Wine glasses can be as important to the wine drinking experience as the wine itself. When speaking with wine connoisseurs who pride themselves on their vast knowledge of wine and everything that goes into it; you may hear that the shape of the wine glass plays an incredibly important role in the final taste of your wine. Is that true? Does the type of wine glass you purchase really affect how you perceive the taste of your wine? Here we will discuss wine glass shapes, and if they matter.
Wine Glass Shapes- Reality v. Perception
In 1973, the Reidel glassware company began producing specialty wine glasses. They claimed that the specific shape of the glass influences how you perceive the wine’s taste. If you drank from the wrong type of glass, it would negatively affect your wine experience. Sales on specialty wine glasses skyrocketed, but it was later found that this claim had no scientific evidence to support it.
There have been very few studies completed on how the shape of wine glasses change the perceived taste of the wine. One notable study was completed in Japan in 2015; it found that the density and position of vapors at the opening of the glass depended on the glass's shape. This, in turn, affects how the aromatic compounds of the wine reach your nose. Since a significant part of taste comes from smell, it does play a key role in your wine experience. So, does it actually matter?
Yes, it does. It can change the perceived taste between white wine and red wine. Yet, unless you are a trained wine connoisseur, you're unlikely to notice a significant difference between the particular types of wine glasses.
Wine Glass Shapes
When drinking white wine, it's advised to use smaller bowled glasses. These glasses will maintain the wine's temperature, express the acidity of the wine, and help to deliver the aroma to the nose. In contrast, when drinking red wine, it's recommended to have a glass with a wide opening. You will want to fill your glass less than half full so that the wine to air ratio is more substantial, allowing the wine to breathe and have a smoother taste.
For both white wine glasses and red wine glasses, there are glasses for each kind of wine. Also, there are specific glasses that work best for sparkling wines and dessert wines.
Should You Have a Different Glass for Every Wine?
The simple answer is no. Investing in a different set of glasses for every kind of wine that passes through your home is not necessary. If you have space and money to do so, go right ahead; however, it isn't necessary. If you are a casual wine drinker, you can simply invest in a set of universal wine glasses to use with every kind of wine.
If you would like to have a variety of wine glasses in your collection, then have a general red wine glass set and white wine glass set. You can also choose to invest in specialty glasses that fit your individual tastes. For instance, if you only drink Pinot Noir, then you could invest in Pinot Noir glasses.
So, before you drop hundreds of dollars on fifteen different wine sets, think about what it is you need and want. Evaluate your frequency of drinking, wine preferences, and whether your home will be the location for wine drinking functions. Once you have your answer, you will have a good idea about what wine glass options are best for you.