Unless you’re a pirate and plan to drink your wine straight out of the bottle after your fellow swashbuckler has taken a swig, you need glassware.
Which brings us to today’s Wine FAQ…
QUESTION: A friend of mine insists on serving white wine in one type of wine glass (kind of thin, but not as thin as a Champagne flute), and red wine in another type. What’s the purpose of that? Is it really necessary?
ANSWER: Necessary? No. You can drink pretty much any kind of wine in any kind of glass. But if you want to get the most out of a particular wine, the shape of the glass does matter.
Generally speaking, the bowls of glasses used for red wine are larger and wider. This allows one to swirl the wine aggressively, which helps to release all of its aromas and flavors. As another generality, red wines are more complex than whites, and need that exposure to air to fully reveal themselves.
Most wine judges will tell you that you really need only three types of glasses — one for white wines, one for red wines and one for sparkling wines — but the Riedel glass company has developed an entire line of glassware around specific varieties. The line is called Veritas.