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Choosing Glasses for Your Wine Tasting

What stemware do you use when hosting a wine tasting? Your choices are based upon several factors.

The ideal glasses for your tasting are proper wine glasses for wine. Red wine, white wine, flutes, etc., would be perfect. If you don't have a selection of wine glasses, then an all purpose wine glass will do. This should be large, clear, tapered in shape, and hold about 8-12 ounces.

If your tasting is small, or serious, buy glasses like this, or see if it's possible to borrow or rent stemware. The right type of glass can make all the difference in enjoying wine. If you have a combination of small and large glasses, use the smaller glasses for the white wines. The larger glasses should be used for the reds.

If you are hosting a larger, more relaxed tasting, you may not be able to obtain enough glasses. If the situation demands it, go ahead and buy plastic glasses. This can be either plastic stemware or simple plastic cups. NO STYROFOAM! Neither should you use colored plastic, paper, or cups with a strange flavor. Test the cups first. You don't want your tasting ruined by cups distorting the flavor of the wine. You also want to be able to see the colors of the wines. Don't get too large a cup. Select cups that hold 8-12 ounces.

How many glasses will you need for the tasting? In this you have a few options:

  1. Provide a fresh glass for each guest, for each wine (6 wines x 8 tasters = 48 glasses)
  2. Provide one white wine glass and one red wine glass per guest.
  3. Provide only one glass per guest. Plan how to label the glasses and provide water to rinse between wines.

If you use the second or third method, you need to plan for a bucket into which guests can empty their glasses after rinsing.

Don't let the lack of wine glasses stop you from hosting a wine party. Your guests will be more interested in good company and good wine than the type of glasses you use.

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