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Wine Glasses

Building a collection of wine glasses is the next step after starting a wine collection. Getting just the right glass for a wine is a bit of a science and personal preference, but you can start with these basic types:

  • small rounded glasses the size of a medium onion for most white wines and ports
  • small bowl about the size of an orange for most reds like cabernet and merlot
  • large globe, like a grapefruit, for deep, full reds like pinot noir
  • tulip for Champagne and sparkling wines

Always buy clear, uncut or ornamented glass. Colored bowls or stems alter or may even hide the true color of the wine. Decorative glass may also distort the appearance of the wine by shading or highlighting the liquid as the light passes through the uneven glass.

As for material, there are several choices that depend on the occasion:

  • Acrylic glasses are extremely durable and are the ideal choice for backpacking out to a beautiful location in the great outdoors, lunch on the boat, or just serving on the backyard patio. With acrylic glasses, you don't have to worry about breaking or scratching them.
  • Ordinary glass works well every day and may be run through the dishwasher for quick cleanup.
  • Fine crystal is glass with a tiny bit of lead added to improve strength and, surprisingly, clarity. Crystal glasses will make your wine look its best, but comes with a corresponding price. Machine blown glasses are less than (and often indistinguishable from) hand blown.

Avoid the inexpensive plastic glasses used at office parties, even if they come in the shape of real wine glasses. They tend to impart an odor that will change the character of your wine.



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