You think you might know…but quite honestly, they’re not always right in the movies!
When a wine is poured, there are several different types of glassware used that are specific to the drink.
Of the wine glassware available, there are four main important ones to differentiate: White. Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Bubbly. (Same order below)
First, we have the Champagne Flute which is tall and thin used to both highlight the small bouquet of fruit within the wine, but also to show the bubbles for longer. The long shape makes it so the bubbles cannot escape so quickly. The small divot at the bottom of the flute (just before the stem) makes the bubbles seem infinite. #Classy
There are several different white wine glasses, but the standard white wine glass is a bit smaller than the Bordeaux style, but with similar shape. This is to allow for the white wine fruit flavors to be brought forward.
Bordeaux and Burgundy are both wine regions in France. Bordeaux mainly produces the red varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc. Burgundy is known for mainly Pinot Noir. These varietals have different aromas and essences that can be better captured by the different shapes of the glass.
For the Burgundy style, the glass has a fat bottom and sometimes they tulip in at the rim. This brings the wines with higher acidity and lower tannin to the tip of your tongue where those tastebuds are best for tasting more acidic foods and beverages. This accentuates fruit flavor.
For the Bordeaux style, a typical red wine glass is made for heavier red wines with higher tannins and lower acidity. When the wine enters your mouth, the curvature of the glass helps you experience it better. The Syrah glass is very similar but a bit taller since it is a deeper style of red wine which allows for the tannins to mellow just enough and it brings all of the aromas together on the palate.
SO the big question is, how do you hold the glass? It’s actually quite simple…by the stem! You might see people grasping the glass with their full palm or putting it in between their fingers. That’s not fancy. You’re actually ruining the way the wine should be tasting.
Well, it’s an easy explanation. If you hold it by the actual cup part, you’re going to change the temperature of the wine. White wines should be served at roughly 55ºF (12ºC) and red wines at 65ºF (18ºC). But quite honestly, I even like my reds in the 50 range. So serve them properly.
Additionally, the stem is where you have the most control over the glass. It is the safest way to ensure you won’t spill all over yourself, or that you’ll break the glass. Hurray! Now you can wear white clothing and drink red wine!
I hope this little insight helps! And next time you enjoy your wine, enjoy it properly to enhance your experience!