So you’ve just cracked open a bottle of wine you bought at one of the best wineries in Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula. You open your kitchen cupboard to grab a glass but suddenly you realise that you have no idea which one to use.
While wines have fantastic flavour, they can only be fully appreciated when you are sipping from the right glass. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide which glass to use for your wine tasting.
Wondered why some glasses seem more bulbous at the bottom than others? The shape and size of the glass will affect the way the wine swirls and the way it covers the surface area of the glass’ walls, ultimate affecting the way you pick up its aromas. So first of all, the bottom, or bowl, of the glass needs to be big enough so that you can swirl the wine. The bigger the bowl, the more surface area there is for the wine to stick to, and the more aromas can be released into the air.
The Tapering Top
For the top of the glass, you don’t want it too wide, as it makes it too easy for your wine to spill over in the swirling process – not ideal if you are taste testing a top-quality wine! Moreover, a smaller glass opening will make the aromas smell more intense, because less of the volatile aromas can escape.
Sensing the aromas can arguably have a greater affect on the wine tasting experience than the actual taste itself. If the wine smells of a higher alcoholic content, that is what you will taste as well.
So for a delicate red wine like a pinot noir, you will want a large bowl with a smaller opening. But for a bolder red, you may want to reduce the intensity of the aroma and enjoy it from a glass with a wider opening. For sparkling varieties, they typically don’t require much swirling, which is why you will find them served in flutes – smaller and narrower glasses.
Part of the wine tasting experience can come from context. Sipping from a pink plastic wine glass can distort you wine tasting experience. But even littler things can affect your perception, such as the thickness, frosting and coloured tint of the glass. What you will find is that the best wines in Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula are best enjoyed in a clear and thin wine glass – as opposed to a clunky water glass.
But look, at the end of the day, you make with what you have and what you need. If you’re in an outdoor setting and want to avoid breaking fine wine glasses, then you may have to make a compromise. If you want to be a little more contemporary in your wine tasting experience and use a stem-less glass – go for it! Wine can be enjoyed in a variety of occasions and the lack of wine glasses shouldn’t stop you from tasting your fine wine selection from Red Hill Mornington Peninsula.