Wine Glass

Again about tasting, what are your views about which glass to select? I've read some people think the right glass is essential, while some others think that's irrelevant.

Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

I come down in favor of having the right glass, but I am accepting of many designs and do not believe that you need a shape and size matched to every type of wine. This is not to say that these factors do not influence the sensory impact of the wine. They clearly do, at least to the extent these elements help define the aromas we perceive and the initial palate impression. Riedel have been innovators and savvy marketers of an extraordinary range of wine glasses. They have done a great deal of research, attempting to identify the perfect design for each grape variety or style. I see no reason to challenge their impressive work, but it simply isn't practical (or affordable) for most people to purchase a glass for every wine they drink. For most white, rosé and red table wines, one glass will do as long as the bowl meets two criteria: first, it is sufficiently large so that you can fill just the lower portion with 3 or 4 ounces of wine and, second, the shape allows for swirling to release the aromas. You can get away with the same glass for all colors of wine, although wine lovers tend to accumulate glasses in multiple sizes. Using a small glass for a fine white wine, as is often the case, will only hide its true quality. Fortunately, there are many choices of brands and models which are not expensive. I tend to like glasses with a somewhat angled bowl and a rather flat bottom, but that is a purely personal preference. Schott Zwiesel offers glasses in that style made out of Tritan (lead-free) crystal. If you want to splurge, consider Zalto, fabulous glasses with a stylish look (see their Denk'Art Universal Glass). Several companies offer well-priced glassware with suitable shapes such as Riedel's Vinum line. These and other brands are available from many retailers.

About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

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