Tell me if this sounds familiar: You love a good glass of wine—whether you’re out with your tribe or cooking a family dinner at home. But when people start dropping words like “fine effervescence” and “mineral laden,” you just kinda nod along.

Well, we’ve got the remedy: Sip Charlotte’s new “Wine Whisperer” series with Laura Maniec, co-founder and CEO of Corkbuzz. The wine bar, which originated in New York City, has a Charlotte location in SouthPark, near the Whole Foods, and serves up fine wine and education for everyone from the novice to the aspiring sommelier.

Photos: BlueSky by Cass Bradley

The NYC location was just nominated for a James Beard Award for outstanding wine service, so 36-year-old Maniec—one of only a few dozen female Master Sommeliers in the world—has been busy. But she still took the time to go back to the basics with us. The way way back—everything from what wine glasses you should own to how to (actually) read a wine label, from how to order wine at a restaurant to how to buy top-notch wine at a better price.

For our first installment: These are the only three wine glasses you’ll ever need.

  1. ALL-PURPOSE WHITE-WINE GLASS
    Alternate names: 
    a “Sauvignon Blanc glass” or a “Riesling glass.”
    What they look like: Smaller than a red-wine glass and without a wide mouth.
    Ideal for: All white wines.
    Why this shape? Usually, white wine is more delicate, Maniec says; they don’t need as much space to open up. “White wines don’t need larger glasses to express their nuanced flavors,” she says.
    Ideal serving size: 6 ounces.


2. CABERNET/BOURDEAUX RED-WINE GLASS: What they look like: Similar to the white-wine glass, but a little bigger and deeper.

What they’re good for: wine made from thick-skinned grapes, such as Cabernet and Bourdeaux. You shouldn’t be able to see your fingers through the wine.
Why this shape? The deeper bowl and less tapered nose allows for some of the tannins to open up.
Ideal serving size: 6 ounces.

3. BURGUNDY BOWL 
What they look like: A glass with a tulip shape, a wider mouth.
What they’re good for: Pinot Noir and other thin-skinned grapes. (Translation: You should be able to see your fingers through the wine and glass.)
Why this shape: The mouth is wider, for the nose to smell, says Maniec, which makes aromatic grapes like Pinot Noir more expressive. Thus you can enjoy the softer flavors and delicate aromas more.”
Ideal serving size: 6 ounces. These can hold much more than that, but if you overfill the glasses, you won’t enjoy the smell as much, says Maniec.

Photos: BlueSky by Cass Bradley 

Sip Charlotte is a weekly email newsletter for beer, wine, and cocktail enthusiasts across the region. Click here to subscribe. Have a story idea? Feedback? Connect with editor Caroline Portillo at cportillo@charlotteobserver.com. Cheers!

 

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