Choosing the right glass for your wine
A wine glass must meet the requirements of the three phases in tasting: appearance, nose and palate. In other words, the wine glass should enable the taster to see clearly the wine’s colour, allow the wine’s different aromas to be released and reveal all its flavours when tasted in the mouth.
However, depending on the type of wine, its colour and its region, the appropriate glass can be completely different. The many types of wine offered by Bernard Magrez, sourced from vineyards in 9 different countries can only be properly appreciated when tasting them with the right wine glass.
There is no doubt that the wine glass plays an essential role in wine tasting and has an unquestionable influence on our perception of the wine inside it. The choice of glass is therefore crucial. But how do we choose the right one?
Below are a few recommendations:
For whatever type of wine, here are some general tips on choosing a wine glass that will enable you to fully appreciate the wine’s aromas.
• The glass must be thin and transparent so as to see the colour and brightness of the wine more clearly and also to have a better appreciation of its quality. It should have no logos on the glass or opacity. The glass should give centre stage to the wine.
• The volume of the glass should be sufficiently large to enable good oxygenation of the wine and thus help it release all its aromas. This also allows the taster to swirl the wine in the glass more comfortably.
• The ideal shape is a glass with a wide base and a narrower opening so as to capture and concentrate the aromas.
• The stem of the glass should be long enough to allow good grip and to avoid warming the wine with the heat coming from our hands.
• The ideal glass material is crystal, which gives more intense and perfumed aromas than a so-called “standard” glass. It goes without saying that plastic glasses should be avoided at all costs!
Glasses for red wine
For red wines, it is better to use quite large glasses in order to appreciate the wine’s aroma. The shape should be wide at the bottom and slightly narrower at the top. However, the choice of red wine glass will depend on the origin of the wine you wish to taste. In fact, different types of red wine glasses exist:
• The Bordeaux glass. This is tulip-shaped, relatively tall and suited to the tannic red wines that are often found in the Bordeaux region.
• The Burgundy glass. This is more rounded in shape, like a ball (this glass is called a “ballon” in French). It is wider and narrows towards the top which enhances the aromatics of the Pinot Noir wines of Burgundy.
• The standard-shape glass. This is close to the tulip-shaped glass (the Bordeaux glass), but is generally larger with more volume.
Glasses for white wine
For white wines, we tend to opt for smaller and less wide glasses than for red wines. They are also narrower at the top. Unlike red wine, which needs to breathe more in the glass, we actually look to concentrate the aromas of white wine with a narrower opening. This shape also enables us to maintain the cool temperature of the wine, always lower for white wine.
The Graves classification
Just like the Saint-Émilion classification, the Graves classification was set up by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine at the request of the Graves appellation’s defence union just two years before that of Saint-Emilion, in 1953.
This classification has undergone no modifications (except in 1959), and contains separate classifications for red wines and white wines. It consists of a total of 16 châteaux, which are all classified with the same rank: Grand Cru Classé de Graves. There is no distinguishing categories of classifications therefore, like in the 1855 Médoc classification or that of Saint-Emilion. Our Château Pape Clément, of course, is one of these classified châteaux.
Some châteaux are classified for both their red wines and white wines.
All the châteaux are found in the same appellation zone (AOP), i.e. Pessac-Léognan.