Question about proper stems to use for Grenache, Amarone, Syrah...

You are working in a house that has three different wine stems:  Bordeaux, Burgundy, and an all purpose of some sort...  Which stem do you choose for Grenache, which for Amarone, and which for Syrah?  If you are split on one of these (like you would put new world Grenache in a burgundy stem, but others in a Bordeaux) please elaborate...

  • Hi Mackenzie,

    Grenache - I love the aromatics of Grenache so I prefer it in a burgundy stem. But when the alcohol creeps up past a certain point I gravitate towards a Bordeaux. For instance, Rayas i would put in a burgundy. Cool-climate new world i would do the same. I admit it has more to do with the temperament of the wine and less with the actual abv %, because some wines wear higher abv better than others.

    Amarone - Unless its with age, I would probably go with a Bordeaux more times than not. Would love to see other opinions on this, but I feel more vertical space is important versus more surface area. I admittedly don't have as much experience testing this.

    Syrah - Hermitage glass if possible, but i treat this just like Grenache. It's all about the aromatics, so I default to burgundy. But if it's too boozy or heavy-handed then I go for Bordeaux stems.
  • In reply to Vincent Morrow:

    Usually love Rhone Varities in Burgundy stems, Amarone, probably bordeaux. But I'd test them and see.
  • I like burgundy glasses for Grenache as well, but I agree that it depends on the wine. (There are some Grenache based blends that favor Mourvedre or Syrah, and for these heavier and possibly more structured examples, I go with Bordeaux stems.) My boss, who hails from Avignon, said that Burgundy glasses are most appropriate for Grenache. I don't come across as many Syrah bottlings that would require Burgundy glasses, but I think a more elegant aromatic version is more pleasing for the guest in a Burgundy glass. I would likely go with a Bordeaux stem for Amarone, but I don't have a lot of experience with these wines either. Our guideline for all purpose glassware is anything under $100 per bottle.
  • In reply to Patrick Miner:

    I go with the following:

    Is the wine im serving one that I want to highlight the frutiness(and sugar in some cases) and consequently acidity? If so -> Burgundy (I do Sangiovese and Barolos out of this glass too)

    Is the wine im serving one I want to highlight the body and overall mouthfeel? (As in mid palate) if so -> Bordeaux.(I use these for Taurasi for example)

    Elevated acidity in a white and aromatics? Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling glass

    Mid palate? Chard glass.

    It comes down to what you want to highlight first, second and third in the wine.
    In the end, try em side by side and decide.
  • I think more aromatic grapes will show better in Burgundy glasses, and dark skin grapes in Bordeaux. But that really depends on the size of the bowl. I think the most important thing is to make the guest feel special.
    We have standard Spiegelau Bordeaux 24oz glasses on the table, which I will trade for larger Burgundy glasses anytime a guest will order a bottle of red. I haven't had any complaints about the glasses even if they were drinking $40 Burgundy or $1,500 Bordeaux as long as we made them feel important.
    For more on the perfect wine glass for each wine out there read this Time Atkin article:
  • Thin skin grapes get the Burgundy glass. Thick skin grapes get the Bordeaux glass.
  • I would go Burgundy for all Grenache, and Bordeaux for all Amarone. Syrah is the wild card. I often use a Bordeaux but these days there are some New World producers (from say Victoria or Sonoma Coast) who make a good amount of Syrah along with their Pinot Noir program. I like to put these light, fragrant, acid driven styles in a Burgundy glass.
  • Great topic! I've been having the same problem back at my job.

    I've came to realize that regardless of the varietal, we have to understand what the wine is about to use the proper glassware. For instance : wines that are subtle and delicate do better with burgundies; wines that are structured and firm do better with bordeaux. Now pinots are almost always on the lighter body side of wine and cabs on the other end. Trickier when it comes to grenache and syrah; that's where the style of the producer comes in. Rayas drinks like pinot, so of course pinot glass; Mordorée is thick and dense, then bordeaux. A côte blonde from Gilles Barges in Côte-Rôtie (pinot glass) vs Hermitage from A. Clape (bordeaux glass). It extends to everywhere in the world : classical amarone (bordeaux glass) vs Villabellini valpolicella (pinot glass); big Priorato like Igneus or Mas Deus (bordeaux glass) vs new style grenache with carbo like Altaroses or Bruja Averia (pinot glass). Etc...