A large part of enjoying wine lies in savoring its aroma. The wine glass has to gather the wine’s aroma so you can savor it when you drink.
If you use a regular mug and fill it to the brim, all the characteristic vapors of the wine will be gone by the time you start to sip.
But, there’s more to it than just enjoying the wine’s aroma.
First, let’s step back to see how the modern wine glass came to be.
A Brief History of the Wine Glass
The earliest form of wine glasses are believed to be the silver and pottery goblets used by the Romans in the third century.
The wine glass that you know today, with the base, stem, and bowl, originated in the 1400s in Venice, Italy, where some of the best glass makers were centered.
But it was Claus Riedel in the 20th century, who was the first to acknowledge the correlation between the wine’s taste and the wine glass shape. He launched the first series of glasses designed to suit a wine’s character.
Since then, the wine glass has evolved to suit the different shapes and styles to suit the character of different types of wine, and Riedel continues to be a leading glassware brand.
Wine Glasses: Anatomy and Materials Used
How does a wine glass shape influence the drinking experience?
The wine glass shape is not only meant to collect the wine’s aroma but also influences how much wine flows into your mouth. It determines whether the wine moves across the tongue or spreads to the side.
This can actually make the same wine taste quite different indeed!
Parts of a wine glass
The wine glass can be a machine-blown or handmade glass and has these four parts, from bottom to top:
This is the flat base section of the glass that will hold the glass upright on your dining table. A small foot can make the champagne glass imbalanced, and the glass will easily topple on your dining tables. Too large a foot might get stuck under your platters and flatware or tableware.
The stem is the thin, neck section where you usually hold the wine glass or stemware. Holding it there prevents you from heating the wine with your fingers. It also keeps you from smudging the bowl with your fingerprints.