October 17th, 2013Picking the Right Glassware when Entertaining
So you’re having a few guests over for an evening of casual elegance and you want to show them just how well-versed you are on the finer art of entertaining. The house is clean, the kids are safely stowed away for the night and everything looks pretty much perfect. That is, until you realise you’re going to once again end up drinking wine from a teacup and champagne from a shotglass!
It might sound silly, but the right glassware can make such an enormous difference to the overall ambience of any party or gathering, while at the same time demanding only the smallest investment. So if you’re looking to create the right mood and put the most delightful of cherries on top of your hard-earned cake, here’s a look at just a few tips on the right glassware for the occasion:
Whether you’re planning to serve the finest Champagne, the most decided mid-range Prosecco or the cheapest Cava they had down the local shop, never underestimate the value of champagne flutes. Contrary to popular belief, these tall and thin glasses with longer stems aren’t all about form, but also a good deal of function. The shape of the glass is designed to direct the flow of Champagne down the middle portion of your tongue and concentrate the bubble to burst in your mouth for an intense hit of flavour. So for those thinking there’s no harm in drinking sparkling wines out of standard wine glasses for yet another year, it’s time for a rethink.
The best glasses for white wine will the some extent resemble champagne flutes, though are not quite as narrow. The principle however is indeed very similar to that of the flute – the narrow design of the glass makes sure the wine enters the mouth concentrated more toward the centre of the tongue, as opposed to distributing it all throughout the mouth. It’s also important to select a white wine glass with a long and sturdy enough stem, as to hold the glass by the top can quickly lead to the temperature and thus the taste of the wine being adversely affected.
Take a look at the glasses on sale for use with red wine and chances are you won’t know where to start – there are millions of the things! The good news however is you really can’t get it wrong – the basic requirements for a decent red wine glass is a larger opening at the top than either of the two above – the rest really isn’t all that important. The reason for the wider top is to allow the red wine to enter the mouth all over the tongue and release its complex flavours. One of the most popular types of red wine glass is the large ‘balloon’ type glass that’s hugely oversized, allowing the wine to be swirled around the sides in order to release its aromas through aeration.
And as far as beer glasses go, keep the standard pint-pots for the pub and invest in any purpose-made beer glasses designed to maximise the beer’s aroma, hold onto its head and keep its temperature where it should be.
By Lisa Morton