Your First-Class Guide to Wine Glass
Here at Rubino Estates Winery, we like to appreciate wine every way we can, right down to the glass we drink it from. Basic wine glass anatomy includes four parts: a base (sometimes called the foot), a stem, a bowl, and a rim. Wine glasses stand out among cups, drinking glasses, and mugs, with a peculiar design that allows the wine inside to be appreciated for its aroma, taste, and visual beauty. The question is: with such a wide range of wine glass designs, are there ideal pairings of wines with specific glasses?
The critical task of a wine glass is to direct the characteristics of the wine to key regions of the nose and tongue. This allows for optimal enjoyment. The shape of wine glasses vary in order to accentuate defining characteristics of the wine. Because every wine varietal has different characteristics, glasses of different shapes can bring out subtle differences and enhance the experience of trying new varietals and blends. In most cases, the differences are minimal, but still an interesting exploration for a curious palate. Don't just take our word for it; findings published in Scientific American confirmed that the geometry of wine glasses had an effect on the experience and taste of wine.
Bigger, Bolder Reds - For wines with bold flavor and structure like our Riserva Petite Sirah, look for a glass with a wide bowl and rim. The wide bowl allows the complex aroma to open up. For optimal enjoyment, look for wine glasses made from spun crystal, which have a very thin rim, which allows for a smoother flow of wine across the tongue.
Lighter Reds - These wines hold up to a range of sizes and shapes. Enjoy lighter bodied reds like our Landmark Collection Sangiovese or our Night Owl Barbera from any classic wine glass with a medium-width bowl and moderate opening. If you prefer a more casual option, stemless glasses are better suited for reds since the wine is more likely to be warmed by the hand.
Dessert Wines - When it comes to serving sweet, port-style wines, opt for small glasses. The high alcohol content and delectable sweetness of wines like our Infinitum Dessert Wine make for a delicious sip. Glasses designed specifically for sweet wine have a smaller opening and direct wines to the back of the mouth to allow the sweetness to register without overwhelming the palate.
Rosés - These wines, especially younger Rosés like our 2019 Salute Rosé, can be enjoyed from a glass with a flared rim. This uncommon shape brings the wine to the tip of the tongue where the subtle notes of sweetness can be best detected. This sweetness is also best experienced when the wine is freshly chilled, as the notes become more muddled as the wine warms up.
Bigger, Mature Whites - Generally, the best glasses for white wines are smaller than those for red wines. The smaller size better preserves the delicate floral notes and the cooler temperature of the wine. Though smaller than a standard red wine glass, mature whites like our Riserva Chardonnay can shine with a larger opening which allows sweetness and acidity to come through on the palate.
Light, Crisp Whites - Lighter white wines, such as Fume Blanc, are perfect when enjoyed from a glass with a taller, thinner bowl, as compared to fuller-bodied white wines. A smaller mouth to the glass will limit oxidation to preserve the light nuances and complexities of the wine.
Sparkling Wine - For sparkling wines like Brut or Champagne, you can't go wrong with a classic flute. The long, tall shape of the bowl allows the bubbles to rise in picturesque columns and last longer. However, if you're savoring a more complex sparkling wine, a wider bowl will allow for more aroma to be released.
No matter which glass you choose, we have some more tips to enhance your enjoyment. Filling a glass to about 1/3 full allows a space for the aroma of the wine to collect in the glass, as well as allowing swirling without spilling. Additionally, we think that simple and classic is the way to go. Most wine bottles are a dark green glass, but wine glasses are clear—this is to appreciate the color of the wine! Some of the most beautiful glasses have no decoration at all. After all, it's what's on the inside that counts.
If you'd like to pull out your glassware of choice and taste for a difference yourself, you may be interested in our curated Case Sales, which each offer a range of wines at a steep discount. Salute!