Anatomy of a Wine Glass: Bowl

In Module 1:  White Wine and Module 2:  Red Wine, we discussed the 6 S’s of wine tasting.  Without the bowl of the wine glass, experiencing the 6 S’s would be impossible. Bowls come in all shapes and sizes from narrow ones to nearly round ones. Colored wine glasses can look amazing in a table setting, but limit the ability to gain any insight into the wine from its color.  Clear glasses tell great stories from the color of the wine, the “legs” of the wine when you swirl it, the smell of the wine as it escapes the bowl and on and on and on…  We are personal fans of black glasses for blind wine tastings, but rest assured that will NOT be a part of passing this course!

As you can see from the diagram above, white wine glasses tend to have smaller bowls than those of red wines.  They are also narrower at the widest point in the bowl.  As white wine does not have tannins and is typically lighter in aroma and flavor, it does not need significant exposure to air to allow their best qualities to shine.  Dainty wine, dainty glass! 

From Module 3:  Red Wine, we covered four varietals all with varying levels of tannin in their typical style.  We also have covered the 2nd S in the 6 S’s – swirl – and know it helps the wine’s aroma and flavor open up. The swirling process allows oxygen and the wine to come into contact which releases all the goodness the wine maker has put into the wine.  All this is made possible with a big, broad wine glass bowl.  The more air, the more open the wine can become.