Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I am a food and beverage manager and had a debate with another food and beverage manager today regarding wine pours. When utilizing traditional wine glasses—red and white—are you able to pour both red and white wines into the larger red wine glass, or should you be utilizing the white wine glass?
—Kimberly H., Cincinnati
I believe the main reason red wine glasses are traditionally bigger and fuller than glasses meant for whites is that the smaller glasses allow white wine to stay chilled longer. Plus, it signifies options and courses, which can be a nice touch.
At home I use the same type of glass for both red and white wines, and I’ve been out to plenty of places that employ the one-size-fits-all method, which is fine by me, especially if it’s a nice glass. I think most wine lovers would agree that the larger of the two sizes would be preferable if you’re picking only one size.
If I go out and see two different size glasses, I always know that the smaller glass is for the white, and the larger for the red. This also seems to help with wine service, especially at a larger event where there are multiple servers filling and refilling wine glasses. If you decide to stick with two glasses, I wouldn’t recommend messing with this tradition, which would just lead to confusion.
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