Wine 101: Glassware

The Value of the Right Glass

Next to picking the right wine (which of course, is a bottle of Dry Creek Vineyard!) there is no more important aspect to creating a memorable wine experience than having the right glassware.

We’ve all shared in a similar horror story: A potentially great food and wine experience ruined because of a restaurant’s lack of attention to their stemware. The truly disappointing part of this scenario is that it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to be this way.

Many famous producers of fine stemware, Riedel being one of the most well respected, create glasses specially made for each varietal. The theory being that a Chardonnay glass will deliver wine to the palate differently than a Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc glass. However, unless you’re willing to spend hundreds of dollars on fragile Riedel wine glasses, there are other options that can suit any budget. The point here is that settling for some flimsy contraption that hardly qualifies as a wine glass is not necessary – options do exist.

First, you want to find a glass that has a relatively deep bowl shape to it. The top of the glass will ideally have a more narrow entry point. The reason this shape is important is because you want a glass that will capture the aromas and nuances of a wine in the glass when swirling or, in wine speak, “volatilizing the esters.”

Avoid glasses that have shallow bowls and wider openings – these glasses take away from the joy of a wine’s aroma. Next, think about whether you want a glass with a stem or without. There isn’t a right answer – it’s pure aesthetics. Some people have argued that a stemless glass, when handled by hand, heats the contents of the glass and thereby hurts the flavor of the wine. We think the jury is still out on this one.

Ultimately, the proper wine glass is essential to the overall wine experience. Without it, a night to remember can be reduced to something far less, and that, is just not acceptable. So, we raise a glass for proper glassware – for the sake of wine lovers everywhere.