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Is there a big difference between red wine glasses and white wine glasses?

We're an established restaurant that's expanding our wine offering, and I'm not sure whether there's such a thing as generic wine glasses or if we need to stock up on both red and white wine glasses.


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Kinnek Knowledge Team

There is a big difference between wine glasses, depending on the variety (and not simply because of the red-white difference).  According to some enthusiasts, the shape of a wine glass can significantly influence the taste and aroma of the wine.  

Glasses with a wide bowl and a narrow opening better accumulate smells, so they are best used with more delicate wines to enhance the aroma of the wine.  The height of a glass is also an important consideration.  Depending on the height of a glass, the wine will be directed either to the tip, front-center, or back of the tongue, enhancing the wine's sweetness or giving it a fuller texture.

There is no general recommendation that we can give on wine glasses for red and white wine.  The aroma, complexity of flavor, strength of flavor, harshness, etc. of a wine will affect what sort of wine glass you choose to serve it in.  You should consider the varieties of wines that you will be serving and choose the wine glasses accordingly.  For example, even among reds, a Pinot Noir and a Merlot demand different glasses.  A Pinot is best suited by a Burgundy glass, whereas a Merlot (or Cabernet) is best suited by a Bordeaux glass.  

Apr 13, 2014

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