There are three basic wine glass shapes, designed to bring out the aroma of specific wines. Follow these guidelines to make the right choice.
Step 1: Use Chablis for white Use a Chablis glass, the smallest, for white wine.
Step 2: Use Bordeaux for big reds Use the medium-size Bordeaux glass for full-bodied reds like cabernet and merlot.
Step 3: Use Burgundy for lighter reds Serve light and medium-bodied reds like pinot noir in the largest glass, called a Burgundy glass or balloon glass.
TIP: For a dessert wine, choose a traditional tulip shape.
Step 4: Don't get colorful No matter which shape you use, choose stemware made of clear, colorless, smooth-sided glass; wine experts believe colored and faceted glass interfere with wine appreciation by distorting the wine's true color.
TIP: Crystal glass is best for clarity, but expensive.
Step 5: Go with big bottoms Make sure the bowl of a wine glass is thin, and that it's wider on the bottom to help contain the aroma. The exception is for sparkling wines like champagne, which require a tall, narrow glass to prevent the bubbles from escaping.
Step 6: Look for tall stems Choose a stem long enough to fit your hand; holding the glass by the bowl alters the taste by raising the temperature of the wine.
Step 7: Choose the right rim Choose a "cut" rim, which means it has no lip, rather than a "rolled" one, which widens at the edge. With a cut rim, the wine flows onto the top of your tongue where your taste buds are located, while a rolled one makes it fall down the sides. Cheers!
FACT: The United States and France consume about the same total amount of wine every year, even though France has 240 million less people.