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Wine information > Types of wine glasses
Types of wine glasses
Glasses are an even more important matter, affecting more directly the savour of the wine. Of course, fashions change and are wont to be arbitrary. The present fashion which looks askance at coloured glasses (except on the shelves of a cabinet), is eminently sane, and
should be maintained. Obviously the wine's the thing, and, if there is nothing the matter with it, white glass is its best setting. Coloured glasses have been used to disguise the fliers or sus-
pended particles in certain white wines. But this is not sufficient excuse, and the discreet host will set his face against them. Wine is not drunk with the completest appreciation by any one who does not understand the part the eye plays in the full enjoyment of it.
Then there is shape and size of glass. No doubt your scientist will assert that neither size nor shape, neither material nor colour of a
vessel, can affect the tasting of the wine. Well, there are plenty of subtleties in wine which are beyond the reach of scientific analysis. This matter of the vessel is one of them. Drink any
good wine from a thick, white teacup and see
what a difference it makes.. The ideal wineglass,
whether lighter or heavier, should be smooth-
But I cannot do better than illustrate and describe the types of glasses, recommended by various specialists on different wines, whom
I have consulted on the matter.
For Champagne the best glass (see below) is not one with the saucer-shaped bowl, because that lets off the carbonic acid gas in the wine too quickly and it goes flat. The ideal is a tulip-shaped glass with a deep star cut at the bottom of the bowl. This sets up a steady stream of bubbles which makes the wine look its best while keeping it lively longer than the shallow-bowled glass.
The shape suggested for the ideal glass (see below) for Clarets, Burgundies, and white wines gives the colour its best showing, and the inward curve of the lip of the generous bowl concentrates
My Port expert says, for the drinking of Port Wine the shape of the glass is not so important as that it should be large and clear. Connoisseurs love to drink old Port out of old glass, and a fine Port seems to show its ruby colour and to give out a more exquisite bouquet from a fine old cut glass.
This authority evidently appreciates the esthetic factor in wine-savouring. The Sherry expert recommends a thin long
glass only half-filled (see above)
My Brandy expert says,' Old Liqueur Brandy cannot be properly tasted from a small glass holding only the quantity to be consumed.'
In general, the idea is that the glass (see above) should not be too small, but large enough to give the bouquet a chance; and not filled to the top. There is no need to go to the lengths, depths, and breadths of the largest `ballon' used sometimes for old Brandy.
There is something slightly ridiculous, perhaps, in the sight of a
teaspoonful of this liquid, however precious and generous, being solemnly swished round in a glass of the capacity of a pint. But it is important that the glass be large (at least one-third of a pint capacity), and that it should be narrower at the top. The glass should also be warmed by the hand, or even warmed at the fire as they do at La Reserve in Beaulieu. In fact, a good deal of trouble is worth while to get at the full savour of this King of Liqueurs.
For the general run of liqueurs which, however pretty and pleasant, are not to be compared with fine Champagne, one may allow complete liberty of choice as to shape and colour of the glass.
Beautiful glass of fine clear-ringing quality well repays its cost as an embellishment of the hospitable table. Cheap dull glass does not give those exquisite points of high light which are more beautiful than anything reflected from the precious metals.
Fine glass should be* finely washed in hot water, then rinsed in cold, and polished with a soft, but not fluffy, glass-cloth.
Decanters should never be washed inside with sodas and soaps, patent or otherwise. They can be cleaned by shaking small shot about in them.