Why do wine glasses have a special shape?
Parts of a Wine Glass
There are dozens of types of glasses, from tall cups to short highball glasses to hardy beer steins to squat mugs. A wine glass is different from most other types of drinking utensils, and its design is particularly suited for drinking wine specifically. The wine glass is made up of three components: the base, stem, and the bowl. Below is a brief explanation of each part and why it is necessary to the wine drinking experience.
Wine Glass Base
The wine glass base is the round, flat piece at the bottom. This supports the bowl and keeps it upright. The thickness of the base has a direct bearing on the weight of the wine glass. Some people prefer drinking from a heavy glass while others enjoy a wine glass that feels lighter than air.
Wine Glass Stem
The wine glass stem is the part that connects the base to the bowl. People hold the stem to keep their fingerprints from smudging the wine bowl or affecting the temperature of the wine inside. Some wine glasses, however, are stemless.
Wine Glass Bowl
The wine glass bowl is the portion where the wine is poured and sipped from. The bowl design has many different variations depending on the type of wine being served.
Why Wine Glasses Are Shaped Differently
Wine glasses are shaped differently because some wines require more of the aroma to be delivered to the person's palate and nose. When more aroma is required, the person uses a glass with a wider bowl. Some wines, however, are better sipped from from tall flute-like glasses. Listed below are the types of wine glasses that are best used for particular types of wines.
Main differences: drinking by the stem vs drinking by the bowl.
Red Wine Glasses
Red wine glasses have a wide, round bowl to release the aroma of the wine. This type of wine glass is meant to be held by the bowl instead of the stem
White Wine Glass
White wine glasses have a tapered (=thinner) bowl with a narrow rim to keep the wine from being exposed to oxygen. This type of glass is meant to be held by the stem so the person's hand does not affect the wine's temperature.