Wine Appreciation Evolution

Long before there were wine glasses, or for that matter before the material glass was invented, there was wine. Unearthed from the ruins of ancient China reveals how wine was drunk by nobles during the period from the Xia dynasty, to the Shang and to the Zhou dynasty, with bronze ware. Ordinary folks used wares that were made from clay.

So why do some people insist that wine should be drunk from wine glasses with stems, or stemwares, as they are generally called? Some may even go as far as associating specific glass for specific wine, hence one for Chardonnay, another for Burgundy and yet another for Barolo.

But, wait a minute! Just in case you think I am one of those who suggest that any cups would do, no, I'm not. History is a record of progression, and since wine making has gone through its trials and evolution, so did the way to drink or even appreciate it.

Indeed the way wine glasses are being designed today, much consideration is paid into the character of the wines for which they are designed for. Wines differ from each other by their colour, aroma, taste and mouth feel. How to translate these characters into pleasurable sensation on the wine's first contact with the drinker's lips and tongue, lies in the intensive research and experimentation by wine glass makers.

So, it is not that you cannot drink wine with an ordinary drinking tumbler, but you'll miss all the pleasures the winemaker has intended you to savour, by using a wrong ware.

White wines are mostly served chilled while reds, at a slightly higher temperature. Hence, glasses designed for whites are meant for it to be drunk at a quicker pace than the reds, and therefore they are generally made to contain lesser wine. On the contrary, big bowl glasses, usually tall ones like Bordeaux or Burgundy glasses, has a lot of air room for the wine's aroma to be retained for a longer period.

Of course, there are also wine glasses made for all-purpose such as the Stolzle Vinea 6.3oz, for example. It has a balloon shape bowl that allows for sufficient aroma retention, in proportion to the lesser wine it contains. This type of glasses suits the white, red or port, and for the everyday mainstream wines.

Champagne prefers less air room but more visible areas so that the golden colour and its bubbles or pearls can be best appreciated, hence the tall champagne flute.

Some wine glasses have their rim open outwards, and this is to allow its fragrance to fill the atmosphere. Wine glasses generally have rim diameters smaller than that of the bowl for aroma retention, and for the drinker's personal appreciation.

Even using Bordeaux glasses from two different ranges selected from say Stolzle, namely the Grandezza and the Experience range, produce different results. The Stolzle Experience Bordeaux directs the wine over the top of the tongue while the Stolzle Grandezza directs the wine below the tongue. Depending on the wine you are drinking and whether you are one who likes the bitterness of the tannin, or to avoid it altogether.

So, there are quite a fair bit of things about choosing wine glasses in order to really appreciate wine, and not just any container will do.

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About The Author, Anh Kung has to date documented over 1000 wines with notes and technical data for quick and easy reference; and for those who know wine, to share their comment. The online store to date shelves not just wine, but also gifts, lead free crystal wine wares, wine cellars, wine accessories and special promotions.

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