An Introduction to Pinot Noir Glasses

  • Pinot noir is one of the world’s top grapes. 
  • It makes wines that are light to medium-bodied and very complex.
  • Because of its complex aromatics and lighter body, it needs a lot of space to breathe.
  • Pinot noir has its own style of wine glass which highlights its aromatics.
  • These glasses are also perfect for other styles of wines such as gamay. 

To get the most out of your delicious pinot noir, consider enjoying it out of a special pinot noir glass. To learn more about these beautiful and functional wine glasses, how they work, and the renowned grape they’re made for, continue reading below. 

All About Pinot Noir Glasses

Pinot noir glasses are also known as burgundy glasses after the home of pinot noir in France. Their design developed over centuries into a glass that’s made for pinot noir’s complex aromas. 

What Makes Pinot Noir Glasses Different

Pinot noir glasses have a wide base that gently tapers inward towards the nose. This design is there to let the aromas of pinot noir open up inside the glass. 

The tapered rim condenses these complex aromas right in front of your nose. When you taste pinot from a pinot noir glass, you’re sensing all these expressive aromas right where your nose meets the opening of the glass. 

For wine tasters, these special glasses are crucial for getting all the information they can about the wine. Without them, many of the wine’s attributes will be hidden. 

Another aspect of many pinot noir glasses are their ultra thin rims. These thin rims help the tasting experience by letting the wine move undisturbed into your mouth when you take the first delicious sip.

Versatility in a Glass

If you pour your favorite pinot noir into a regular wine glass and in a pinot noir glass and taste them side by side, the difference will amaze you. You’ll pick up on aromas from the pinot noir glass that you wouldn’t from a standard wine glass. 

This is why sommeliers and wine experts insist on these styles of glasses when drinking a high-quality pinot noir. Without them, the wine’s incredible bouquet of aromas would be wasted. 

However, pinot noir glasses are not just for pinot noirs. You can enjoy Rhone-style blends, nebbiolo, and gamays like beaujolais in these incredibly versatile glasses. 

All About Pinot Noir

When many wine experts think about terroir, they often think about pinot noir. Terroir is the French term for the influences of a vineyard’s climate, soil, winemaking traditions, and terrain. 

Pinot Noir’s homeland of Burgundy is where the term terroir developed in winemaking. In the same town, winemakers use the same grape—pinot noir—to make the same style of wine. 

Because each plot has slightly different soil types, a subtly different climate, and a different winemaker, each wine will come out differently. This is the pure expression of terroir and few other grapes express it more than pinot noir. 

Pinot noir is a sensitive grape but one of the most planted around the world. You can find pinots in California, Chile, Michigan, South Africa, and all over Europe. 

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When winemakers grow pinot noir in cold climates such as western Oregon or coastal Chile, the wines are lighter bodied. In warm climates such as inland California and Australia, pinot noir comes out with a higher body and plenty of fruit aromas. 

Some of the most expensive bottles of wine ever sold have been made from pinot noir. Because of the grapes’ high acidity, wine collectors can age the finest pinots for decades. 

If you can get your hands on a special aged pinot noir from Burgundy, Santa Barbara, Oregon, or New Zealand, grab your pinot noir glass and enjoy. These wines can be life-changing experiences that will turn a casual wine drinker into a passionate oenophile. 

How to Taste Wine with Your Pinot Noir Glasses

Begin by choosing your favorite pinot noir glass and bottle of pinot noir. First, consider decanting your wine for 30 minutes before tasting. This will help your wine open up and should improve your wine drinking experience. 

Set up a nice, smell-free environment. Make sure nobody is wearing any perfumes or fragrances. This way, you’ll be able to pick up on even the most subtle notes of your wine. 

sommelier fills out a form describing taste of a red wine in a glass

Pour a Small Amount into Your Glass

Pour around two ounces of pinot noir in your glass. This should be the perfect amount to release enough aromas for a tasting. 

Look at Your Pinot Noir

Hold your wine against a white background or your hand to assess its color. Tilt it at a 45-degree angle and look at its hue and intensity. 

Take a First Sniff

Before swirling your glass, take a deep sniff to pick up the wine’s first round of aromas. Look for any fruity notes or any undesirable scents that may mean the wine is spoiled. 

Take a First Sip

Without swirling, take your first sip and swish it around your mouth. Take in any sourness, sweetness, or chalkiness from the tannins. 

Swirl Your Wine

Hold your pinot noir glass by its long stem and gently swirl the wine. Continue to move your wine in a circular pattern to get as much air moving through your wine as possible. 

Take Your Second Sniff

After swirling, deeply inhale your wine’s aromas once more, noting any subtle changes. Take a note of any secondary or tertiary bouquets that evolve from the glass. 

Take Another Sniff and Repeat

Take another taste, swirl it around your mouth, and repeat. Keep a notepad or notes on your phone for all the complex aromas and flavors you pick up. 

This is the thrill of wine tasting. Each wine and each vintage is different and your experiences are endless.

Why Pinot Noir Glasses Matter

Having the right glass for your wine is crucial for appreciating all the unique aromas each wine has. With pinot noir, few grapes are as expressive, delicate, and delicious. 

Pinot noir drinkers can detect secondary and tertiary aromas like forest floor and foraged wild mushrooms in their wines. Primary aromas like red fruits, cherries, and raspberries can come alive in a good pinot noir glass. 

a person pouring red wine in a glass with yellow grapes in the background

If you want to experience a wine-tasting adventure that few wines can offer, grab a great pinot noir and your pinot noir glass. Pour a little in your glass, swirl, take a deep whiff, and taste. You’ll immediately notice your wine develop in the glass and release something new after every swirl. 

Pinot noir glasses are excellent gifts for any wine lover. They are also perfect for many other types of wines from full-bodied whites, like oaked chardonnay, to light-bodied reds like gamay. 

Whatever level you are in wine appreciation, consider adding pinot noir glasses to your wine-drinking collection. They will be one of the most used and appreciated glasses and improve your journey into wine.