THE RIGHT GLASS
Our viticulturists painstakingly care for every aspect of the vines throughout the growing season in order to produce grapes that reflect their distinctive environment and aspects of the climate in which they are grown. Our winemakers take those grapes and toil away, often for years, to transform them into quality wines that speak of their terroir.
Since so much attention is taken by so many people to create wines of great balance and elegance, with intricate layers of texture and flavour, we want to serve the wine in glasses that allow us to best experience and to share all that beauty just as the viticulturists and winemakers had intended.
Our choice of glassware goes a long way toward allowing our wines to truly express their individual complexities; “an instrument to convey a wine’s message”, as the famed glass manufacturer George Riedel so eloquently explains.
So what makes a glass sing the praises of the wine it holds? The answer, in reality, is different for each and every wine style. When talking glassware, one size definitely does not fit all. And how could it when the crisp, tropical fruit notes of our fresh, light Chenin Blanc are so very different to the deep dark berries, spice, fine tannins and long finish of our Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot? The choice of glass therefore depends on the particular array of aromas and flavours in each wine, its body, its intensity, and its finish.
Lighter, fruit-driven wines tend to jump out of the glass with aromatic intensity, so even smaller wine glasses are generally able to convey their freshness and vibrancy. Full bodied cellaring-style wines instead have often been aged for years, either in barrel or the bottle, so they need time to in the glass to express their unique and often complex layers. This is when the larger glasses come into play, offering ample volume for the wine to breathe and open.
While size is important, the shape of the glass plays just as much of a role as its volume. Try tasting a sparkling wine from a big Cabernet glass and you’ll start to understand! The beauty of a great sparkling wine is its finesse and elegance – light citrus notes, soft creaminess and the autolysis (brioche, bakery) notes from years of bottle age on the wine’s lees. In a wide rimmed, voluminous Cabernet glass, all those delicate notes will be lost, what’s more, you’d be hard pressed to even notice the fine stream of bubbles developed over years of meticulous care in the winery. In a tall, slender flûte, instead, all of those notes show through, indeed, they are concentrated by a smaller opening making the whole drinking experience much more pleasurable.
For most wines, a tulip-shaped glass will be the best solution; allowing aromas to be circulated at the bottom of the glass and concentrating them as they travel to the top. The tulip shape also makes it easier to swirl the wine in the glass, releasing further aromas without getting it all over your nice new white shirt!
Written by Claire Tonon, Voyager Estate Sommelier