Drinking wine can be done in one of two ways; you can quaff it from the best red wine glass known to man, delicately inlaid with your initials studded with rubies, featuring the finest stem and perfect narrow rim. Or you can drink it from a plastic cup, “I love cats” mug, or straight from the bottle because you were too busy laughing with your mates to find the good glassware. Either way, drinking wine is all about the experience, from that evocative smell of the grapes wafting up from your cup to your nose (or from the best red wine glass) to the moment the wine hits your tastebuds and a dance party starts in your head, too, of course, the company you’re keeping while you imbibe.
Drinking wine is something we do in our free time because we love it because it can bring a little sparkle to a social occasion and because it’s delicious. We aren’t at school anymore and there are no rules about what to drink out of and when. But if you want to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to choosing a wine glass, we have you covered, from wine glass shapes and what they do to the different wines they suit and why.
Yes, your wine tastes superb out of the affordable wine glasses you were given as a present, but you might be surprised at how phenomenal it can be when drunk out of one of the fancy, balloon sized ones. The size of a red wine glass bowl can drastically change the taste of the wine itself. A quality red wine glass will have a large bowl, narrowing to the opening and a stem that feels good in your hand.
Red wine glasses vary in shape and size, from the standard red wine glass perfect for medium to full-bodied wines to the Bordeaux glass with its wide opening delivering the wine smoothly to your palate, to the Burgundy wine glass ideal for more delicate reds with its large, aroma collecting bowl.
The supermodel of red wine glasses, the Bordeaux glass is the tallest red wine glass. Ideal for punchier red wines like 2017 Tempus Two Pewter Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, the glass’s height gives the distance between the liquid and your taste buds, giving the tannins time to soften and deliver the wine to the back of your palate minimising bitterness and boosting the flavour of the wine.
The relatively small opening of the standard red wine glass softens sharper and spicier flavours. And instead of delivering a large glug of wine to your palate all at once, the controlled flow of wine from a standard wine glass softens the richer flavours of wines like 2019 Tempus Two Copper Hunter Valley Shiraz, Pewter Shiraz and South Australia Merlot.
For a more delicate red, such as a Tempus Two’s silky soft 2019 Tempus Two Fleur Grenache or Beaujolais, the burgundy glass is your ideal vessel. Featuring a wider bowl that allows the aroma to accumulate before the narrower neck, this red wine glass will deliver the wine to the tip of the tongue, highlighting the delicious red nuances.
As the saying goes, “Rosé all day”, and imagine upping the ante of your chosen Rosé by pouring it into a delicate made-for-Rosé glass! When considering what wine glass to use for white wine or a Rosé, it’s important to think about the temperature of the wine and consider a smaller bowled glass to exemplify the more subtle and floral aromas of the lighter coloured wines.
If there was ever a need for fancy glassware, it’s when you’re having a glass of champagne to celebrate something. Sparkling wines like Tempus Two Varietal Blanc de Blancs Sparkling should be a visual feast, as well as exemplifying the flavour of your chosen drop, and most importantly, your glass should make that cheerful “ding” as you charge your flutes together.
The champagne flute is designed with both aesthetics and taste in mind. Firstly, a champagne flute allows you to see the carbon dioxide bubbles rising to the surface of the wine, making it appear particularly celebratory. Secondly, champagne flutes retain the champagne’s bubbles longer than a coupe, as the surface area at the top of the glass is far smaller.
A more vintage silhouette than the more modern flute, coupes allow the carbon dioxide to disperse faster and hold a smaller amount of liquid. The coupe, however, adds a touch of nostalgia to events and is perfect for sparkling wine cocktails or simply pretending you’re in The Great Gatsby.
Drinking wine is deeply personal and done in celebration, to complement good food and make great company shine, so whether or not you choose to match each and every wine with the right glass or to drink it straight from the bottle, just ensure you’re enjoying the moment and loving the wine.