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The magic of the wine glass
Published by: Hugo Mechelse
Published on: 12-02-2017 7:59 AM
Pageviews: 1429

How else can we enjoy a good wine than in a suitable glass. Most people make a classic combination here; the big glass for the red wine, the small one for white and the flute for the champagne. But there is much more to it than just these three options. It is always a joy to have an open mind and experience new thoughts and developments.

When tasting a wine we have to realise what the distinctive elements are that define how we taste the wine. Generally speaking it is smell, temperature and mouth experience. For every single wine either of these elements stands out, in any combination. The rule of thumb as mentioned above has mainly to do with the first two elements. For a red wine releases his distinctive smell at a higher temperature, the one we serve it on, and we want to capture this smell in a big round glass. White wines release less smell, but temperature is more important to enjoy it to the most, hence the smaller glasses. And for the sparkling wines we want to capture the bubbles, possible in a flute shaped glass, with a lesser surface of the wine.

Royal Leerdam takes all this a step forward, without being too specific of a single glass belonging to a single wine. This last option is what some wineries do as well, an option I would certainly consider when a very good wine is at stake. But you might end up with as many glasses as you have wines in your cellar.

 

So what does Royal Leerdam do. They have selected five glasses for you to enjoy the smell and taste of wines to the most.  

The first one brings out the best for grape variants like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Verdejo, Trebbiano and Gamay. It’s a tapered ‘Light & Fresh’ wineglass, resembling the shape of a flower bud to encapsulate the liveliness and aromas of the wine. The fine rim finish has a nice feel to the mouth and it makes one appreciate the subtlety of the wine even more.

The second one, the ‘Fruity & Smooth’ wineglass has a sleek design; the body is slightly wider at the bottom to allow oxygen to release the fruity flavours of the wine like a blossoming flower. The shape is tapered and also here you will find the fine rim finish. They recommend wine from the following grapes as most suitable: unoaked Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Viognier,Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Merlot.

Grapes like Oaked Chardonnay, Oaked Viognier, Shiraz, Tempranillo and Malbec, can have an intense scent and a robust taste. For the wines to release the scent and for you to enjoy the taste to the most they designed the large ‘Round & Mature’ wineglass with its round elegant shape and wide opening.

The largest glass, the ‘Powerful & Spicy’ wineglass helps oxygen to soften bitter notes and unearth the fruity and herbal flavours of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Garnache/Grenache and Carmenere grapes.

Now the last one might come as a surprise as it is against a basic rule of preserving the bubbles in the wine. The flute has been replaced by an ‘opened up’ ‘Sparkling’ wineglass. The open, round shape allows for a deeper appreciation of the sparkling wine’s nuances than the traditional flute. And believe it or not, the wine explodes even better in your mouth because of its unique shape.

What this proves is that so often we get stuck in conventions that are overtaken by time. Remember that in the past we could not combine red wine and fish, because of the metallic taste it generated. But with more fish being farmed and wine production processes being evolved, surprising new combinations are possible.

And it is a simple trick to find out the best glass to serve a wine in. Make a small selection of about three glasses that might be the best options and just start tasting. With every glass you will notice that different aspects are highlighted by your nose and the taste buds in your mouth. It really does make a difference how much your nose is able to pick up and at what point the wine is touching what taste buds. That is also why sometimes you find the outward rounded openings of glasses.

Not only is this fun to do but it certainly enhances the enjoyment of a wines you have so carefully selected for your wine cellar.  

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