Choosing Wine Glasses

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 at 12:00 am

wine glassAside from the fine wine, wine glasses are considered important to the elegance and style of the enjoyment of this exquisite drink made for the gods. Wine glasses have come a long way and has shared a rich history along with the wines that has been enjoyed throughout the ages.

A wine glass is simply a type of glass stemware that is used for drinking wine. Its form is quite unique from other types of drinking utensils in that they seem to be made for delicate hands required with every touch of elegance and style. The wine glass is primarily composed of three parts: the bowl where the wine is poured, the stem where the wine glass is held and the foot or base.

In ancient times, long before the use of glass and the art of glassmaking became rampant and widespread, wine was being consumed using goblets made of wood or precious metals such as gold or silver. In about 23 to 79 AD the noted ancient historian Pliny noted that during these times, the gold and silver vessels that were then used in drinking wine began to be replaced by the more delicate and more appealing wine glass. Some excellent wine glass creations during that time were even being priced as high as their precious metal versions, proof that the wine glass has steadily caught the eye of more of the ancient wine drinking crowd.

Today, wine glass is the hands down favorite as the drinking vessel of choice for most wine lovers as they provide that quality of being able to enjoy the wine at its purest and most unadulterated form, as some precious metals as drinking vessels may have reacted with the wine and may alter its flavor and quality in some ways.

Wine glasses today are being made out of blown glass which results in a thinner lip that is so expected of the most excellent of wine glasses. There are some wine glasses that are made of fused or cut glass. But such materials may interfere with the flavor and quality of the wine and, at best, create a rough and thicker lip for the wine glass which might not be suitable for the art of wine drinking.

Most high quality wine glasses are made out of lead crystal, glass added with lead oxide to give the glass a higher index of refraction to give them more sparkle. This gives such wine glasses more aesthetic advantages that may even heighten the wine drinking experience with light becoming an important factor as it passes through the wine glass and play with the colors of the wine that it holds.

The wine glass shape is important for the wine connoisseur since it can help concentrate the flavor and aroma as well as emphasize the characteristics of the wine grape varietals. The finest of wine glasses made for the enjoyment of fine wine is known for the shape that it takes. Fine quality wine glasses made for fine wine is known not to have the lip of the wine glass wider than the widest part of the bowl.

The stem is equally important in a wine glass. This feature provides the wine drinker with a way to hold the wine glass without warming the wine itself with body heat. The stem also makes the wine easier to swirl in trying to appreciate and examine the wine’s characteristics and quality.