I love wine, obviously! I’m definitely not a connoisseur, but I can appreciate different kinds of wine and a nice bottle of it. When it comes to a wine tasting, I tend to opt out of the fancy tours and go straight for the wine. I try to do the swirl, the smell, and all that good stuff but I really don’t know what I’m doing. I just like to taste the wine. So when Lauren suggested that we go to a wine sensory experience (aka wine school) while we were in wine country a few weekends back, I figured why not. I taste (or more like, drink) enough wine to give the school a try.
We went to W.H. Smith Wines in Calistoga (and you can see me at school here), where we learned a lot about the different factors that can affect the taste and scent of wine, the different type of scents that are actually found in wine, and also some info about glassware. There was a lot to absorb, but the portion about wine glasses stuck with me because I realized how much I’m doing wrong! I’ve always noticed that some glasses are fancier than others but knew very little about how the features of a wine glass can affect the taste of it. There were 3 wine glassware features that really stood out to me and will have me doing some shopping before I open my next bottle of vino.
a thin rim: A thin rim allows you taste the wine without “distraction”. This is something I never really paid attention to, other than noticing that very expensive wine glasses are thin all over. After examining some of my wine glasses at home later, I realized all the “cheap” wine glasses had a thick, round rim that can actually change the taste of the wine!
a large bowl: A large bowl allows the wine to breathe and expand. It should also be contrasted with a narrow rim, to provide very little room for the wine aromas to actually escape the glass. The optimal contrast and shape can vary depending on the different types of wine you may drink, but as a general guideline the bigger the better for red wines.
a stem: The stem keeps your hands away from the wine, so that they don’t warm the temperature. Most of my glasses are stemless since they are easier for a careless person like me to handle and therefore are less likely to break. It’s clearly time to wine glass shop.
above glass is a fancy Baccarat