Does the type of Wine Glass really matter?
Years ago when I was approached with the concept of wine glassware training I was very hesitant. At the time it just seemed like another way to be “sold” something. When it was all said and done all I could say was “Wow, what a difference the right glassware makes!”
As I’ve learned in the dozen years or so since my introduction to proper glassware it is not so much the brand but it is the science behind the glass itself. There are two primary factors in proper glass making that makes a difference. First, the shape of the glass opening, and the thickness of the glass is what place’s the wine on the appropriate place on your tongue. An acidic wine like a Sauvignon Blanc should hit your tongue further back to deliver the best impression of the wine. Likewise a fruit driven wine, like some Red Blends, should hit the tip of your tongue first to emphasize that fruit and create a stronger impression. Secondly, the size and shape of the bowl can control and enhance the wines aroma. A big wine, like Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon, in a small bowl will come off as sharp and harsh, but in a large bowled glass the aromas can expand and match the wines style.
My training was presented by Riedel and my friends at The Wine Company. Riedel is likely the most well known and has done exhaustive research, but Spiegelau also makes some fine glassware. I mix and match the two brands in what I use at home. For instance I think Riedel makes phenomenal Cabernet/Bordeaux glasses while Spiegelau makes fantastic Champagne glasses. For me the bottom line is to take advantage of these companies research and find glasses that suit the wine I am drinking. One other innovation that a clumsy person like me can appreciate is stemless wine glasses. Once getting past the idea that a wine glass should have a stem these glasses are far more durable and deliver the same science.
Until next time – Cheers!
CobornsDelivers Wine Expert