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Nathan Bailey
6 September 2018 | Nathan Bailey

Glassware Made Clear


It’s a given that sparkling wine is best served in a flute-shaped glass. But what about red and white wine? Aficionados believe that in order to enhance a wine’s characteristics, it should be enjoyed in a glass specifically designed for that variety. What’s for certain is that a glass’s size and shape can alter the way a wine is presented – simply pour the same wine into two differently shaped glasses to experience the distinction. At Brown Hill, we believe that if you’ve invested in a bottle of handcrafted wine, it’s worth enhancing the experience by enjoying it in a well-designed glass.

White Wine Glasses

White wines with big flavours, such as Chardonnay, are best served in a glass with a large, short bowl, providing a larger surface area for the wine’s exposure to air. This encourages alcohol evaporation and, therefore, the wine’s aromas are released and texture enhanced. Lighter white wines, such as young Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, are best enjoyed in a glass with a smaller, narrower bowl to preserve and amplify the chill of the wine, its delicate perfume and its flavour concentration.


Typically, red wines are best served in glasses with bowls that are larger than white wine glasses. Why? The properties in red wine demand more air exposure to reach their full potential. The Bordeaux style of glass is broad and tall with a straight profile – this glass is best for full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The width of the bowl promotes the movement of air, the height of the glass limits the release of alcohol fumes and the shape directs the wine to reach the back of the mouth where flavours are best appreciated in wines of this weight. The Burgundy style of glass is broader in the bowl (let’s call it pear shaped) and often boasts a more extreme contour at the top, tapering inwards for better accumulation of aromas and flavours in aromatic, delicate wines such as Pinot Noir, Gamay and Tempranillo. The style of glass directs the wine to the tip of the tongue where flavours are best appreciated in wines of this weight.


A straight-sided Bordeaux glass will enhance big reds and dry whites. A fishbowl-shaped Burgundy glass will enhance delicate reds and big-flavoured whites. And always hold the glass by its stem, not the bowl, to prevent the wine’s temperature being affected by the warmth of your hands.



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