Glassware tips for holiday entertaining

This holiday season you're likely to present your guests with some wine and possibly a glass or two of bubbly.  Whether serving red wine, white wine, or champagne, you don't need to be a wine snob to understand the importance of selecting the right type of glass.

Award winning authors Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen are experts on wines from around the world and have traveled the globe educating others on wine etiquette, wine pairing and grape varietals.

They give us their tips on how to pick the right glass and why it matters.  With these simple rules, you'll always know you can serve with confidence:


When it comes to sparkling wine, prosecco and champagne, you should always use a flute. A flute is typically on a longer stem and has a tall and narrow shape. This is meant to concentrate the liquid down the center of your tongue and accentuate the bubbles. For perfect bubbles on a budget, DeSimone and Jennsen suggest a sparkling from Chile, Undurraga Brut, which retails for under $15.


An appropriate white wine glass should be a bit wider than a flute, yet narrower than a red wine glass. White wine typically will not be as high in tannins as red, so there is no need for the glass to disperse the liquid as widely throughout your mouth- it too, concentrates the liquid more towards the center of your tongue. A great go-to white is a low-oak chardonnay, such as Tamaya from the Limari Valley in Chile, which is also a perfect accompaniment for lighter fare or dishes with a creamy sauce (retail $14).


As a newcomer to the art of proper glassware, you can focus on one main tip when it comes to choosing a red wine glass (since there are many varieties). If it has a larger opening at the rim of the glass, and is typically rounder and fuller in size and shape, it will work perfectly. The idea is for the glass to disperse the red wine across your entire tongue. Red wines are much richer and full of tannins; a larger balloon glass will enable you to swirl the wine to aerate it and release the bouquet of aromas it is meant to display. Chilean reds can be rich and full of flavor, and the Santa Rita 120 is a hearty cabernet which pairs nicely with grilled meats (retail $11).

And while you might know a thing or two about which grape to pick, did you know wine also makes a great cocktail mixer? Here are two recipes DeSimone and Jenssen say can shake things up.

Santiago Sparkler

*Add 2-3 teaspoons (to taste) of blueberry puree to the bottom of a wine glass (you can be creative with glassware and go with a champagne flute or large wine glass) and top with sparkling wine. Share this easy and festive cocktail as guests arrive, or for a treat after a meal.

Pisco Sour

2 slices pineapple, diced

10 basil leaves

1/2 ounce simple syrup

Crushed ice

2 ounces Chilean Pisco

1 ounce ginger ale

Put the pineapple and basil in a highball glass. Add Simple syrup and stir/muddle gently. Add ice, then Pisco, and top with ginger ale.