So, you've come to realize that your home is in one of the premier wine regions in the country. You begin to make the rounds to the various wineries, engage in wine tasting and develop a cultured palate for the stuff. Over time you begin building a wine collection and consider yourself somewhat knowledgeable on the topic. Family and friends turn to you when it comes time to select a wine for a particularly well thought out meal or event. You have become the very image of refinement and sophistication. You ascend from the depths of your wine cellar with a choice bottle of merlot, selected for its unusually productive and climatically sound year, and the fact that it has been aged in French oak to lend the myriad of peppery flavors to accent the meal. Uncorking the bottle, you smile with a confident satisfaction. You turn to the credenza and bring over a silver tray filled with glasses. Not just any glasses, but mugs adorned with the logos of your favorite National Hockey League teams. Oh, the horror. Your guests have been insulted and leave in utter disgust. Your wife faints with a mournful groan and a dramatic flourish of her arm and the dog relieves himself in your favorite slippers. You have revealed yourself as an uncultured heathen; a veritable barbarian.
Could this tragedy have been avoided? Sure it could. Had you taken but a few moments and learned of the virtuous nature of the well-developed wine glass, this ugly matter might never have happened. Fortunately for you, we will start your wine glass education here and now, before it's too late. Before you begin an irreversible, irretrievable journey into the dark depths of what we now know is a disease. A disease called Vitis Vinifera Ignoramus. It's too awful to even contemplate.
First, we will have a look at prices. Since you are still in the infantile stages of wine glass appreciation, you should start with a more inexpensive glass, since breaking them is common. In that vein of thought, you should also be mindful to purchase a higher number than those you intend for immediate use or entertaining. Also, if you consider a home-based wine-tasting event, perhaps with other members of your Hells Angels chapter, you might want to have enough glasses to provide several for each participant. The experience of comparing wines with regard to color and bouquet will surely bring delight to your friends as they reflect back on the moment, roaring down the road on their Harley hogs.
Next, we will consider the exterior of the glass. While it is nice to have the friendly face of Magilla Gorilla looking back at you while sipping a precocious Beaujolais, it is best to have nothing at all imprinted on the glass. Part of the experience of sampling a wine is peering through the glass, like a lusty peeping Tom, to better ascertain its rich colors.
The rim of the glass should be thin and not overly large. Inhibiting the flow of wine is bad. Very bad. Also, a large rounded rim induces an annoying dribble that trickles down the side of your glass, ultimately dripping onto your freshly pressed leather butt-less chaps. Not to mention how no one likes to appear more like a drooling monkey than is absolutely necessary, unless of course it is for the benefit of your mother-in-law.
From here, we shall examine the stem. The stem should be long enough to allow for a firm grip without jeopardizing the stability of the freestanding glass. One must be discouraged from holding a glass of wine by the bowl, as it is likely to warm the wine. The stem can be simple or ornate, depending on the stylistic preference of the owner. A pistol grip is particularly handsome.
Contrary to consoling comments from some wives, size is important. A wine glass that is too small leaves the wine drinker with an awkward feeling. One should be invited by the sense of abundance awaiting in the glass. But not so abundant as to create chandelier swinging events or the old lampshade on the head routine. Not that people won't find that entertaining.
That said, let us press onward. The final consideration with regard to the elegance of a wine glass is how to properly fill it. One should pour to the halfway point to allow the bouquet room to flourish. You will need room to swirl the wine in the glass to determine the amount of sugar present, a process not to be confused with the swirly, which so aptly set your hairstyle in college.
You are now qualified to select the proper wine glass for your drinking pleasure. We hope you have found benefit in this brief tutorial, and we leave you with a few words of wisdom. In response to wealthy socialite Bessy Braddock stating, "Mr. Churchill, you are drunk!", Winston Churchill uttered these fitting words, "And you, Lady Astor, are ugly. As for my condition, it will pass by morning. You, however, will still be ugly." His wisdom knew no bounds.
by Bill Abbott