My Favorite Dinner Party

Wine Glasses

The theme of a number of references I have read is that if you are going to select a single glass, go with a multi-purpose tulip shaped wine glasses. Generally one that is 8 to 10 inches in height should do. The tulip shape feature enables the wine aroma to rise to the top of the glass.

The notes on setting the table refer to red and white wine glasses. Red wine glasses have a wider bowl shape, and white wine glasses usually have a narrower bowl shape.

For champagne, a flute shape is often recommended. The flute shape has a narrow opening which allows for less surface for the bubbles (carbon dioxide) to escape.

In reading a number of sites on the Internet I came across an endless list of how to wash the glasses. Hand wash your glasses with hot water is consistent advice. Some references recommend not using soap as soap leaves a residue on the glassware that interferes with the aroma of the wine. Other sites list best soaps. I seem to break them no matter what method is used.

In filling the glass, fill the lower one-third of the glass. This leaves room in the glass for the aroma to work its way up the sides of the glass. Also less spilla swirling the wine in the glass.

Ready to try the wine? First look at the color and clarity of the wine. Does the colour have a brilliance?. Expect variance in intensity of color. Now the hard part. Swirl the wine in your glass by rotating your wrist - not your whole arm. The swirl releases the wine's aromas to the top edge of the glass. With your nose just over and the edge of the wine glass aromas will bounce off this edge of the glass.

Then, roll the wine over your tongue for several seconds before swallowing.

Holding the glass? I have been known to rest that large bowl of a red wine glass in my hand. No, No. Hold the wine glass by its stem. It keeps the bowl of the glass clean and sparkling and it prevents heat from the hand warming the wine.

Want to go all the way? The Reidel web site is fascinating. Here you can select the type of wine you want to drink and find the perfect shaped glass. Once into the site, select the "Wine and Glass Guide" from the left navigation link.

Ready to enjoy? Red wine is typically served at room temperature, but room temperatures are much higher than they used to be. From reading it seems that a red wine of full-body and tannic red wines are best, cool, not more than 64°F (18°C) and clarets, Pinot Noirs (including burgundies), and the modern reds — soft, light, fruity and relatively tannin-free for drinking young, at slightly cooler temperatures — down to about 54°F (12°C). White wines are best between 43°F (6°C) to 52°F (11°C). If in doubt, for both red wine or white wine, it seems it is best to cool as they will warm quickly on the table and in the glass.