Does the taste of your wine fall short of your expectations? Before you blame the wine, give it a try in a different glass!
Even the slightest differences in glass design can impact how your customers experience the wine. How’s this possible, you ask? Because wine glass shape and style contribute to how much air comes in contact with the wine, how much aroma is released and reaches your nose, and especially where the wine first hits your tongue. All these factors ultimately impact the flavor you and your customers taste.
Let’s talk about what matters to your customers – the experience. Selecting the proper glassware for your wine is extremely important, it influences how people perceive your brand through the color, aromas, and taste—so getting it right, matters.
Different glasses are shaped to enhance different aspects of wines including presentation. When choosing your wine glass for your establishment, it’s best to first take bowl shape into consideration, matching the bowl to the type of wine.
Don’t take our word for it. There was a study performed by a Japanese medical group that used a sniffer-camera for imaging of ethanol vaporization from wine to view the effect of wine glass shape. Pretty darn cool, right? Here’s the study.
Size—and shape—do matter. Examine the bowl shape.
Large vs Smaller:
Select smaller wine glasses for white wine and larger glasses for red wine. Generally, more full-bodied wines work best in slightly larger glasses while lighter, fruitier wines can do well in smaller glasses. The reason that white wine glasses need to be smaller is that white wine should not warm up too much before it is served. As for the red wine glasses, the larger the size, the better, to allow for a third fill and the rest of the glass allowing aeration.
Wide vs Narrow
Go wide for reds. Go narrow for whites.
Here are our best picks:
Bordeaux glass: Tall with a broad bowl, and is designed for full-bodied red wines. This glass shape is best with bolder red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, or Bordeaux Blends.
- Delivers more aroma compounds vs. the burn of ethanol from being farther from nose
- Larger surface area to let ethanol evaporate
- Wider opening makes wines taste smoother
- Our recommended options are Masters Reserve Wine (20 oz), Vina Tall Wine (7504), Cachet 19 oz
Burgundy glass: Broader than the Bordeaux glass, it has a bigger bowl to accumulate aromas of more delicate red wines such as Pinot noir.
- This style of glass directs wine to the tip of the tongue
- This glass is shorter than the Bordeaux glass but it has a bigger bowl
- The wine is directed to the tip of the tongue so the drinker can taste the more delicate flavors
- Our recommended options are Master Reserve Wine (24 oz), Vina Balloon (18.25oz), 7515 Vina Diamond 18 oz
Narrow glasses for whites
White wines that are best served slightly oxidized are generally full-flavored wines, such as oaked chardonnay. For lighter, fresher styles of white wine, oxidation is less desirable as it is seen to mask the delicate nuances of the wine. To preserve a crisp, clean flavor, many white wine glasses will have a smaller mouth, which reduces surface area and in turn, the rate of oxidization. In the case of sparkling wine, such as Champagne or Prosecco, an even smaller mouth is used to keep the wine sparkling longer in the glass.
- Preserve floral aromas
- Maintain cooler temperature
- Express more acidity in wine
- Delivers more aromas (even at cooler temperatures) due to proximity to the nose
- Our recommended options are the Master Reserve White Wine 13oz, Vina Diamond 12.5 oz, and Alto 12 oz
Go with tall, narrow flutes for sparkling
Champagne flutes are characterized by a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl on top. The shape is designed to keep sparkling wine desirable during its consumption. Just as with wine glasses, the flute is designed to be held by the stem to help prevent the heat from the hand from warming the liquid inside.
- The bowl itself is designed in a manner to help retain the signature carbonation in the beverage. This is achieved by reducing the surface area at the opening of the bowl
- The flute design adds to the aesthetic appeal of champagne, allowing the bubbles to travel further due to the narrow design, giving a more charming visual appeal
- Our recommended options are the Vina 7500 8oz, Alto 5.75 oz G2751, Napa 8795 5.75oz
Stemless or Stems
Then give consideration to stemmed or stemless. Do keep in mind, though, that all the guidelines about matching wine glasses to wines are simply that: Guidelines. Feel free to break the rules! Ultimately the best wine glass choice for any particular wine is the one in which the wine tastes best to you and your customers.
- Informal style
- Allows for convenience but can inhibit the way your wine shows
- Our recommended options are the Stemless Flute 8.5oz for sparkling wine, Stemless Red 17.5 oz for Burgundy wine, 213 Perfection Stemless 15 oz for whites and reds
Whatever you choose, it’s best not to fill the wine to the top. As a general rule, you want to fill it to only half. (Flutes for sparkling wines—which you don’t have to swirl because that dissipates the bubbles—are an exception.)
If you’re interested in hearing what our top beer glasses are for a brewery please go to our blog post titled, 9 Beer Glasses You Can’t Go Without.
If you want to know more about proper glassware, where to get it, and what to use it with, contact us anytime. Remember: In good times and bad, the world will always need a drink. It’s people like you, the bringers of hard brews and delicate vinos, that provide it. We are proud to support and strengthen what you do by creating branded glassware that best suits your finely crafted beverages. Now let’s go and make it happen!