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Wine Glasses For All Occasions

What a fabulous assortment and variety of glasses are available for you to enjoy your fine wine and other adult beverages. (Do I have to issue the standard protective government required warning about pregnancy and heavy machinery?) The choices are marvelous and cover the field from jelly glasses to fine crystal.

The recognized (or at least accepted) leader in the arena of fine stemware is Riedel Crystal (REE-dill) and they have more than 100 different types and styles of glasses from which to choose. They design each style of glass to deliver the maximum benefits of the wine's flavor, bouquet, fruit, tannins, alcohol, body and even acidity. While drinking wine from a coffee cup may not prevent you from enjoying the wine, utilization of the proper glass will certainly enhance your pleasure.

I have listed, in the pictures below, a very narrow selection of styles that should accommodate most wines we consume in our daily routines. Please understand that the glasses listed may be used for similar varietals. The Bordeaux glass may be used for other full-bodied reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo, The Burgundy glass is excellent for Gamay, Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo. The Chianti glass will compliment Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barolo. The Chardonnay glass may be used for most white wines and the White Burgundy glass is perfect for Chablis, Montrachet and other fully oaked Chardonnay's.

Wine is expensive. A gallon of milk costs less than $3 and will provide sixteen 8 oz. servings. About 20 cents each. A 2-liter bottle of soda will supply about eight 8 oz. servings at 20 cents each. A 12 oz. serving of beer costs about 70 cents each. Wine however, will provide five 5 oz. servings per bottle. The price of a simple table wine will range between $6 per bottle and about $20 per bottle. That makes the price of wine $1 to $4 per serving. That wine is OK to drink out of a jelly glass or a coffee cup. However, if you can afford and from time to time, do enjoy the finer, aged and more complex structured wines that even at the entry level,  will cost you from $20 to $60, or more than $10 per 5 oz. serving. At $2 or more per ounce, it is imperative that you utilize a container specifically designed to enhance your enjoyment of the wine.

Try this at home the next time you decant a fine wine. Pour a small amount into an ordinary drinking glass and a similar amount into your favorite wine glass. Pay very close attention while you sniff, slurp, swish and swallow. The wine will taste different from each glass. The wine glass may not, but should, improve the nose and the flavor and thus your appreciation of the wine. Take this experiment to the next level and you will appreciate the specific design of the specific glass for the specific varietal. If this little experiment induces you to visit your local department store and purchase some additional fine stemware, then you are strolling down the path that leads to the early stages of wine snobbery.

Should you not have the space to store, or the desire to own, a large collection of various specific stemware, but would like to have a very nice glass with which to savor your wine, consider the 14 oz. Chianti glass. This glass will enhance your enjoyment of both red and white varietals and will not occupy your entire kitchen cupboard or break your budget. Notice the similarity between the glass design for a red Chianti and a white Chardonnay. Personally, I use a 22 oz. Bordeaux glass with about a 5 oz. serving.

Please purchase crystal stemware and not ordinary glass. Crystal really does make the wine taste better.

Here are 11 glasses out of over 100 to consider.

Red Wines
Bordeaux 20 oz Wine Glass
Bordeaux 20 Oz
Burgundy 18oz Wine Glass
Burgundy 18 Oz
Chianti 14oz Wine Glass
Chianti 14 Oz
White Wines
Chardonnay 14 Oz
Chardonnay 14 Oz
White Burgundy 14 Oz Wine Glass
White Burgundy 14 Oz
Champaign Flute 8 Oz
Champagne Flute 8 Oz

Port 8 Oz
Martini 5 Oz Glass
Martini 5 Oz
Grappa / Liqueuor  3 Oz Glass
Grappa/Liqueur 3 Oz
Brandy Snifter 30 Oz
Brandy Snifter 30 Oz
Cognac Glass 6 Oz
Cognac 6 Oz

Cleaning and Handling: Immediately after using your favorite wine glass, you should wash, dry and store it. If, like me, you do not particularly care to handle your delicate crystal glasses after consuming more than one serving, then thoroughly rinse the wine residue out of the glass and clean it in the morning when your motor functions are more stable or at least more predictable. The sensible rule for not drinking and driving can also be applied to handling your fine crystal. In the morning, while holding your glass by the bowl, not the stem, wash it in warm water with a very mild hand or dish detergent using a soft cloth or sponge and then warm rinse thoroughly. Dry immediately, right now, instantly, like a shot, with a clean, lint free soft cloth and your streak free, spot free, sparkling glass will be ready for your next use.

 Please remember.  Your wine glasses are not made of safety glass. Crystal is very hard and delicate and when it breaks it splits into large pieces with razor sharp edges. If you scrub or dry too vigorously, the glass could break apart in your hands and cause considerable damage to your palms or fingers.

 Riedel says you can place the inverted glass on a towel and let it drip dry. No matter how soft your water is, you can't. Trust me.

 Caution: Never, never wash your fine crystal (or cut glass) in the dishwasher. The harsh powder detergent will sand blast your glass and will ruin the polish of the surface. Also, the heat of a dishwasher is too intense.

 An added note. If your glass is already clouded or spots etched into the surface, this can usually be corrected, or at least diminished, by using a high acidic solution such as white vinegar or lemon juice. Fill the glass with a solution varying from 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water, up to pure vinegar, depending upon the degree of damage to the glass. Let the solution work in the glass for several hours, or overnight, and then gently wash, rinse and dry thoroughly. If the outside of the glass is damaged, you may have to submerge the entire glass in the acidic solution or try wrapping the outside of the glass in a paper or cloth towel and then soaking the towel with the solution several times over several hours or until you are satisfied with the appearance.

I have seen several recipes for cleaning glasses with a salt or sugar in water solution and then swirling the glass until the salt or sugar scrubs the glass clean. PLEASE DO NOT DO THAT! That scrubbing action will remove the spots and the clouding but it will also remove the polish on your fine crystal.

For more information on wine glasses, please follow this link: http://www.riedel.com/

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