Every wine has its proper glass, but we have all seen it – mismatched, decorative glasses adorning restaurant tables and shabby chic living room dinners. Different shapes, depths and heights. Take the flute glass for example, an elongated goblet used for bottle-fermented wines and champagnes to help that oh-so-persistent perlage we all know and love. The balloon glass instead is rounded and wide, made specifically to help oxygenate aged red, structured wines. Wine lovers usually have a cupboard full of different types of glasses, one for each wine and occasion. From whites to sweet passito wine and of course, glasses for red and bubbly wines. But this is the easiest collection to have – it requires plenty of space and quite a hefty cost as well. The price of a well-crafted wine glass is not always a small cost, especially if you’re getting a standard set of 6 glasses. So, what to do if you want a glass for every wine? You look for a universal wine glass.
According to Jules Chauvet, an esteemed French oenologist of the Beaujolais area in the 1950s, dedicated his studies to creating the “perfect” glass which would be capable of enhancing the color of wine, highlighting the aromas and showcasing the consistency of the wine. Chauvet’s theory to create the glass is based on the assumption that the relationship between the amount of wine in the glass and its contact with air is directly linked to the development of aromas and olfactory scents. This means that the wine in the glass should not exceed 50 ml in order to create a perfect hemisphere that is concentrated in the “belly” of the glass, or rather its center. This glass then gets narrower in order to adequately concentrate the flavors and aromas of the wine it contains. The quantity of wine present in a glass shaped similar to an elongated egg, creates the perfect relationship between volume of liquid and quantity of air, which perfectly aids in smelling the aromas of the wine. The dimensions were codified for the first time in the 70s by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), indicating very precise measurements and ratios.
There are a few regulations. The ISO tasting glass must be crystalline, colorless, and must have a volume of between 210 and 225 ml. The diameter at the opening must be 46 mm and the diameter of the other end, the “belly” of the glass, that is to say the “belly” must be equal to 65 mm. The overall height of the glass from the foot to the opening diameter must be 155 mm, and the stem must not exceed 9 mm. The glass must be completely colorless, without any decoration so the visual aspect of any wine can easily be perceived. It goes without saying that even with a universal glass, the basic rules of tasting are valid. Keep your hand on the glass stem or the foot of the glass and not on the top where the liquid is contained, so as not to compromise the temperature of the wine. Be very careful when it comes to the cleanliness of the glass, cleaning any unwanted odor with hot water. And there you have it! A lot more space in your cupboard.