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Glass shape and Wine taste

Served at 6:55 AM on Monday, September 18, 2006

On an online community, somebody asked if the shape of the glass can influence the taste of wine. Well, the short answer to this is yes. The shape of a wine glass can direct the flow of wine. Also, this means that the attack (contact) will initiate a different tasting note.

Glass Shape 1 for high tannin and moderate acidic wines
A cut rim glass like the above would direct the wine to the center of the tongue, creating a harmony of fruit, tannin and acidity. It's ideal for red wines high on tannins and moderate acidity.

Glass Shape 2 for wines high on acidity, and moderate tannin
For red wines high on acidity, and moderate tannin, use a similar cut-rim glass but make sure it curves outwards towards the top of the glass. An example is shown above. This one directs the wine to the tip of the tongue.

Generally, Reds use bigger bowls than whites. Champagne/Sparkling wine glasses are narrow and reffered to as flutes. These are specially designed to highlight the fine bouquet, richness and complexity on the palate.

Champagne and Sparkling wine flutes
So a quick-hack understanding is that, for younger and crisper wines, a glass with an enlarged opening (outward curve towards the rim) should be used, and straight (regular) opening glasses should be used for mature and fuller-bodied wines.

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