Elevate Your Wine Experience with Michael McNeil’s Expert Glassware Suggestions

Smith & Elliott wines
August 14, 2023

Prepare to embark on a journey of elevated wine enjoyment as we explore the expert glassware suggestions of Michael McNeil, Georgia’s only Master Sommelier and Georgia Crown’s Director of Fine Wine. With over 18 years of experience, McNeil has honed his expertise in the art of wine appreciation. We will delve into McNeil’s expert recommendations for wine glass shapes and sizes, uncovering how these suggestions can enhance the flavors and aromas of your favorite wines. Get ready to discover the magic of wine through the lens of McNeil’s insightful glassware suggestions.

Trade: Presenting Wines with Panache

For trade professionals, McNeil emphasizes the importance of having high-quality stemware on hand to present wines in their best light. His suggestions for glassware shape include a wider chimney at the bottom, gradually slanting inwards towards the mouth of the glass. This design allows for optimal tasting and aroma experiences, maximizing the wine’s potential. McNeil also highlights the significance of pouring the right amount of wine into the glass. Filling it over half or near the top can diminish the wine’s aroma. So, trade professionals looking to make a lasting impression should consider McNeil’s suggestions to showcase their wines with panache.

Restaurants: Aesthetics and Essential Shapes

In restaurants, McNeil offers valuable insights into glassware aesthetics and essential shapes that can enhance the wine experience. 

  1. Sparkling Wine Glass: Often underestimated, McNeil recommends an inverted glass shape that brings out the nuanced qualities of great sparkling wines. Take advantage of the opportunity to amplify the magical effervescence of bubbles.
  2.  White Wine Glass: With the exception of very rich, full-bodied whites, McNeil suggests a narrower chimney for white wines. This design accentuates the wine’s freshness, allowing delicate aromas and flavors to shine.
  3. Burgundy Glass: McNeil’s expert advice includes using a versatile Burgundy glass, often referred to as a “fishbowl” or “Burgundy glass” in the trade. Its wide bowl showcases the complexity of robust varietals like Pinot Noir, Syrah, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Reserva wines from Spain, enhancing their flavors.
  4. Cabernet or Bordeaux Glass: For Cabernet family grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Carmenere, McNeil suggests a narrower chimney compared to the Burgundy glass. This shape highlights the bold characteristics of these varietals, delivering a balanced and delightful tasting experience.

By incorporating McNeil’s expert suggestions, restaurants and stores can enhance the visual appeal and flavor profiles of the wines they serve, ensuring a memorable experience for their guests.

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