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Changing Forms UNCHANGING TASTES

Using the correct glass allows us to fully appreciate a meal. We experience drinking with all of our senses, responding to far more than merely taste.

A wine glass is therefore designed to bring out the best of its contents.

A number of different components are needed to make the perfect wine glass; one of them is the stem. This is because temperature has a huge affect on the flavour of wine. Wine should be kept at the correct temperature according to its specific characteristics. If not, its flavour will diminish, the wine possibly deteriorating. This is why a wine glass has a stem. When we hold a glass by the stem, we prevent the bowl of the glass heating up through the warmth of our hand.

Yet another feature that makes a perfect glass is the density of the crystal. Though it may seem surprising, thin glass transmits less temperature to the liquid than thick glass. Thus, we are able to enjoy our drink at the right temperature for longer.

The shape of the upper section of the glass varies according to the type of wine to be drunk. Every wine has its own personality, therefore glasses are carefully designed in order to direct the wine to the optimum areas of the mouth. White wine glasses usually taper towards the top and are smaller than other wine glasses. White wine is also served cooler than red wine and must be consumed quickly to prevent warming. Because of this, it is often served in smaller glasses. The reason for the narrow mouth is to keep the aromatic flavours in the glass for as long as possible.

The red wine glass is wider. The reason for this is to allow the wine to be swirled gently without spilling. When the wine is swirled, lines, which are called ‘tears', occur around the glass itself (an effect the French call ‘Larme'). Thick and bold lines reveal a high alcohol content, while thinner and weak lines suggests a low alcohol content. Swirling also allows the wine to become oxygenated, releasing its full aroma.

These are the basic types of red wine glasses:

The first, Bordeaux glasses, are for moderate wines with high tannin and acidity. Targeting the wine towards the centre of tongue balances out the fruit, tannins and acids. These glasses are suitable for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Boğazkere, Öküzgözü-Boğazkere and Bordeaux wines.

The second is the Bourgogne type glass, for wine with high acidity and moderate tannin. By directing the wine to the tip of the tongue, the glass helps emphasise the fruity bouquet, while balancing the acid. These glasses are used for Pinot Noir, Kalecik Karası, Narince.

To sum up: wine is not simply wine. The essence of the flavour may not change, but the shape of a glass can improve and bring out its nuances.