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Difference Between Red and White Wine Glasses

Red vs White Wine Glasses

If you are a casual wine drinker, it probably does not make a difference to you in which glass the wine is being served to you. But if you are a serious wine drinker, you would obviously be passionate about not just red and white wines, but also the glasses in which they are served. You would be surprised to know that for every particular type of wine, there are many different types of glasses in which it is served, and there are people who insist upon a particular type of glass when they are in a bar for a wine session. This article confines itself to finding out the differences between red and white wine glasses, and the reasons behind these differences.

Those who are passionate about wines maintain that the selection of right glasses is as important as the wine, because it greatly affects the aroma and the flavor of the wine. Whether or not it is true is hard to decide, but one thing is true, and that is the rigid insistence of drinkers on particular types of glasses. Connoisseurs value their glasses as much as their wine as they believe right glass enhances the experience of a particular wine.

A wine glass is different from beer glasses in that, it has three distinct parts called bowl, stem and the base. However, in this basic shape, there are different sizes and patterns depending upon the wine you are drinking.

Red Wine Glass

When drinking red wine, a person desires that its oxidation takes place easily. This is oxygen mixing with the wine. Drinkers believe that it is this oxidation that gives the real aroma and flavor to the wine, making it more pleasurable. This is precisely why a red wine glass is rounder, and wider to allow more oxygen to come in contact with the wine. This is also why red wine glasses are tall to allow for swirling of wine to get mixed with more oxygen readily. Red wine glasses can be handled by the bowl as the warmth of hand making the wine warmer doesn’t make a big difference to its taste or aroma. Red wine glasses are classified into two categories known as burgundy and Bordeaux glasses. Burgundy glass is broad and is designed to allow the wine to touch the tip of the tongue of the drinker. Bordeaux is a variety that is taller and not as broad as burgundy. Bordeaux glasses are designed to let wine reach the back of the throat immediately to allow for the aroma and flavor to reach the mind instantly.

White Wine Glass

The glasses for white wine are narrower at the top, which means that their mouths are small thus, reducing the area of contact of the wine with the air. This has the effect of lesser oxidation, which is what is desired in the case of white wines. The glass is thinner and the bowl is also small. These glasses are to be held with the stem so as to prevent hand temperature making the wine warmer. One reason why white wine glasses are smaller at the top is to lead the aroma of the wine straight to the nose of the drinker.

In brief:

Red Wine Glass Vs White Wine Glass

• The stem of red wine glass is short, while the mouth of the bowl is large. This is because a person can hold the glass with the bowl as temperature of hand does not make any difference to the aroma and flavor of the wine.

• On the other hand, white wine glass has a smaller and narrower mouth to send the aroma direct to the nose of the drinker

• The stem of white wine glass is longer as the glass is handled with the stem. This is done to avoid heat transfer from hands to wine that alters the aroma and flavor of the wine.


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