What’s in a glass? Well, when it comes to wine, everything. Using the correct glass for your wine may enhance the flavours, improve the aromas and even help maintain the correct temperature, taking your wine-drinking experience from drab to fab.
“If you’ve ever tried wine in a small, thick-rimmed glass, porcelain coffee mug or your beer pong plastic tumbler, you’ll know that you can drink pretty much any beverage out of any vessel…except for wine. When it comes to wine, the correct glassware is an absolute must. This allows you to make the most out of your wine, enhancing every aspect of the bottle so that what you read on the label pairs perfectly with what you taste on your palate,” says Robert Greene, Director of Core Catering.
Matching the correct wine to the correct glass can be overwhelming, but Greene has a few simple rules:
Big reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz need glasses with big bowls to allow the wines to oxidise, and big mouths to release their strong aromas.
Soft reds like Pinot Noir and Merlot also need glasses with large bowls to allow for oxidation, but because they’re softer wines, a narrower mouth is necessary to concentrate the aromas.
White wine glasses are typically smaller than their red counterparts. Spirited whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay are served in glasses with slightly large bowls that narrow at the mouth, while delicate whites like Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer require narrow bowls and narrow openings.
“The white wine glass bowl is smaller to help keep chilled whites cooler for longer, while the narrower opening concentrates the subtler white aromas,” notes Greene.
We’re all familiar with the classic sparkling wine flute. Its elongated shape provides a good-sized serving for sparkling wine, maintains the temperature and concentrates the delicate aromas, all the while allowing you to enjoy, what Greene calls, "the theatre of the bubbles".
There is a second glass used for sparkling wine – the saucer or coupe. Although this vintage glass doesn’t hold the temperature for long, allows the aroma to escape and doesn’t let you enjoy the bubble show, this Gatsby-era glass is making a comeback, and once again becoming popular for serving sparkling wine and even cocktails.
Dessert wine is always served in a small glass with an elongated, narrow bowl and a narrow mouth, maintaining its cool temperature and concentrating its sweet aromas.
Core Catering specialises in glassware, and will showcase its wine glasses at Winederland at the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show, which takes place in seven cities around the country, kicking off with Durban from 9 to 11 May and wine-ding its way to a city near you.
Diarise the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show in your city:
- 9 to 11 May – Durban (The Globe at Suncoast). To book your tickets for the Durban show, go to tws.sale/ioldbn
- 6 to 8 June – Johannesburg (Montecasino)
- 11 to 13 July – Cape Town (GrandWest)
- 25 to 27 July – Port Elizabeth Boardwalk)
- 3 to 5 October – Pretoria (Menlyn Park Shopping Centre)
- 7 to 9 November – East London (Hemingways Casino)
- 28 to 30 November – Nelspruit (Emnotweni Casino)
* For more information on the TOPS at SPAR wine show, go to www.wineshow.co.za .