What Type Of Glass To Serve Fortified Wine In

Choosing the right type of glass to serve fortified wine in is an important decision. Depending on the type of drink you’re serving, it can either bring out or dull its flavors and aromas.

Serving fortified wines such as port, sherry, vermouth and Madeira requires specific glasses that will enhance their complex flavor profiles.

In this article we’ll explain what types of glasses are best suited for different varieties of fortified wines so you can make sure your guests get the most out of every sip!

Port Glass

Port wine is a fortified wine made from grapes grown in the Douro region of Portugal. This type of wine has an intense flavor and aroma that can be enhanced by serving it in a port glass.

A typical port glass typically has a large bowl with a shorter stem, designed to help concentrate the aromas and flavors into the nose while drinking. The wide mouth also allows for more oxygen to enter the glass which helps bring out the sweet notes of this unique beverage. By having such a design, it encourages sipping, instead of gulping down too quickly as one would do with other wines.

With its ample capacity, you can enjoy your favorite port without worrying about running out.

Transitioning smoothly into the next section, let’s explore what makes sherries so special and how they should be served differently than ports.

Sherry Glass

When it comes to sherry, there’s a specific type of glass that’s best to use. The sherry glass has a unique shape and an interesting history.

It’s typically small and tulip-shaped, with a larger bowl and a narrow neck.

It’s an important part of sherry culture, so let’s take a closer look at the different types and why they exist.

Types Of Sherry Glass

When it comes to sherry glasses, there are a few types available. The most popular is the ‘Copita,’ which has been used for centuries in Spain and Portugal to serve sherry. It’s round with a short stem – perfect for holding your libation of choice!

Another popular glass is the Fino Glass, also known as the Sherry Schooner. This stemmed glass offers more room than the Copita and its shape creates an air pocket that allows oxygen to reach the wine and enhance its aromas and flavors.

Lastly, there’s the Balloon Glass – or Brandy Snifter – which tapers inward at the top. It’s great for aerating fortified wines like port or brandy but should be avoided when serving sherry because it focuses too much on aroma rather than taste.

So no matter what type of sherry you prefer, there’s sure to be a glass out there that suits your needs!

History Of Sherry Glass

Sherry glasses have been around for centuries and the history of their designs is fascinating.

The Copita has always been popular, since it was first used to serve sherry in Spain and Portugal. It’s round with a short stem, making it perfect for holding your favorite beverage.

Then there’s the Fino Glass, also known as the Sherry Schooner – this stemmed glass gives you more room than the Copita and its shape allows oxygen to reach the wine and enhance its flavors and aromas.

Lastly, there’s the Balloon Glass which should be avoided when serving sherry because it focuses on aroma rather than taste.

So whatever type of sherry you prefer, there are plenty of options to choose from!

Vermouth Glass

For fortified wines, the glassware can make all the difference in the drinking experience. Take vermouth as an example; this aromatic aperitif is best served over ice or with a splash of soda and garnished with a twist of orange peel to bring out its flavor profile.

For serving this drink, it’s important that you use the right type of glass: one specifically designed for vermouth. The traditional go-to for vermouth is a round bowl shape made from crystal clear glass, often referred to as a martini glass or coupe.

This type of vessel will help preserve the aromas and flavors, while keeping your hand away from chilling down your beverage too much like when using other types of glasses such as tumblers. The wide bowl also allows plenty of room for ice cubes if desired without having to worry about spilling over any liquid.

Furthermore, these glasses are attractive enough to be used at dinner parties and special occasions where presentation matters just as much as taste. With their sleek design, they instantly add sophistication and elegance to any table setting – perfect for impressing guests!

They’re also easy to clean since no hard-to-reach corners exist inside the bowl so that even after multiple uses there won’t be any lingering residues which could affect the taste. All in all, vermouth glasses are ideal for anyone who enjoys sipping on this particular style of wine.

From here we turn our attention towards another popular fortified wine – Madeira – and what type of glass would work best when enjoying it.

Madeira Glass

Whereas Vermouth is usually served in a stem glass, Madeira glasses have more of an old-fashioned feel. These glasses are typically small and tulip shaped, with engravings or etchings along the sides. This makes for an elegant presentation that can easily transition from casual to formal occasions.

The round base of a Madeira glass helps direct aromas up towards your nose as you sip. This allows one to experience the complex flavors typical of fortified wines like Madeira and Marsala. The wide lip provides space for swirling, which further releases bouquets of aroma while tasting.

