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Do you know what flute, ballon and tulip have in common?
They are all glasses, specially designed in order to bring out a wine' s advantages and graces. But not of the same wine. Since wine variety is great, shapes of glasses should vary as well. Not each type of wine has its own different glass, since something like that is unnecessary. There are some general characteristics, common in some wines, which are categorized in terms of the type of glass that will be used. These features are not, of course, other than their aromas and gustatory wealth.
Don't have doubts about the usefulness and the importance of using the appropriate glass. Anyone can confirm it by making a simple experiment. That is why we will need 4 glasses, to which everyone can have access. Aplastic water glass, a short wine glass ( like the ones they have in taverns) and two classic goblet glasses, one for white wine and a more puffed one, for the red wine. Using the same wine for our experiment, we pour the same amount in all 4 glasses. Then we compare, the aroma and the taste of the wine, alternately tasting from each glass and idealy in the order you list them. The differences are so striking that leave no doubt that the glass is not a simple container but it contributes in its own way on how the wine' s aromas and flavour characteristics are expressed.
Things are simple and have to do with the glass' s anatomy, absolute transparency so that we can be able to enjoy the content visually, spacious cavity at the bottom, that allows the wine to accept oxygen, and so aromas can emerge and a narrower orifice, that collects the aromas and channels them to our olfactory buds.
Tell we what wine you drink...
... to tell you what glass to choose. Narrow spout if you choose to enjoy aromatic wines and wider spout for the less aromatic and the reds as well. Large shell if you prefer to enjoy aged red wines that need airing and small size glass, that allows white wines that need to be consumed cool, to refresh more often and not get warm. Oblong glass for the sparkling wines that unfold their graces quite rapidly and vertically and a small size glass fot the desert wines, that are more filling and must be carefully drunk because of their sweetness. A true wine lover' s cupboard should be consisted of 3 different types of wine glasses: the flute, that is oblong and is suitable for champagne and sparkling wines in general, the more balloon-like is suitable for the reds and the slightly smaller one, for the whites which is also fitting for rose and sweet wines. The glass' s foot, doesn't just give grace to the glass but usability as well since holding the glass from the foot, prevents the temperature's rise that happens when holding the glass due to the contact with our hands.
The more advanced could seek more specialized glasses, like: the big and spacious Βordeaux type glass (also suitable for Greek aged wines), the Burgundy glass (which also highlights the “significant” Xinomavra and their blends), the Pinot Noir special and the one for Cabernet (suitable for Merlot and Agiorgitiko). There is also the special Chardonnay glass, with a wide spout compared to the rest (which also highlights the aged Santorines) even the Port glass (just great for Mavrodaphne as well), the Sherry glass (good for Vinsanto) but the delicate tulip, suitable for Champagne and for the wonderful Greek sparkling wines as well.