October 15, 2015

How to choose the right wine glass

Wine glasses for beginners. Featuring Essence by iittala.

Of the questions most often asked about wine glasses, some of the most common are; “Which size should I buy!” or “Is this for white or red?” “Stem or no stem?” "What are the differences?" Quite simply, these are all good questions, and the choice of glass is really up to you! The Essence line from iittala offers a great starting point for the basic wine varietals, so we will refer to their sizes and shapes as a basis to which glass is for which wine, and offer some suggestions.

Red wine glass

The red wine glass is usually the largest in the series of all stemware.This shape offers the space that red wine needs to aerate; a process by which air interacts with the wine to open up the flavour profile. Do you need a fancy aeration apparatus? No. My best suggestion is to simply swirl the wine around in the glass and after a few swirls, raise the glass to your nose and take in the unique bouquet. Not only will you look devilishly sophisticated, but you are also doing what every wine taster starts with when tasting wine. Thus, the red wine glass is usually larger to allow for this!

White Wine glass

The white wine glass normally has a smaller bowl and often an even smaller opening, this is because white wine doesn’t need as much aeration and a smaller opening concentrates the wines aroma. Dry whites should typically be consumed chilled, around 8 degrees celcius (the typical fridge is 4 degrees celcius) so if your bottle is straight from the fridge, let the wine sit in the glass for a few minutes for optimum flavour!  You can still swirl slightly, and nose the glass for unique aromas before tasting.


Sparkling/Champagne Flute

What would sparking wine be without the bubbles! The narrow body of the flute serves a very important purpose; keeping the carbon dioxide active. Wide bowls, although lovely, lose carbonation more rapidly due to their broader surface area. So! A narrow flute is best, and it looks mighty fancy to pull out a dinner party, celebrate a promotion, a special anniversary or for just making it through the week.

Cocktail bowl

The cocktail bowl from iittala’s Essence collection has a few uses. They are great options for martinis or sparkling wines. Think Marie Antionette or The Great Gatsby! Another great option to have around the house for cocktails, they can even be used as dessert bowls.

Beer Glass

The beer glass from Essence provides a sophisticated alternative to a traditional beer mug. Like red wines, some beers often benefit from a bit of aeration. The Essence Beer Glass has the perfect bowl for the beer connoisseur. This glass also serves well for brandy or a good Caesar.

If all else fails!

If you are having a hard time making up your mind, it's ok! My best suggestion is to pick up a red wine glass to start. The reason? There are always exceptions to the rule! Chardonnay, a white wine for example, prefers a larger bowl, as it is a full-bodied white wine. Since cupboard space is also important real estate, having one glass that can do it all is preferred. You will definitely get the most range from the red wine glass from Essence or other collections.

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