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Wine Stemware
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Wine glasses are designed to enhance the flavor of the wine. They help you enjoy the aroma or �nose� of the wine, a main component of the wine experience.

Whether or not you consider the glass half empty or half full may depend as much on the vessel as what's in it. Ever since the middle ages when an anonymous German craftsman invented the chalice, glasses have played a significant role in enhancing the wine drinking experience.

Most wine experts agree that purchasing quality stemware is important. The best glasses for drinking wine are made from crystal. Beyond the material, size, proportion, shape, and color all come into play in the selection of stemware. First, consider the type of wine you're serving. Use very small wine glasses for serving dessert wines, medium to small for white wines, medium to large for red, and fluted or tulip-shaped glasses for bubbly wines. A well-chosen array of sizes, shapes, and styles is ideal, but in a pinch, an all-purpose red wine glass can be used to serve several wine varieties.

The bowl should be large enough to allow room to swirl the wine when filled one-third to half its capacity, while still providing a liberal serving. When you pick up the stem, the bowl should not feel top-heavy. If it is, you may have to face more than your fair share of spills. A bowl that tapers inward at the top will prevent the spilling of wine as its swirled. The stem should be long enough that your hand does not have to come too close to the bowl, as your body temperature and even the scent of your handsoap can adversely affect the wine.

While today's glassware comes in a variety of beautiful colors and etchings, keep in mind that such features can make it impossible to view the hue and clarity of the wine, thus serving to distract from the sensory experience of the wine tasting. Also, the thinner the glass the better for viewing and tasting - distortions from thick glass tends to ruin the view, while the thickness of the glass can overpower the taste. Finally, picture how the stemware will look on your table. Make sure the proportions and style are compatible with the plates, silver, and water glasses in your place settings.

Whatever your preference in wine, rest assured there is just the right glassware to suit your needs, and express your own unique style.

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