Wine snobs can be a pain in the glass. Don’t go there. For starters, what you may think is wineglass wisdom may not be.
Myth one: Sparkling wine must be consumed from a flute.
This myth dies hard because there are positive benefits of a flute, but facilitating your taste experience is not one of them. Because they are narrow, flutes work against full appreciation of sparkling wine, especially aroma.
What flutes do exceptionally well is announce this is a party and you are sipping sparkling, no small thing. Additionally, quite often you sip sparkling while standing and moving around. Flutes spill less, require smaller pours, display rising bubbles well, and make cool toasting vessels—again, no small things.
To fully appreciate sparkling’s color, nose, and flavor, however, enjoy it in a sparkling tulip glass or the same glass you enjoy white wine.
Myth two: You need a special glass for each wine type.
Wineglass makers lust for you to buy into this. Thus, they conjure glasses with microscopic nuances that may fractionally improve appreciation, but you must be very high on the super-palate list to notice. Are you?
Dirty secret: many wine professionals use same glass for everything, or have one glass for red, one for white, and a flute for show.
Myth three: Stemless wineglasses are climax of cool.
No. Stems play two vital roles in wine appreciation. First, they keep fingerprints off the bowl so you can appreciate color and clarity. Second, they keep warming palms from the bowl so wine will stay at its right temperature. This reflects the recommended way to hold a stemmed wineglass: by the stem or by the foot (base).
Now, if you like stemless and/or you hold your wineglass by cupping it in your palm, you are not a bad person and you do not have to change, but give the alternatives a try. In any event, the key is to enjoy life, wine, and good friends—even if you drink wine from a repurposed jelly jar.
Last round: It is the Ides of March and so windy when I walked to the gym I was blown into a wine bar, where I hunkered down the next two hours for safety. That’s my story. I’m sticking to it.