The 10 Best Red Wine Glasses
10. Svalka Series by Ikea
9. Luigi Bormioli Prestige
8. Riedel Veritas Old World
7. Eisch Superior All Purpose
6. Libbey Stemless
5. Riedel O Cabernet
4. Schott Zwiesel Tritan
3. Riedel Vinum Series
2. Littala Essence
1. Waterford Lismore Nouveau
Red Wine: The Timeless Classic
Human beings have been making and enjoying wine since the stone age. Or the New Stone Age era, to be specific, better known as the neolithic period by scholars and archeologists. There is hard evidence of wine production dating back to the middle of the sixth millennium BCE, though it is entirely possible wine was being produced as many as eight thousand years ago or longer.
Wine has long played a pivotal role in human society, forming a centerpiece of religious rites ranging from the ancient bacchanalia to the Christian practice of commune still common today. Wine has long been and remains one of the most popular beverages for enjoying with food and friends, both in celebration or during everyday life. Historically, the alcohol present in wine made it generally safer to drink than potentially contaminated water.
Of the major types of wine, including blush, sparkling, rose, and the like, there are truly two broad categories into which almost every bottle produced will fall: white wine, or red wine. And traditionally, popular though white wines are, red wine is the beloved choice of the dedicated wine drinker.
One could spend a year tasting different red wines and not come near to sampling every winery's distinct layers of flavor -- indeed there are well over 8,000 wineries in North America alone -- but getting to know the major grapes used to make red wine requires a bit less time. The most commonly used red wine grapes are, in order alphabetical, not by popularity or volume harvested for wine making, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Zinfandel.
In some parts of the globe, a bottle of wine is defined by its grape or blend thereof. This is true in American wine, where California produces wines using both the Pinot Noir and Cabernet grapes that are celebrated the world over. In other places, the region defines the bottle of wine. One Bordeaux or Chianti (from regions of France and Italy, respectively) may differ from another in terms of grapes used in its creation, but both will be similar in character.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to red wine. The wine you most enjoy is the best wine in the world, as far as you should be concerned. Just make sure to treat any good wine with respect. That means proper storage, proper aeration, and the right wine glass used to serve and enjoy it.
Choosing The Best Red Wine Glass
Red wines are traditionally served at room temperature, or for a few select varieties, chilled slightly below that range. And traditionally, the wine goblet has been the preferred method of serving red wine. The goblet, consisting of the bowl, the stem, and the foot, is an ideal vehicle for red wines, as it allows the drinker to keep his or her hand off the stem, therefore reducing the transfer of warmth from a person's hand, and also allowing one to enjoy a clear view of their wine.
Red wine glasses usually have wide openings that allow plenty of air to come into contact with the liquid's surface. Air -- specifically the oxygen in the air -- helps to "open up" a red wine, releasing its full bouquet of scents and allowing its flavor profile to bloom. Some wines that benefit the most from this process of aeration are Bordeauxs and Cabernets, and thus you will often see them served in larger wine glasses.
While the stem of a red wine goblet has long been considered the ideal place to hold the glass, in recent years stemless wine glasses have become more and more popular. The fact is, if you set your glass down when not taking sips, you won't transfer any noticeable amount of warmth to your wine, thus minimizing the need for a stemmed glass.
Stemless glasses are inherently more stable thanks to their low center of gravity, thus making them great for use on a boat, a serving tray, or around kids. These glasses also have elegant simplicity to their appearance that endears them to many wine lovers.
If you are going to be orchestrating a wine tasting complete with a renowned sommelier, you might want to stick with traditional goblets purpose built for the wines to be enjoyed. For the rest of us, go ahead and choose a wine glass you think looks great and simply enjoy.
Proper Enjoyment Of A Great Red Wine
To best enjoy a glass of red wine, either go to a great restaurant or wine bar, or else get ready to do some research. First know the few red wines that are considered at their best when served slightly chilled. These include French Beaujolais wines and many types of Red Zinfandels.
Next, read up on the proper aeration time for the wine you're going to serve. Some bottles can be opened and sipped at once, while other should be given hours to breathe. This process can be sped up by using a good decanter and/or a wine aerator, which is a device through which wine is poured that helps to aerate and open the liquid.
And finally, choose a glass that will allow the wine to perform its best, and never overfill the glass: the more surface area a glass of red wine has, the better.
And always remember to store your wine bottles, red, white, and Champagne included, on their sides. This allows liquid to keep the cork moist, preventing it from drying out and potentially allowing air in. Long exposure to air is one of wine's greatest enemies, slowly but steadily ruining the flavor and quality of the wine.