Are you planning on serving wine or champagne with your holiday dinner? If so, do you know what glasses should be used to serve each drink? Even though selecting the right glassware may not seem like such a big deal at first blush, it is actually very important. I learned that while working in the hospitality industry. Believe it or not, using the wrong type of glass can negatively affect the wine or champagne’s aroma and its flavor. With that said, you may want to check out some of the glassware guidelines that I learned while working in the hospitality industry. Here’s a quick look at the basics:
Red wine should ideally be served in a wide, tulip shaped, stem glass that stands 6 inches tall or more. The glass may hold anywhere from 6 to 20 ounces worth of red wine. In my experience, the wide, tulip shape is designed to allow the red wine to breathe. Thus, the stronger the red wine is, the wider the glass should be. Personally, I like to keep several different size red wine glasses on hand for that very reason. If you are unable to purchase a variety of red wine glasses, you may want to consider purchasing glasses that best match your wine drinking style. For example, if you typically enjoy drinking bold red wines like Shiraz, Barolo and Cabernet Sauvignon, you’ll want to invest in wine glasses with a very wide mouth.
White wine glasses, on the other hand, are shaped differently than red wine glasses. In most instances, the bowl on a white wine glass is substantially narrower than that of a red wine glass. A narrow design is used because white wines do not need to breathe like red wines. As a matter of fact, overexposure to air is known to dilute the delicate aromas inherent in white wines. Therefore, if you are serving a delicate wine like Chardonnay, Aligote or Mauzac, you’ll want to serve it in the narrowest wine glass that you can find. I should also mention that white wine glasses have a stem, stand 6 inches tall or more and may hold 6 to 20 ounces worth of fluid.
Fortified wines, like Sherry, Port and Madeira, are traditionally served in a Sherry glass. A Sherry glass is a stemmed glass that looks similar to a white wine glass, only smaller. It typically holds 4 to 6 ounces worth of fortified wine. The glass is more petite than a white or red wine glass because most dessert wines are consumed in small amounts. If you are working with a tight budget, you may serve dessert wines in a white wine glass. Just make sure that you don’t overfill the glass.
Champagne and Sparkling Wines
Based on my experience, champagne and sparkling wines are traditionally served in a 5 to 10 ounce flute or a 4 to 6 ounce, stemmed, wide-mouthed glass. In my opinion, it is better to serve it in a flute because glasses with a wide mouth allow the carbonation to escape into the air faster than narrow mouthed glasses. Once the carbonation leaves the champagne and sparkling wine, it will alter the beverage’s flavor.
Source: Personal Experience
Killeen Gonzalez has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She is a former special events planner.
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