Drinking a glass of wine is about more than the taste, it’s more than the mouthfeel and aroma. Wine is about the experience, improving your evening or afternoon when enjoyed.

A beautiful display of wine glasses filled with different wines, just begging to be drunk!

With such a complex drink as wine, it is no wonder that the shape of wine glasses are perfectly designed to get the best experience from wines.

Great wine is going to taste amazing whether you drink it out of a mug or a diamond encrusted chalice, However, there are certain glasses which are designed for wine, and for different types of wine. While these glasses do not significantly change the composition of your wine, they can definitely aerate and enhance the experience; bringing the best out of your wine. Wine glasses are designed to get the most out of the taste of your wine, and it is the shape that does it.

Wine glasses are just as, if not more important than the wine bottle itself!

A wine glass affects the taste of wine because of it’s design. The actual size and shape dictates where liquid will distribute in the mouth, and how it gets there. Your taste buds are placed specifically around your mouth and the back of your throat. If drinking wine from a glass not designed to compliment it, the wine itself will hit the wrong taste buds. The result affecting how you taste it. It’s really that simple. Some wines need to be ‘swirled’ in the glass, to allow the flavor to release and develop. A champagne glass, for example, does not allow the space and room for this to happen.

Bowl Shaped Wine Glasses

Aesthetic, rather than functional; bowl shaped glasses do not improve flavor in wines. Smaller bowl glasses pair well with Pinot Noir, while larger bowls are generally for Chardonnay.

If you’re drinking a light wine, you need to go for a bowl shape that is smaller and narrower This is to taper to your mouth and allow you to really taste it. If you are going for a more full bodied type of wine, you can afford to go for a larger bowl top, because this will let the wine breathe and aerate more. To ensure full development of flavor and enjoyment, allow wine to breathe.

Aesthetic, rather than functional; bowl shaped glasses do not improve flavor in wines. Smaller bowl glasses pair well with Pinot Noir, while larger bowls are generally for Chardonnay.

Mouth Shaped Wine Glasses

The broadness or tapering of the mouth is what points the wine in the direction of your taste buds. We mentioned taste buds being located in different parts of your mouth, and a glass needs to point the wine towards your tongue and specific areas, where the majority of those taste buds are; allowing the best flavor to shine though, highlighting the hints of individual flavors in wine.

For instance, a chardonnay glass with a wide mouth will send the wine towards the outside of your tongue. This is where your taste buds will be better able to detect the salt-hue and wooden accents of the wine. Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with a narrow mouthed glass. A narrow mouth glass funnels the wine towards the center of the tongue, highlighting acidity of the wine and berry undertones often found in the wine type .

A narrow mouthed wine glass brings the best out of light and delicate wines. Narrow mouth wine glasses allow more air concentration. Wide mouthed wine glasses on the other hand, are best for full bodied wines. Allowing air to circulate and the wine to breathe.

The Shape of the Lip

Every wine glass has a slightly rolled lip or is straight across, in a total horizontal line. A great wine glass should be straight, and not rolled. This means that again, the wine will fall at the right part of your mouth, allowing you to really appreciate it. A rolled edge on a glass causes too much of a blockage and distraction for the wine to flow properly.

Does The Color Of The Wine Glass Matter?

It is always best to go for a clear wine glass, because this will allow you to really see the wine properly. Like cuisine, the look of what you are about to drink is important to take it; you eat and drink with your eyes. A clear glass also allows you to watch for imperfections and impurities. For instance, if there is a certain cloudiness about the wine, it may not be at its very best quality. It will also allow you to see if there is cork which deteriorated into the wine. In terms of the clarity, you can test it out by giving it a good ‘ping’! Click your fingernail against the top edge of the glass and listen – if the sound is crystal clear, it’s a good glass.

As you can see, there is more to a wine glass than something you simply sip your vino out of! The colour, the clarity, the shape, the lip, the mouth, all contribute to create the perfect glass. This allows you not only to taste distinctive flavors better, but better enjoy your wine. Good wine can become great wine in the right glass, and great wine can be only decent in the wrong vessel.