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Why you don’t really need different glasses for red and white wine

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need different wine glasses for different wines. Here’s why.

Sommeliers do a lot of sipping. Who better to chime in on wine glasses than these oenophiles? That’s why we turned to sommelier Victoria James, director of beverage at Cote restaurants and Cote Wine Club, and author of the memoir Wine Girl, for advice on how to select the best wine glasses. Read on for her surprising takeaway and three more top tips.

[Hero Image Credit: Mathilde Langevin/Unsplash]

The colour of the wine in your glass doesn’t matter

wine glasses
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“I think often people are misled by marketing to think they need a ton of different stems,” she says. “The most important thing that shapes a wine is where it is from, so focus on this versus the style or grape.” There are two wine region climates—warm and cold—to consider when purchasing glasses, because climate helps determine a wine’s acidity, alcohol levels, ripeness, and fruitiness, James says.

Cool-climate wine regions include New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, New York, Hungary, Chile, Northern Italy, Austria, Germany, and Northern Greece. “Cool region stems have a smaller bowl and narrower opening to hone in on aromas that are often more delicate and nuanced in these regions,” James says.

Glasses that are best suited for wines produced in warm climates — California, Argentina, Australia, Southern Italy, the Greek Islands, Central and Southern Spain, Southern France, Central and Southern Portugal, and most of South Africa—have deep bowls to help the wine breathe.

Choose glasses that will allow swirling

Look for wine glasses that have bowls big enough to swirl and aerate, “but with a tapered opening so that the aromas don’t just swirl right out of your glass and are lost,” says James.

Pick glasses with thin edges

red wine
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A thicker lip edge is frequently found on cheaper wine glasses and James says that is something to avoid: “The thinness of the glass itself is important as a thin lip allows for maximum wine flow and helps coat your palate.”

Avoid coloured wine glasses

You probably know that pros recommend avoiding coloured glasses. “You want to be able to see your wine!” explains James. “Always opt for clear glass stems!”

This story first appeared on www.marthastewart.com.

© 2021 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Licensed from MarthaStewart.com and published with permission of Meredith Corporation. Reproduction in any manner in any language in whole or in part without prior written permission is prohibited.

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