CARACTERISTICS OF A TASTING GLASS
The purpose of a tasting glass is to reveal all the qualities of a wine.
- A glass that is designed for tasting must be colorless, so as not to alter or impede the visual characteristics of the wine: its clarity and brightness, the nuances of its colors and its color gradations.
- A full shape that narrows at the rim makes it possible to access and preserve the wines richness, complexities and subtleties that the winemaking process creates and ageing brings forth.
- The body of glass must reserve a sufficient volume of air so that the wine can be revealed: the nose opens at the same time as the wine is aerated.
- The stem, which separates the bowl from the foot, prevents the wine from being heated by the hand and facilitates the swirling action.
The shape of the bowl is closely linked to the type of wine being tasted:
- A chimney shape will allow powerful bouquets rise (red fruits, spiced notes, wood, etc.) while preventing heavier molecules with the less pleasant scents (i.e.: alcohol) from rising.
- A full, balloon-type shape is appropriate for wines having a delicate bouquet that are developed over time (cooked fruits, preserves, scents of wood, mushrooms, gamey notes).
- A body in the shape of pressed-down balloon will be reserved for the wines with light fragrances (floral perfumes, light spices, fresh fruits, herbaceous and mentholated notes).
Respecting the nobility of the blossoming wine, the round curves and opposing lines of a tasting glass work together to awaken and arouse a wine, helping to reveal, amplify and organize the aromas and flavors of young wines.
The glass, when in contact with the mouth, must be so fine as to go almost unnoticed. Thus the wine will directly meet the taste zones of the tongue, providing the maximum perception of flavors and aromas.
Using a Tasting Glass
The glass should be filled no higher than the broadest part of the body, allowing a maximum exposure to the air, causing the aromas to develop and intensify. The broad surface will also allow the optimal opportunity to examination the surface of the wine.
By filling the glass to only one-third of its capacity, space remains for the aromas of the wine – its bouquet – to develop. As the wine begins to evaporate, its various aromatic elements begin to concentrate in this area and taster is able to fully appreciate all the wine has to offer over the course of the tasting.
Please note: before each tasting, purists will rinse each glass with a little wine.