Article posted Friday, July 3, 2009 12:00pm

Do you need glasses?

For most wine drinkers, there are no “official” sizes or shapes for wine glasses. Tradition, technology and common sense all tend to dictate what type of wine glasses work best for certain wines. As a rule though, the optimal wine glasses should be made of clear, thin, un-etched glass that allows the drinker to inspect and appreciate the color of the wine. The glasses should have an opening smaller than their bases, allowing the “nose” or “bouquet” to develop, and be deep enough to allow the wine to be swirled without spilling out. Lastly, fine wine glasses typically have a stem, which is used to hold the glass and keeps the temperature of the wine from being affected by body heat.

So, do you need more than one type of wine glass? If you are serious about wine, we recommend having the following glasses in your cupboards:

• Red Wine Glasses:  The two most popular styles of red wine glasses are Bordeaux Glasses and Burgundy Glasses.

• Bordeaux Glasses:  Tall with a broad bowl, it is designed for full-bodied red wines like cabernet sauvignon and merlot, as it directs wine to the back of the mouth.

• Burgundy Glasses: Even broader than the Bordeaux glass, it has a bigger bowl to accumulate aromas of more delicate red wines such as pinot noir. This style of glass directs wine to the tip of the tongue.

• White Wine Glasses:  White wine glasses tend to vary greatly in size and shape. For bigger white wines, like chardonnays, we recommend the Bordeaux style glasses described above, as the wine will benefit from oxidation and open up greatly. For lighter whites, we prefer a smaller glass, with an even smaller opening which limits the amount of oxidation and reduces the surface area exposed to the air, keeping the wine chilled longer.

• Champagne Flutes:  These tall, slender glasses serve a very practical function when it comes to enjoying champagne and sparkling wines. The shape and height of the glass is designed to preserve the carbonation by limiting the wines exposure to the air, keeping the wine sparkling and drinkable longer.

If you think you need glasses, we highly recommend the Reidel brand, many of which are available at local retailers, including Target and Younkers. Their glasses are extremely well made, durable and at around $10 per glass, a great value as well.

Argentinean Wines From Nicolas Catena

With the growing popularity of Argentinean wines, we have presented three fine examples from the Catena family. The Catena family has been producing wines in the area since 1902, revolutionizing malbec winemaking and high altitude viticulture in Mendoza. They have pioneered a quality revolution turning Argentine malbec into the USA’s fastest growing import in the premium category. In 1993 Nicolas Catena introduced Alamos wines, producing chardonnay, malbec and cabernet sauvignon (and now torrontes).

• Alamos Torrontes Mendoza 2007

Appearance:  Bright golden hue

Aroma:  Nose of light floral and citrus notes

Flavors:  Pink grapefruit and orange blossoms with a hint of petrol

Finishing Notes:  Finishes rich and clean with flavors carrying through

Where to Try:  The Mission Grille

Where to Buy:  Main Street Market

• Alamos Malbec Mendoza 2007

Appearance:  Inky dark plum color

Aroma:  Nose of rich black cherry and blueberry

Flavors:  Juicy with fig and dark berry fruit

Finishing Notes:  Turns to a hint of spice on a lingering finish

Where to Try:  The Mission Grille and White Gull Inn

Where to Buy:  Main Street Market, Pick n’ Save and Welsing’s Food

• Catena Malbec Mendoza 2006

Appearance:  Dark purple, almost inky

Aroma:  Nose of spice and berries

Flavors:  Full of coffee, chocolate, raspberry and boysenberry flavors

Finishing Notes:  Long finish full of fruit and mocha/coffee tones

Where to Try:  The Mission Grille

Where To Buy:  Madison Avenue Wine Shop, Main Street Market, Door County Bakery

Wine Wiki: Nose/Aroma

The smell of a wine. The term is generally applied to younger wines, while the term “bouquet” is reserved for bottle-aged wines.

Information about “Where to Try” and “Where to Buy” these selected wines was provided by the local wine purveyors and vendors. If you happen to also serve or sell these wines, email [email protected].

WINE:30 is written by Karl Bradley and Jody Wuollett. Karl is the general manager and self-proclaimed “sous” sommelier for the Mission Grille. Former restaurant executive and Door County native Jody is happily under-employed as a Mission Grille food server and a member of the local band Northbound. They are both long time residents and first time contributors to the Peninsula Pulse.