The taste of form
People have been drinking wine for many centuries, and if at first they did it from stone or clay bowls, then later they replaced them with copper and silver ones. Then the turn came to glass goblets. And for many years everything was fine with everyone, until Klaus Riedel appeared. The ninth generation of Austrian glassmakers was the first to introduce the world to the unique concept of a thin-walled glass wine goblet. Riedel's descendants went even further in their quest for excellence, offering red wines from one form of wine glass and white wine from another, and later released glasses for most grape varieties.
The aroma of geometry
Many years ago, physiologists established exactly how a person tastes. It turned out that the receptors of the tongue are unevenly located. So, the tip of the tongue perceives "sweet" sensations, the middle - a salty taste, then sour, and closer to the root of the tongue, bitterness is felt. Using the knowledge of physiology, glassblowers were able to create dishes of various shapes, which ensured the ingress of wine, first of all, on one or another area of the tongue, which changed the perception of the drink.
One of the glass's tasks (apart from preserving the taste) is to lay out the aroma in a certain way. The aromatic substances of the wine evaporate from the surface and rise to the top of the bowl. The heaviest fraction of the bouquet is concentrated over the drink - aromas of leather, earth, wood. In the middle - mineral and vegetable tones. Floral and fruity, as the lightest, are collected at the top of the glass. The correct distribution of fractions is ensured by the specific proportions of the glass set by the glass blower.
Important: it is necessary to pour wine into a glass to a certain level, otherwise the work of the master will go down the drain.
Types of red wine glasses
This glass (500-650 ml) is intended for red wines with a high level of tannins, medium acidity and an alcoholic strength of about 12 degrees. It has an elongated, slightly conical shape, which allows you to better appreciate the acidity in dry wines. The fact is that the skins of the grapes "Merlot" and "Cabernet Sauvignon" are quite thick, and to achieve harmony, a certain distance is necessary from the drink to the taster's nose. According to the sommelier, this glass can be used for most red wines.
What to drink: Bordeaux wines from Merlot, Syrah / Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. And also the Italian primitive, zinfandel. Ideal if the label says Saint-Emilion or Pomrol. More budget options are new Krasnodar wines or Chilean Carmenere or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Such a glass (700-750 ml) must be wide and not very high. Due to its large volume and shape, the aroma of wine is freely distributed throughout the glass and fully disclosed, mixing with oxygen. In addition, varieties such as Pinot Noir have a thin skin and, accordingly, the aroma of the drink is more delicate. The edge of such a glass allows you to best feel the widest spectrum of aroma and taste.
What to drink: Burgundy, Pinot Noir, Barbaresco, Barolo, Barbera, Xinomavro from Greece, etc. The "serious" Beaujolais are also felt quite well.
Such a glass (over 750 ml) is difficult to confuse with others, and it is used mainly for expensive and well-aged wines. The spherical wine glass has a slightly elongated top, and its rim is deliberately widened. The volume of the glass is large, but you shouldn't pour the whole bottle into it, the traditional 100–150 ml is enough for the aromatic substances to be fully developed.
What to drink: Expensive aged red wines of the Grand Cru class (for example, barolo, barbaresco).
Types of white wine glasses
White wines are usually served in smaller glasses. This allows you to better preserve the floral aromas, emphasize the acidity in the taste and maintain a lower temperature. Agree that it is better to add wine to a glass from a bottle than to drink it too warm.
In shape, such a glass is almost identical to glasses for red, but has a smaller volume (up to 350 ml). The mechanics are simple - white is served significantly chilled, and thanks to this, the aromas rise slowly, lingering at the top edge of the glass. Nevertheless, the taste of fairly dense white wines opens up beautifully.
What to drink: almost any variety of medium aroma and density, such as Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianca, Suave, and in addition, Spanish albariños and godellos. Some wine enthusiasts like to use these glasses for light reds like beaujolais and valpolicella.
This glass is often confused with Burgundy as they are similar in shape. However, the vessel for chardonnay has a much smaller volume. This allows the wine to maintain the required temperature for longer (after all, white is drunk chilled) and better emphasize citrus-vanilla notes and an enveloping taste.
What to drink: of course, white wines from Chardonnay grapes, as well as bright light wines from the Chablis and Meursault regions.
This grape variety has a fairly high acidity and a strong aroma, so wine made from it should be drunk from elongated tulip-shaped glasses. In this case, the liquid does not fill the mouth, but gets closer to the base of the tongue, activating certain taste buds.
What to drink: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Torontes, Verdeja, Viura. You can even vintage champagne and other sparkling rarities.
Types of sparkling wine glasses
The name of this tapered tall glass comes from the flute it looks like. This glass is ideal for prosecco, which retains all the freshness of the grapes themselves. The wine must be strongly cooled, poured into a glass by 2/3 and drink with pleasure!
Important: the sparkling wine must be slowly poured into an inclined glass so that no foam occurs. It is not recommended to drink flute champagne, because it is kept on the yeast residue and it gets a powerful taste and aroma.
What to drink: Italian prosecco or German sparkling wine.
Many winemakers dislike "flut", rightly believing that their sparkling wine cannot fully unfold in such a narrow glass with a minimum of free space. Therefore, they suggest drinking champagne from tulip-shaped glasses, filling them to 30-40% (exactly to the widest point).
What to drink: aged French champagne and cremains. The glass will help you feel the floral “citrusy” of Chardonnay, the “berry” of Pinot Noir, as well as the notes of brioche and spices that arise from the yeast.
Types of glasses for dessert wines
The shape of the Port glass is intended for fortified wines, port. Thanks to its tulip shape, the strong wine perfectly reveals its classic notes: truffles, black pepper, smoke and black currant. The aromas of grapes appear in the foreground, and tannins and acidity give a complete harmony of taste.
What to drink: Aged vintage ports, Ruby (minimally aged blended ports in barrels), Tawny (made using the solera method), and dessert wines.
There are several varieties of sherry glasses. The most popular one has an elongated conical shape and a small leg. This glass is quite versatile and can be used for different aperitifs.
What to drink: sherries, liqueurs.
Dessert wines such as ice wine (ice wine) or late harvest (wine late harvest) are made from raisin grapes, which, in addition to the high sugar content, provides the drink with a rich bouquet. A glass for such wines is made like a champagne glass, but in a smaller size. Usually it is 2/3 full. The small distance to the edge of the glass is compensated by a powerful honey-floral bouquet.
What to drink: Italian Recioto, German Icewein, Hungarian Tokay and, of course, French Sauternes.
Klaus Riedel's concept is great, but not everyone likes having dozens of different wine glasses in the kitchen. Therefore, wine enthusiast Kurt Zalto and his two partners at the beginning of the 2000s decided to create the perfect wine vocals based on the proportions of antique amphorae. The experiment proved to be successful, a laconic Denk'Art series appeared: glasses for Bordeaux, Burgundy, white wine, champagne and universal.
Wine critic from Switzerland Rene Gabriel went even further than the companions from Zalto, who, after long experiments, managed to create a single Gabriel Glas for all varieties and types of wine. It is made of crystal glass, thin and graceful, has a wide bottom for proper oxygenation of the wine. Some oenophiles are not very happy with the way long-term aged wines behave in such glasses, but most experts praised the result.
In any case, you should try your favorite wine from different glasses in order to choose the one that allows the aroma to unfold as much as possible.