Wine is a fascinating and complex drink that has been enjoyed for centuries across the globe. White wine, in particular, is a popular choice for many people due to its diversity, refreshing taste and versatility when drinking alone or paired with delicious dishes.
However, no two white wines are the same, and different varieties of grapes can require different types of glasses and serving suggestions to appreciate their unique flavours and distinct fruity aromas fully.
In this beginner’s guide to white wine glasses, let’s explore everything you need to know about how to select the right white wine glass for your favourite tipple!
Why the Right White wine Glass Matters
The right white wine glass can make a significant difference in how a wine is sampled and enjoyed. The shape of the glass, the size of the glass, and the material of the glass can all impact the wine’s characteristics and overall experience.
As a rule, white wine glasses are usually smaller in size and narrower in shape than red wine glasses, as white wines are generally more delicate and nuanced than red wine varieties.
The shape of a white wine glass can also affect how the wine is reflected on the palate. A narrower wine glass will direct the white wine to the back of the mouth, where acidity and minerality are more prominent. A wider wine glass can direct the wine to the front of the mouth, where sweetness and fruitiness are more prominent qualities that will be noticed sooner.
Types of White Wine Glass
There are several types of white wine glass available; every kind of glass is designed to enhance the specific characteristics of the various white wines available around the world.
The most common types of white wine glasses are:
Chardonnay glasses have a wide bowl and a tapered top, which allows the wine’s aromas to concentrate and enhances the buttery textures. The wider bowl of this glass also allows more air to come into contact with the surface of the wine, which can help to soften any acidity or tannins present in the wine whilst drinking.
Sauvignon Blanc Glasses:
Sauvignon Blanc glasses tend to have a narrower bowl than Chardonnay glasses, which can help to preserve the wine’s delicate aromas and prevent them from dissipating too quickly whilst enjoying. The shape of the bowl can also help to direct the wine to the back of the mouth, where acidity and minerality are more prominent, which are typical and favoured characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc.
Riesling glasses have a tall, narrow bowl that is designed to showcase the wine’s floral notes and amplify the fruity flavours. The shape of this type of glass can also help to balance a wine’s sweetness with its acidic qualities.
Pinot Grigio Glass:
Pinot Grigio glasses tend to have a small bowl and a narrow rim to the glass, which can help to preserve the wine’s delicate aromas and prevent them from dissipating too quickly whilst sipping. The narrow rim of this type of glass can also help to direct the wine to the back of the mouth, where the acidic notes are more prominent.
Choosing the Right White Wine Glass for your wine
When choosing your perfect white wine glasses, there are a few things to consider:
The Type of White Wine:
When choosing glasses, consider the exact type of white wine you will be serving and make sure you choose a glass that is specifically designed for that variety.
The Size of Your White Wine Glasses:
Consider the size of the bowl of the glass in relation to the exact type of wine that you are drinking. A larger bowl is typically better for fuller-bodied white wines, whilst a smaller bowl is usually better for lighter-bodied white wines that you select.
The Material of Your Wine Glasses:
Consider the material of the glasses very carefully. Crystal glasses are a beautiful choice, they can enhance the wine’s smell and taste, but they are often more expensive and require more delicate care than glass glasses, they are also heavier than standard glass.
The Type Of Rim On The Glasses:
You should consider the shape of the rim of the glasses of interest. A wider rim can enhance the wine’s aroma and also alter the flavour of the wine, whilst a more narrow rim can help to concentrate these qualities.
The Stem Of Your Wine Glasses:
Try and find a glass with a stem that allows you to hold the glass without warming the wine and one that is not too delicate that it may break through general usage or whilst being cleaned.
How To Care For Your White Wine Glasses
Whether used at home or in a busy pub or restaurant, there are measures you can take to ensure that your white wine glasses last for many years to come. It is important to care for your glasses correctly to maximise your investment.
Here are some tips and tricks for caring for your white wine glasses:
Hand Wash Your Glasses Every Time!
Wine glasses are delicate and should be hand-washed with warm water and mild detergent. Avoid using abrasive sponges or harsh cleaning chemicals on glasses, as they can scratch or damage the glass surface and reduce its lifespan.
Dry Your Wine Glasses Carefully:
After washing your white wine glasses be sure to dry the glasses very carefully with a soft, lint-free cloth or tea towel. Avoid twisting the stem or putting pressure on the bowl whilst drying them as this can cause the glass to break and can also be quite dangerous and may result in your cutting your hand.
Store Your Wine Glasses Upright:
Store your White wine glasses upright, the same you do with red wine glasses, to prevent them from falling over and smashing.
Buy Proper Glassware from a Reputable Brand and Shop:
Buy good quality glassware to serve different types of wine. Avoid cheap glasses and glass alternatives, too as they do not pair well with good quality wine and can alter the flavour.
A White Wine Glass For Every Occasion
White wine glasses are a must-have for anyone that wishes to fully appreciate the nuances and complexities of different white wine varieties from around the world.
Whether you prefer a cold glass of Chardonnay, a high-quality New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a German Riesling, or a cool, crisp glass of Pinot Grigio, selecting the right wine glass can make a huge difference in how the wine is enjoyed.
When choosing white wine glasses, consider the type of wine you will be drinking, the size and shape of the bowl, the material of the glass, the shape of the rim, and the presence of a stem. By following these simple guidelines and also caring for your wine glasses correctly, you can impress your guests, enjoy your wine and elevate your white wine experience in its entirety.
See here to find out why Investing in Quality Wine Glasses is Worth Every Penny