A Perfect Toast: Choosing the Right Glassware

It seems the simplest of acts: open a bottle of wine and pour it into a glass. But as for anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of being served a fine wine in a plastic cup or chunky tumbler, choosing the right glassware does make a difference. 

As a member of the Paso Robles Wine Club, your regular wine shipments will include a mix of both white and red wines—unless you specify otherwise. To really savor and enjoy the wines, you should invest in the appropriate glassware.

Here are a few general principles to keep in mind when selecting glassware:

Size Matters:  You don’t need to buy a specific glass for every varietal, but you should have 2 sizes available: a larger, balloon shaped glass for red wines and a smaller glass for white wines.  As for volume, a wine glass should hold between 10 and 18 ounces—this size works well for both tastings and for serving wine along with a meal.

Go for Transparency: Painted and etched glassware is beautiful and can be so well rendered that it could pass for artwork, but when it comes to wine, you want glasses that are clear. We ‘taste’ wine with all of our senses and the sense of sight is one of the most important—a clear vessel gives you the opportunity to analyze a wine by its color and viscosity.

Going Stemless: Wine was traditionally served in stemmed glassware so that the warmth of one’s hands wouldn’t interfere with the appropriate serving temperature, but stemless wine glasses have grown in popularity, so it’s really a personal decision.

Choosing the appropriate glassware in which to serve wine is just as important as choosing the right wine to pour. To increase the pleasurable sensory aspects of enjoying a good wine, take the time to choose the right glasses so that you can delight in both the aromatic and visual aspects of wine.