Merlot wine glasses and cabernet wine glasses are often one and the same.
About Merlot Wine Glasses
Wine glasses are designed for specific types of wine because the shape of the glasses accentuate the flavors and aromas of the type of wine for which they are made. Merlot wine glasses can also be used for Cabernet and Bordeaux.
Merlot glasses (and most all red wine glasses for that matter) have the following design features:
Large Bowl Design
Glasses designed for red wines such as Merlot, Bordeaux and Cabernet have a large bowl design so the wine gets increased exposure to air. When wine is exposed to air, chemical reactions begin to occur, specifically oxidation. Of course, you don't want your wine to become oxidized on a large scale, that's when it turns and the wine goes bad. Large bowls on wine glasses allow the wine to oxidize on a small scale, which is a good thing.When oxygen mixes with wine, it releases more complex flavor and aromatic nuances. This allows the wine to "open up" and the tannins to relax a little bit.
Slightly Tapered Lip
The lip of Merlot glasses is slightly tapered at the top. This concentrates the aromas and allows you to pick up all the different scents of the wine's bouquet.Here's an interesting tidbit about the importance of a tapered lip for Merlot and other red wine glasses. Certain aromas have a certain weight or density. A tapered lip allows the aromas to layer themselves, one on top of the other in the glass. The tapered lip at the top of the glass captures those layers. Here's how the bouquet of the wine is layered within the glass:
- Flowers and fruit - These aromas are the least dense and rise to the top of the Merlot glass with the tapered lip holding them in.
- Earth and minerals - Earthy, herbaceous and mineral notes (think, flinty or steely) settle in the middle of the glass. These notes are held in place by the floral and fruity aromas.
- Alcohol and wood - Woody and alcohol aromas are the heaviest and sit right on top of the wine itself.
Merlot glasses without a tapered lip speed up the evaporation of the bouquet and by the time your nose hits the glass, you won't smell a thing but the alcohol in the wine.
Finding Merlot Wine Glasses
Here is a list of places where you can find sets of Merlot glasses:
- Riedel - This consummate wine glass manufacturer offers a number of different wine glasses designed specifically for Merlot.
- Amazon - Be sure to check out the selection of stemless Merlot glasses on Amazon. Plus, they have some of the best prices on the Web for Riedel and other high end wine glasses.
- Wine.com - This wine store specializes in wine glasses made by both Riedel and Eisch. Take a look at Eisch's Vino Nobile starter series. It is a set of four different glasses for reds, whites, Ports and Champagne. This set is perfect for someone just beginning to build their wine glass collection.
Once you have the proper glass (and you will taste and smell a noticeable difference), you have to be sure to properly serve the wine. Here are some tips:
- Temperature - If you serve warm Merlot, all you will taste is the alcohol. Be sure to chill your Merlot to between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 to 18 degrees Celsius.
- Amount - You want to be able to swirl the Merlot in the glass to further release its bouquet, so you need to have adequate space in the glass. Pour the wine until the glass is a little less than half full. For a very oversized glass you may want to only fill the glass to one-third of its capacity.
The point to drinking wine is to enjoy it. Don't feel as though you need to spend hundreds of dollars on the perfect wine glass for Merlot. Just take a look around and find a set of glasses that have a larger bowl and a tapered lip.