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Wine Glasses

Ok, I got the idea that the right glass enhances flavor and bouquet. But how is this more than a clever marketing ploy if all the glasses are different shapes? I checked Spiegelau, Schott Zwiesel, Riedel and Ravenscroft. Glass shapes range from tear-drop shaped to round and full (like the ones I already own). I have tried the Riedel shape that's full on the bottom and tapered toward the top. Call me a Freudian but I prefer the full, round shape...
Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

I guess this is more of an observation than actual response is that glasses certainly do make a difference, but I do not believe that you need a specific shape for every type of wine.
Having participated in more than one seminar designed to "prove" how the glass determines the taste impression, I have come away persuaded in general terms only. We can never forget how much we can be influenced by suggestion. I am convinced that the size and shape of the glass do tend to neutralize or accentuate aroma and affect where on your tongue the wine is delivered initially. But the wine then usually fills your mouth, and all your taste buds come into play (see PS below). A small round glass (the standard bar wine glass) filled full may make the wine appear to be aroma-less. The same wine in a larger bowl with some degree of taper or chimney, filled half full, now reveals a definite aroma. I'm not sure I would take it much further than that, other than enjoying the look of many attractive glasses on the dinner table (I often use multiple shapes at home).
PS. Are you familiar with the "tongue map" which claims that we all taste acidity, sweetness, saltiness or bitterness in the same places on our tongue? Many glassware companies refer to it as the "scientific" basis for glass shape, at least in part. One problem: this map has been disproven, and the locations of our taste buds are not identical. What a surprise!

About Our Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey, Portugal, China and the U.S. Roger is one of America's first Masters of Wine.

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