Hey, I'm Mike!
New York, New York
When it comes to using appropriate wine glasses for different types of wine, casual drinkers would usually grab any and use it. They don't really mind the relevance of wine glass designs when it comes to drinking. Even more amusing is that there are a lot of people today who would even use tumblers for drinking fine wine. This crude approach to wine drinking may not seem like a big deal; the problem is that it doesn't optimize the experience of drinking wine especially if it is expensive. Essentially they are paying extra for something that they won't be benefiting from.
Admittedly, it's not easy to learn the function of every wine glass design in existence overnight. But there are several guidelines that can provide an understanding on which wine glass is best to be used for the type of wine to be consumed. Knowing this helpful information is good enough to provide basic knowledge and thus not having to compromise the wine drinking experience entirely.
In general, there are two main types of wine glasses that a person should be aware of. One is the champagne flute and the other is the tulip wine glass. The former type of wine glass is identifiable by its tall and thin bowl. The purpose of this is to minimize the contact of wine to air so as not to quickly dissipate the fizz of champagne and other fizzy drinks. On top of that, the tall shape of this glass makes it look great when bubbles cling to the sides and slowly move up. Although not many people stop and check it out before drinking, it's a good thing to have for the benefit of presentation.
The second type of wine glass, the tulip, is meant for red and white wine. Red and white wine, as opposed to champagne, requires maximal oxidation to bring out the best in them. Red and white wine contains tannins that should ideally be softened up so that the wine tastes better. The tulip is designed for this very purpose as its middle part, where the right level of wine should be when poured, is the widest part of the glass. This provides a larger surface area where wine would be exposed to air. In addition to that function, the tulip also prevents the aroma from escaping quickly. This is because of the gradual taper of the wine glass towards the rim.
There are also a lot of different deviations of red wine glasses from this basic design of the tulip. One of these noticeable differences is their rims. Some are flared instead of just continually tapering to its smallest circumference. There are lots of designs however that are simply aesthetic and have no function in terms of improving wine’s quality. Some manufacturers go out of their way and create red wine glasses with intricately designed stems. Generally, this is just going to add to the total cost of the set. Not to mention that plain wine glass stems ultimately provide the best grip.