Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Visual Image Of Wine, Glasses & Pours!!

Oh Waiter…You Call This A Glass of Wine!

I never know where the ideas for my blog may come from. Sometimes I even think of them myself, but often they come from a friend or reader. Which brings me to today’s musings! My sister-in-law Gwen came up for the Fort Worth Rodeo. Gwen goes on our yearly wine trips and has a pretty good understanding of wine and taste. Well in most things…she is married to Joe “Pinky” Koch.

On the Friday before the rodeo, and after way too much wine, I started describing my “excellent” blog on wine glasses. But before I got very far Gwen started talking about how the size of your glass really helps determine if you feel the restaurant really poured you a “proper” glass of wine.

At first I thought Gwen really had been over served at our house, especially since she started pulling out different sized glasses to prove her point. And she almost lost me when she started using a measuring cup to prove what a normal pour looks like in different sized glasses.

However as I watched her very “scientific” experiment I realized she was right. And in fact I have been caught in this mental trap myself.

You see most restaurants and bars pour a 5 ounce glass of wine. Now some do try the 4 ounce glass so stay away from those places. And some will pour 6 ounces which is great unless they really up the price. But trust me on this; most just pour a standard 5 once glass of wine. That allows them to get 5 glasses out of a bottle, which is great for them since the bottle is probably paid for after the first or second glass.

Now this is where the glass size comes into play.

At the Mexican restaurant by the family ranch, they always fill the glass to the top. Now the glass is small but hey they fill it to the top. Now it’s a 5 ounce glass mind you, so I’m still only getting a normal pour, but from a mental image standpoint it looks like I’m getting more wine.

Now the regular size for most everyday wine glasses is 10 ounces, so a 5 ounce pour still looks like you’re getting a half glass of wine. And at a nice restaurant that’s what you expect… a fair pour for your money.

But here’s the problem, more and more upscale restaurants and wine bars are using larger more impressive wine glasses.

So if they have a 18, 20 or 24 ounce glass, your 5 ounce pour gets lost. Worse yet it visually looks like they didn’t give you a glass of wine. It doesn’t matter that it’s the same amount of wine and the larger glasses allow you to swirl your wine more. It just looks like they shorted you on their pour, and I have to admit I’ve caught myself thinking just that.  

Now the solution is really simple and many of those upscale places are now serving their wine in 5 ounce carafes

The waiter brings the carafe to your table and pours your wine. You get the mental picture of the wine being close to the top of the carafe and once poured into your large impressive glass you realize the pour is correct. How simple, because it’s all visual, which allows your metal image to adjust. Now why didn’t I think of that!    

So Gwen in the end you proved your point and this blogs for you!!


  You can now follow The Neighborhood Wine Porch Party on Facebook where this blog appears weekly as well as listings for wine events, recipes and additional wine information. While on the page, please take the time to “Like” it and share it with your friends.

You can also follow the blog and my comments about wine on Twitter @winegonewild. 

Also please add your comments below & take the time to “join our blog” on the top right hand side of this page.

You don’t have to live in Munger Place to join the blog or like us on facebook.                                 


  1. Finally! Someone explains it better than I have. I have been saying this for a couple years, yet it falls on deaf ears. Thanks for validating my arguments.

  2. Stemless glasses have become popular because they are easier to store if you have limited space, are dishwasher-friendly and less prone to breakage without the fragile stems.

  3. Wow thanks for this. I was wondering if any one would know where I can get personalized wine glasses? If you know where I can get some please let me know.Thanks for any help.

  4. Most all wine glasses will have a base, a stem, and a bowl. Today, there is one exception - the new stemless wineglass that has become popular. The base, obviously, allows your glass to stand upright.The stem allows you to hold your wine glass without the heat from your hands warming your wine, and without creating smudges on the bowl which will distract from the visual enjoyment of your wine.