Different wines go with different glasses and many claim better taste when the right glass is matched with the right wine.
The shape of the glass concentrates the flavor and aroma (or bouquet) of the wine to emphasize the varietal’s characteristic. A common belief is that the shape of the glass directs the wine into the best area of the mouth from the varietals.
There are 4 different wine glasses:
• Flute/Sparking Wine – A sparkling wine glass (Or flute) will be upright and more narrow to retain the carbonation and capture the flavor in the beverage.
• Wine White – A white wine glass bowl will be more U-shaped and upright allowing the aromas to be released while also maintaining a cooler temperature.
• Red Wine – A red wine glass bowl will be fuller and rounder with a larger opening to allow you to dip your nose into the glass to detect aroma.
• Dessert – A dessert wine glass should be smaller to direct the wine to the back of the mouth so the sweetness doesn’t overwhelm. Dessert wines generally have higher alcohol content, making the small glass perfect for a smaller serving.
There are a few specific rules on how wine should be properly served to quests. Besides etiquette, it can also affect the taste of both the wine and the food that is being served.
• Wine should always be served by the host. The host is also required to pour the first few drops of a bottle of wine in his/her, own glass to ensure the wine served to the guests does not taste like cork.
• Ladies should be served first.
• Before your meal begins, serve a sweet wine (Sparkling is a safe bet) to toast and start off the meal.
• It you are serving a course western meal, serve white wine when your fish platter comes out. Serve red wine when beef is served.
• Pour only enough win to fill each glass halfway. It is the host’s responsibility to make sure that each guests’ glass stays.
• Always properly prepare the wine beforehand. This means having the wine at the right temperature, allowing it to breathe, and using the correct glasses for each wine.
• Serve the wine before dinner is served so that guests can taste it. Also leave the bottle of wine on the table so that it can be looked at by your guests.
Still not sure how to pair wine and food? Fret not. Bring your menu to a wine shop where they can help recommend the right wine to complement your dishes.
As there are four wine glasses, buying can be expensive. While there are people who spend RM400 per glass, there is no need to be so exorbitant. A reasonably good one can be bought at RM40. Good wine glasses should not have a thick rim at the mouth; it is a seamless glass piece that is cut off during the making process. Good wine glasses are also fragile so be extra careful when you wash and store them.
Point to note!
When hosting, speak to your quests on their food preferences. Never assume that everyone eats meat or drinks champagne. You will be a happier host when you’re guests eat heartily and hand you back empty plates and glasses.