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Types of Wine Glasses

Whether sweet or dry, white or red, robust or light, wine requires very specific serving procedures in order to reach its full flavor potential. In addition to proper serving temperatures, each type of wine requires a specific style of glass for service. Understanding the different types of wine glasses and what makes them ideal for one type of wine over another is essential to getting the most out of your wine collection.

Part of a Wine Glass

The Foot 

 Allows your glass to stand upright

The Stem 

Allows you to hold your wine glass without the heat from your hands warming your wine, and without creating smudges on the bowl which will distract from the visual enjoyment of your wine

The Bowl 

 Serves a myriad of purposes; here you'll find the most variation between glasses. The bowls of all wine glasses will be tapered upward with a slightly narrower opening at the top than at the bottom. This shape helps to capture and distribute the wine's aroma toward your mouth and nose. The bowls of wine glasses are also designed to allow an amount of surface area appropriate to the wine - red wine glasses will have a larger amount of surface area for the wine to allow it to breathe, while white wine glasses will have a smaller amount of surface area. Champagne glasses will have a very small amount of surface area for the wine so that it retains its carbonation

The Rim 

 Imperative to achieving the full experience from your wines. The thinner the rim, the less the glass distracts from the wine as you sip; 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. Less expensive glassware may have rims that are rolled or bumpy – while still functional, and very much practical for everyday use, these wine glasses may distract from the wine itself

The Color 

 The best wine glasses are crystal clear to allow the beauty and subtleties of the wine to show through. Colored glasses and those with decorative accents may offer a beautiful appearance, however, if showing off your wines, clear glasses are the way to go