Tulip-shaped or inward-curving glasses allow you to swirl, tilt and get at the bouquet effectively, improving your ability to appreciate the wine. In order to do this, fill your glass to no more than one-third full. The extent to which a wine releases its aromas depends on the shape of the glass.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dry before sweet, white before red, light before heavy, lesser before finer, young before old. This gives your tastebuds a chance to get used to the increasing strength or complexity.
Decanting is usually used as a means of removing sediment from a mature wine. It can also be very effective in softening a firm, young red wine. The younger and tougher the wine, the earlier you should decant. It is the pouring action, bringing the wine into contact with the air, that softens the wines. For mature wines, decant later rather than sooner. Exposure to air accelerates the wine’s development. You can always swirl it around in your glass to bring it out.
Simply drawing the cork and leaving the bottle to stand for an hour or two before drinking it – ‘allowing the wine to breathe’ – does virtually nothing towards aerating the wine.
By allowing wine to mix and mingle with air, the wine will typically warm up and the wine’s aromas will open up, the flavour profile will soften and mellow out a bit and the overall flavour characteristics should improve.