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A Guide to Wine Glasses

With wine, it’s all about the presentation. Not only is wine beautiful in a tulip-shaped finely crafted crystal wine glass, but its full aroma and body comes to life in a design meant to enhance its being like a Parisian gown complements the female form. All wine glasses are shaped so that the wine’s aroma wafts toward the nose and the liquid is directed toward the appreciative taste buds of the mouth.

The wine lover should own at least two (red and white) but preferably four types of wine glasses:

1. The Bordeaux glass whose wide bowl allows Cabernets and Merlots to breathe and bring out their rich aromas. The tall design of the glass aims the wine toward the back of the mouth where its maximum flavor is savored.

2. The Burgundy glass with a larger bowl than the Burgundy glass directs wines such as Pinot Noir to the tip of the tongue so its sweetness can be tasted.

3. A glass with an opening slightly larger than the body of the glass for a young crisp white wine and

4. A taller straighter glass for a more mature white wine which allows the wine to flow to the rear sides of the tongue so its bolder flavor can be savored.

There are also champagne flutes and dessert wine glasses, but the four above are the basics. Crystal wine glasses are the finest and there are many European brands of note. Reidel wine glasses, from Austria, painstakingly crafted from a composite of quartz sand, lead oxide, sodium and potassium, and then blown on a hollow metal rod, are considered to be among the finest.

Bormioli Rocco is a premier maker of Italian wine glasses. Working closely with Italian sommeliers, Bormioli Rocco creates glasses that enhance the pleasure of tasting fine wines. Their delicate crystal glasses are artistic but also durable enough for the dishwasher. Spiegelau is another fine Italian wine glass manufacturer.

Who hasn’t attended a wedding or sporting event where good quality wines were served in plastic or acrylic wine glasses? Wine glasses and champagne glasses are available in different colors, imprints, and even blinking stems. But for enjoying the aesthetic experience of a fine wine, nothing beats being able to swirl it in a fine clear crystal glass, sniff its delicate aroma, and then finally taste its delicious story.