Cape Wine Master, Elsie Pells answers your glassware questions

Glassware Questions

Welcome to Glen & Friends!

Glen Carlou’s Instagram stories now feature a little wine education and a whole lot of myth-busting. Having reached out to a wide scope of subject matter experts to answer those questions you always wanted to ask, but were too shy or simply never got round to.

Send your questions over to Glen at [email protected]m or follow on Facebook and Instagram– tag #askglen -then watch and discover.

Let’s introduce you to Elsie Pells, pictured below in beautiful Prague. She spends her time between South Africa (sourcing wines) and the Czech Republic (selling wines).

As an international wine judge on numerous judging panels spanning across Europe, the United Kingdom and South Africa, Elsie (a Cape Wine Master) knows a thing or two about wine glasses. The company in which she is a partner is Glen Carlou’s agent in the Czech Republic, and one of the many reasons we asked for her glassware insights.

House of Wines, based in Prague, is a premium wine distribution company and as a natural complement to enjoying quality wine, they sell impressive crystal glassware. We are delighted to call her friend.

Glassware Q&A:

Esmarie asked: How to hold a wine glass?

Preferably by the stem – there are a few logical reasons for this. The stem not only lends elegance and presence to the glass, but it also helps rotate the wine effectively to enable a quick sniff to say hello. If you hold the bowl of the glass, your body temperature will warm the wine and will result in unsightly finger marks all over it.

Andre asked: Where do wine glasses go on the table?

Formally, always to the right side of the setting, starting with the water glass above the knife. The red wine slightly above to the right and then the white wine glass. If sparkling wine is served that flute or coupe is placed after the white. If dessert wine is served it is better to bring these to the table when serving the wine, as dessert wines are best served well chilled.

Melisa asked: What is the average size of a glass of wine

A good average size wine glass is between 340ml and 450ml – always choose bigger rather than smaller to leave room for the aromas to gather. Sparkling wine is normally served in smaller glasses to keep cool – about 180ml in size. White wine is best served in glasses of around 340ml for the same reason. Red wine needs more room to catch its breath so use a larger glass for these. Always pour only 1/3 to ½ full, never to the brim!

Gabby, Mariska and Craig asked: What wine glass for which wine

For informal gatherings and everyday enjoyment, one larger glass of about 425ml will do for both white and red wine. Tulip shape is the best and rather go too big than too small!

For more formal dinners it makes sense to have a Sparkling Wine glass suggested size from 180ml and White Wine suggested around 340ml. For most Red Wines aim for a glass of 425ml and up.

If possible serve heavier wood matured reds and blends in a glass of around 620ml in size, the larger volume gives the wine more room to open up and release its alluring aroma.

Charles would like to know: How many glasses out of a bottle of wine?

It depends on the size of your glass and the level of your thirst! Normally between 4 x 187,5ml or 5 x150ml glasses from a 750ml bottle. Occasionally, you come across 750ml glasses and those are perfect for one glass per bottle!

Randall would like to know: Do plastic wine glasses affect the taste of wine?

Odourless plastic will not affect the taste, and these are easy to use in summer-time around pools and the beach. Also in their favour is that these are safer than glass outdoors, so a good idea. Although there is a particular enjoyment to be had when sipping a fine wine from a thin crystal glass.

The best wine and the best glass will always be the one you have in your hand!

Until we wine again,

Elsie (and Glen)

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