Madeira glasses also come in various sizes depending on how much wine you wish to serve at once. Whether it’s a whole bottle or just a taste, there’s sure to be a size available that suits your needs perfectly.

From relaxed evenings spent entertaining friends to important dinners where first impressions count, choose a Madeira glass for its classic beauty and function.

Moving on from these two styles of glassware, other fortified wines such as Port, Sherry and Tawny require their own specific vessels for optimal flavor delivery.

Other Fortified Wines

Fortified wines are among the most diverse of wine categories, and provide an excellent opportunity to expand one’s palate.

Many people assume that a fortified wine can only be served in a stemmed glass, but this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, there is no single type of glassware that should always be used for all types of fortified wine.

For example, sherry or Madeira can both be enjoyed from smaller glasses such as tumblers, while port and other sweet fortified wines may benefit from larger bowl-shaped glasses with longer stems.

The size and shape of the glass chosen does have a few implications on how you will enjoy your drink. Smaller glasses allow more concentrated aromas to develop due to their low surface area-to-volume ratio; meanwhile, larger bowls give more room for swirling which helps aerate the beverage and release its flavors. Additionally, stemware provides insulation between your hand and the liquid so it won’t warm too quickly when held at room temperature—but short tumblers will also work just fine if you don’t mind drinking wine slightly warmer than intended by the winemaker.

No matter what kind of vessel you choose, remember that enjoying any type of fortified wine is about finding what works best for you! So experiment with different varieties and sizes until you discover something that suits your personal preferences perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Temperature To Serve Fortified Wine?

Serving fortified wine at the best temperature can be likened to playing a game of chess. Just like in a chess game, where making the wrong move can spell disaster for your strategy and ultimately result in defeat, serving fortified wine too cold or too warm can ruin its taste.

Serving it just right is essential – not too hot, but also not too cold. The perfect temperature depends on the type of fortified wine being served; however, as a general rule of thumb it should never exceed 18°C (64°F).

By following this advice you’ll ensure that everyone enjoys their glass of fortified wine!

How Should Fortified Wine Be Stored?

Fortified wine should be stored upright in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

It will keep best when the temperature is between 55°F and 60°F, as warmer temperatures can cause oxidation to occur which affects the flavor of the wine.

The bottle’s cork should also be checked periodically to make sure it remains moist; if it dries out completely, air may enter the bottle and spoil the contents.

Is There A Difference Between Serving Fortified Wine In A Glass Versus A Decanter?

From a wine connoisseur’s perspective, there is no better way to enjoy fortified wines than by serving them in the right glass or decanter. Allusion brings to mind an image of swirling and twirling glasses, enhancing the experience as these wonderful wines are savored with friends.

Yet, while both have their merits, it’s clear that there is a difference between pouring fortified wine into a glass versus a decanter. The former provides more control over how much flavor you get out of each sip, whereas the latter helps aerate and open up the flavors for everyone at once.

In short, which one you choose can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying your drink!

Are There Any Health Benefits Associated With Drinking Fortified Wine?

Drinking fortified wine may have a few health benefits associated with it.

Studies have shown that moderate consumption of fortified wines can help reduce the risk for heart disease, thanks to the presence of antioxidants like resveratrol.

Additionally, drinking small amounts of fortified wine can also help lower cholesterol and improve overall cardiovascular health.

Though more research is needed on this topic, there are some potential positive effects from consuming these types of alcoholic beverages in moderation.

Is It Appropriate To Serve Fortified Wine With Food?

A glass of fortified wine is like the icing on the cake when it comes to pairing with food.

As the old adage goes, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, and this holds especially true when enjoying a meal with a bottle of fortified wine.

Fortified wines such as Sherry, Port and Madeira can add something special to any dish by complementing their flavor profiles while also cleansing your palate between courses.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or sharing an intimate night in with someone special, serving these delicious drinks alongside your meals will surely help elevate any dining experience!


As with any type of alcohol, fortified wine has its own unique characteristics and should be served in a way that will bring out the best flavor.

While there isn’t one definitive answer to what type of glass is best for serving fortified wines, it’s important to consider temperature, storage, potential health benefits and food pairings when deciding how to serve this special spirit.

Ultimately, choosing the right glass can make all the difference between just another sip – or raising a toast to an extraordinary experience.

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