Rachael Theberge
October 28, 2014 | Educational, Events | Rachael Theberge

Does Your Wine Glass Really Make a Difference?

I'm sure most of you think that the wine glass you use for drinking does not make a difference in the way the wine tastes, smells or looks. I must admit that I felt this way, too, until our Riedel Tasting event on Saturday night. My cabinet is full of glasses you can buy for $10 for a set, among countless glasses from various wineries and wine events. I never thought anything about how these glasses affected my wine tasting experience. I'm sure that many of you can relate.

This weekend we partnered up with the Riedel Glass Company to provide a unique tasting experience to some of our guests. The tasting went a little something like this:The Riedel representative, Chris, came in and set up six glasses, 3 Riedel glasses and 3 "Joker" glasses. I was very interested to know exactly how much of a "joke" these extra glasses played on my wine tasting experience.Once our tasting began, it was very clear why they were called "Joker" glasses. We would pour wine from the "Joker" glasses into the Riedel glasses to smell and taste the wine.

Then we would pour them back into the "Joker" glass and swirl, smell and sip again. The difference was INSANE! It was like drinking a whole different wine. While drinking out of the Riedel glasses, it was this glorious flavor all over your mouth and the smell....well it was pretty incredible. When tasting out of the "Joker" glasses, the wine was flat and almost odorless. 

Chris also taught us the importance of using the right shaped glass for your wine. For example, we poured the 2012 Enchanté from the Cabernet Glass (smell and taste was amazing!) to the Old World Syrah glass. After swirling the wine, taking a sniff was like taking a huge sniff of alcohol! Chris said that while the Cabernet glass was more straight up and down, allowing the alcohol scent to escape more freely, the Syrah glass was shaped more like an egg and basically collected the alcohol flavor. CRAZY!If you're like me, your main concern with buying these pretty pricey glasses, was the durablity of them. I mean, if I can't wash it in the dishwasher, I ain't buying it! Chris showed us just how strong these glasses are by clanking them together; first with another Riedel glass (nothing broke) and then with one Riedel glass against the VERY thick "Joker" glass (I'll tell you...one of the glasses broke, and it wasn't the Riedel).

At the end of the tasting Chris asked the audience 'How many people thought he was full of it before the tasting began?'. At this point, 90% of the crowd raises their hand. He then asked 'How many people STILL thought he was full of it?'. Crickets. 

This tasting truly provided an incredibly insightful look at what a difference glassware makes. Attending an event like this will definitely make you think twice about using cheap glassware again. I know it made me a glass snob!

Keep a lookout for events like this in your area. And remember to check our Calendar to make sure you don't miss out on any events here at William Chris Vineyards!




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@ Oct 9, 2015 at 5:00 AM
good info thanks

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@ Dec 26, 2016 at 2:47 AM
Great share...

Actually , the different wines are associated to different glasses.

For instance, red wines are normally served in large glasses.

Cheers :)

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@ Aug 6, 2017 at 1:12 PM
So I have a critique. While I do believe there might be differences in a few types of wine glasses I don't think this experiment is done correctly. One you have to have a control group, at least two experimental blind group. By telling them what the experiment is about their perception is influenced. Control group could have only one wine same glassware 3 different cups. Experimental A 2 sets of glassware same wine. Experimental B same wine three different wines. Experimental C three wines two different glasses.

Also you have to account that if you pour 3 oz in 9 oz glass the oxidation reaction is different than if you put 3oz of wine in a 4oz glass. Very different reactions. Also the size of the bowl will influence the amount of oxidation in the wine. A Oregon pinot noir glass will have a greater oxygenation than a Bordeaux. So in order to see if there is really a difference you must replicate the experiment in proportion. That way it will have the same oxygen exposure and reaction in two different glassware and you can compare more accurately

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