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What are INAO Glasses?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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INAO glasses are a particular type of class of wine glass that is certified and approved for use by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine. In most cases, INAO glasses are used in the wine sampling and wine tasting activities, such as those conducted at many vineyards. The glasses are also considered ideal for the purpose of professional wine tasting. Here are some facts about the physical design and properties of the INAO glasses, and why these particular wine glasses are favored when sampling wine.

INAO glasses are usually designed with a shape that is similar to a tulip. As with all wine glasses, INAO glasses are constructed of a flat base, a stem, and a bowl. Typically, the bowl is designed to hold from five to eight ounces of wine at a time. The tulip design of the bowl is essential when it comes to professional wine tasting, in that the shape makes it easy to swirl the contents around the interior of the bowl, allowing the wine to aerate properly before tasting. INAO glasses are always made of clear glass. This allows the wine taster to also consider the wine based on the clarity of the liquid and the intensity of the color. Finally, the simplistic design of INAO glasses makes it easy for the wine taster to tile the bowl backward and forward, which allows the taster to sample the aroma of the wine as it settles on the sides of the glass.

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While INAO glasses were specifically designed for the use of professional wine tasters, winemakers who like to provide samples to guests at the vineyard also often favor them. Along with use at wine tasting and sampling events at vineyards, many retailers who carry a nice selection of wines also use INAO glasses as a means of providing samples to regular customers and other shoppers who are looking for just the right wine for an occasion.

Once a product available only in France, INAO glasses are now found in many locations around the globe. Shops that carry a selection of wines and wine accessories often include INAO glasses as part of their offerings. The ability to shop on the Internet has also made it possible to obtain INAO glasses at very reasonable prices as well. Whether an amateur lover of good wine or a professional who makes a living tasting wine, the use INAO glasses is the perfect medium for evaluating the color, clarity, bouquet and taste and texture of any wine.

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jennythelib
Post 2

@MissDaphne - They're all one shape as far as I can tell, which surprised me, too. Like a tulip, it has a kind of egg-shaped wider base and then it it taller and narrows a bit, but they seem larger than most white wine glasses. And much larger than those souvenir glasses, too.

It surprises me that they would use all the one shape. I guess the idea is to make the glass not a factor? Because I have also read recently that some companies are developing special wine glasses not just for red and white, but for difference *varieties* of wine! They might have one glass for chardonnay and another for vidal blanc, one for cab sauv and one for cab franc, etc.

MissDaphne
Post 1

I had no idea there were special certified glasses for wine tasting! I have noticed that when you go to winery, their souvenir glasses tend to be all the same shape instead of some being for red wine (i.e., wide and rounder) and some for white (narrower and a bit taller).

Are INAO glasses all the same shape? Is it that in-between kind of shape?

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