When it comes to drinking wine and glassware, sometimes you need to go with what you’ve got – think of Miles, from the movie ‘Sideways” drinking a prized Cheval-Blanc out of a Styrofoam cup. I’ve consumed great wine straight from the bottle out of desperation (think four wine geeks with nothing but an opener). But there’s no substitute for a decent glass where a good bottle of wine is concerned. That same is true for Kendall-Jackson Avant Chardonnay.
So what’s the best glass for Avant? Well, assuming drinking from the bottle is out, that does pose an interesting question.
The best general glass shape for a fruit-driven, expressive wine like Avant is oval (see example below). That means you’ll find a slightly narrowed aperture at the top. Colored glass is fun, but it doesn’t allow you to really see what’s going on in the wine. With a wine like Avant Chardonnay that has very little oak contact, the fruit color is going to shine through (instead of the deep gold color which comes from toasted oak barrels)—so you can expect a bright yellow color with a very slight green rim.
10 to 12 ounces is a great glass size, which is enough capacity to allow you to pour three or four ounces of Avant without coming close to the top of the glass. Wine needs to breathe, and it benefits immensely from swirling. A few well-played swirls will bring Avant’s apple, peach and lemon flavors right out of the glass, so it doesn’t make any sense to fill it up to the rim.
Also, you want a rim that’s thin. What do I mean? Lots of “durable” glasses have thick, rolled rims at the top. That’s great for the dishwasher, but not so good for the wine, which tastes best when it can roll seamlessly out of that glass onto your palate, without obstructions.
Lastly, unless you’re using a stemless glass, hold on to the stem when you’re drinking instead of the bowl—all you’ll do with your hand is warm up the wine and add fingerprints to the bowl, obstructing your view of the gorgeous elixir inside.