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Can the glass affect the taste of the wine?


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#1 Don Giovanni

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 09:27 AM

Can the glass affect the taste of the wine?


Can a fancier glass add class to your wine?



After doing a glass demonstration by George Riedel... I explained to him my perspective you match the glass to the nose not the glass to the wine...he flinched and thought about it...

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She concedes that thinking about glass shape “is a little bit geeky,” but is convinced that glass design can affect wine taste, to the point that she once took her own glasses to a favorite restaurant that was using inferior stemware.



#2 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 11:26 AM

Sorry, absolute BS.

The glass can certainly affect the nose of a wine. Thus the different shapes to capture the aromas. ( here's a question for you. What is the difference between aroma & nose?)

Taste? Give me a break. Try a truly blind tasting. That is literally with a blindfold on. Then tell me how the shape of the glass alters the taste of the wine.

I will admit that the shape of the glass can influence the EXPECTATIONS of the experienced wine drinker. Certain shapes are traditionally associated with certain wines, thus serving the wine in that particularly shaped glass can lead the imbiber to anticipate certain tastes.

I'm open to argument.

#3 Chris Amirault

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 12:44 PM

Daniel Zwerdling debunked the wine glass effect in a scathing piece about Reidel in Gourmet back in 2004. Not on line as far as I can tell....
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#4 Don Giovanni

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 11:59 AM

Knowing and having done this blind I can tell you the glass size does change the taste...for me ...for most people...just a fact I personally lived and learned not read about...

#5 nikkib

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 12:53 PM

yes it does, it is all to do wirth where the taste buds are positioned in your mouth and where the glass directs the wine in your mouth http://growyourwines...tte-diagram.png
try drinking champagne in a chardonnay glass and then in a flute or try a bordeaux in a burgundy glass and a boredeaux for comparison etc. I do this with my staff as training, without telling them which is the correct glassware/which wine they are drinking and they usually all pick the correct glass - try it....
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#6 HungryC

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 01:16 PM

The "areas of the tongue" taste buds theory isn't scientifically accurate. Here's a link to a 2006 Nature article that debunks the old saw.

#7 Chris Hennes

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 01:18 PM

That tastebud diagram has been pretty thoroughly debunked as well. Still seems like a ploy to sell glassware to me, and perhaps to extend the grip of wine mythology. A few different glass shapes, sure, but how the hell many does Reidel sell?

ETA: Looks like HungryC beat me to it :smile:

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#8 Bill Miller

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 08:31 PM

That tastebud diagram has been pretty thoroughly debunked as well. Still seems like a ploy to sell glassware to me, and perhaps to extend the grip of wine mythology. A few different glass shapes, sure, but how the hell many does Reidel sell?

ETA: Looks like HungryC beat me to it :smile:

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I like Burgundy, pinot noir, and nebbiolo based wines out of a "Burgundy " glass, other reds out of a cabernet style glass, both thin crystal . No other varieties are needed. Whites are not really involved, except I do enjoy a light crystal glass for all, and a flute for champagne.
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#9 budrichard

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 02:48 PM

Reidel has made a small fortune out of convincing individuals that a different shaped glass is needed for every different beverage including wine.
We have sets of the genreic Reidel type glasses for red and white but for Champagne its the Dom Perignon shape for just us two, Parties get Baccarat flutes I pick up on eBay. If you drink a lot of wine with guests , then you will break a lot of glasses, so price enters into the equation.-Dick

#10 wakeless

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 09:04 PM

I think having good glasses definitely enhances the aroma of the wine, also lets it breathe a bit. Which is going to help if you aren't decanting the wine enough.

I also think with Riedel, the non-stem glasses are pretty cool, especially if you are prone to breaking stuff. Not anywhere near affordable though as far as I'm concerned.

Edited by wakeless, 30 August 2009 - 09:07 PM.


#11 CKatCook

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 04:30 PM

I don't think it matters, really. I think it is just a poly to make wine seem more posh.
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#12 Sneakeater

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 04:38 PM

Wait a minute. If something affects the nose of the wine, how could it not affect the taste?

I mean, when you're actually drinking wine and not composing tasting notes where you artificially try to break a holistic experience down.

#13 psiweaver

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:58 PM

having had a couple meals with blind tasting of the wines from multiple types of glasses. I find that you really need a couple different red glasses, a champagne flute, one type of white wine glass and a dessert wine glass I have noticed the difference in the nose of the wine and hence the taste remember that taste has a lot to do with smell. I find the difference in glass shape and surface area helps the alcohol release at a certain speed.

#14 winewizard

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:54 PM

A good all purpose glass (I like about 10 ounce or so) is fine. Too tiny is a detrimemnt

#15 Busboy

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 07:49 PM

A good all purpose glass (I like about 10 ounce or so) is fine. Too tiny is a detrimemnt

I was once told that a proper red wine glass should be large enough to hold the entire bottle. The bargain-line Riedels I pull out for The Good Stuff hold about 20 ounces, and I think the do enhance the taste a bit. Then again, I think that Laguiole knives make the steak taste batter, too, so I may be merely yielding to the power of suggestion.

I find the whole idea that a Zinfandel needs a different glass that a Cabernet pretty absurd, though.
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#16 Christ

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:53 AM

The shape of the glass can affect the aroma of the wine. So that only different wine has different shape of glasses. For example:

  • White wine glasses - the glass should be shaped like a tulip
  • Red wine glasses - the glass should be round with large bowl
  • Sparkling wine glasses - the glass should be tall and thin
  • Dessert wine glasses - the glass should be smaller directing to the back of the mouth.


#17 nickrey

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:57 PM

I remembered this discussion when I read an article about Riedel developing a glass especially for Olivier Krug for the Krug Grand Cuvee.

There is a quote in the article from James Halliday, who is a very well respected wine writer here in Australia.

He recalled the day that he first came across the full Riedel range in 1990, along with British Critics Michael Broadbent, MW and Hugh Johnson. He said "we are all dumbfounded at the way the different glasses impacted on a given wine."

Not sure who Daniel Zwerdling is from Gourmet (referred to upthread as having debunked the whole notion of different glasses for different wines) but somehow I am more inclined to listen to the real experts on this one.

Edited by nickrey, 12 January 2013 - 11:57 PM.

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#18 mugen

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:18 AM

I'll pay for the best Riedel stemware, even without any expectation that it will affect the taste: it enhances the experience per se, because it's delicate, fine craftsmanship.

#19 haresfur

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:14 PM

After doing a glass demonstration by George Riedel... I explained to him my perspective you match the glass to the nose not the glass to the wine...he flinched and thought about it...


I can see this - like some of us might need bigger glasses than our petite friends.

Certainly the glass can affect your enjoyment. I just happen to like red wine from a beautiful hand made coffee mug.
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