Burgundy (Bourgogne) glass
The Burgundy glass is designed for light, delicate red wine like Montrachet. The broad bowl creates space for aromas to collect, and a shorter lip directs the wine to the tip of the tongue so that you can taste more of its subtle flavors. The Pinot Noir glass is an example of the Burgundy glass. Also, there is bear glass.