Red Wine Glasses

Red wine glasses are characterized by their rounder, wider bowl, to give the wine a chance to breathe. The more mature and full-bodied the wine, the wider the bowl of the wine glass. The wider bowl not only promotes oxygenation or breathing but also the development of the aromas.

Since most red wines are meant to be consumed at room temperature, the wider bowl also allows the red wine to cool more quickly after hand contact has warmed it. The stem of a red wine glass is an important feature as it provides a way to hold the glass without warming the wine from body heat. It also prevents fingerprints from smearing the wine glass, and makes the glass easier to swirl.

Red wine glass sizes usually vary from under 9 ounces (270 ml) up to 14 ounces (415 ml). The shape of the red wine glass is very important, as it concentrates the aroma (or bouquet) to emphasize the varietal's characteristic. The shape of the red wine glass also directs the wine itself into the best area of the mouth from the varietal. In general, the opening of the red wine glass is not wider than the widest part of the bowl. Whereas shape can greatly enhance the enjoyment of the wine, design can make the experience a visual feast.

The large tulip or narrowing goblet is the most useful as it allows swirling but has a narrow opening to concentrate the aroma or bouquet. Many wine drinkers call this shape their red or all-purpose glass. These glasses are mostly used for Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Large format glasses allow the maximum exposure to air for a big or closed wine. They also add a note of drama to the table when a very special wine is served. This is often the only glass for big red aficionados. Also considered a chardonnay glass because of the white Burgundy lineage. These glasses are mostly used for Burgundy, Grand Cru, Pinot Noir and Syrah.

There is also an ISO red wine glass, ISO stands for International Standards Organisation. The glasses are made to a particular size, shape and standard for a specific use. It's rounded shape and smoothness gives an ideal relationship between surface area and volume. The tapered bowl allows free circulation of wine and the funnelling of its vapours. The ISO glass is mostly used for wine tasting. The glass is maybe a little bit small for drinking wine.

Orrefors Glassworks and other glassworks that makes hand blown glasses, have refined the design of wine glasses with unique size and shape for most wines. Orrefors red wine glasses are crafted to match the varietal quality of an array of red wines. The proper red wine glass has the ability to highlight the regal flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon, the elusive perfume of Pinot Noir, the fruity Pinotage, and the brooding power of a Burgundy.

Hand blown wine glasses with design has been popular because of the visual beauty and feeling. Hand blown red wine glasses results in a better vessel, with a thinner lip, and is usually acceptable for casual wine drinkers.
When you have to clean the wine glasses, try not to use soap. Instead use hot water and rinse thoroughly. Soap can become trapped within the glass release soapy odors.

You ca see samples of hand blown wine glasses at Midnightsun Designs.

Bjorn Ingbrandt

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About The Author, Bjorn Ingbrandt
Information about red wine glasses, shape, design and how to use them. Author: Bjorn Ingbrandt