If you are used to drinking your wine in a cup, let me tell you that you missed out on fully enjoying the wine. The quality of the wine counts, but the quality of the glass too. The container influences the content in many ways.
-Enhancement of the bouquet - When you pour the wine in your glass it evaporates little by little. The wine’s aromas fill different parts of the glass according to their density.
The upper part of the glass is occupied by the lighter aromas (flowers and fruits)The middle part is occupied by the vegetable and mineral aromas (earth and mushrooms)The bottom of the glass is occupied by the heavier aromas such as alcohol and oak.Two wine glasses of different shapes will offer a different distribution of these aromas. As these aromas do not mix, unless you shake your glass, the objective is to find the glass that best brings out the bouquet of your wine.
-Enhancement of taste - Did you notice that the position of your head is different depending on the wine glass you use. A narrow glass like a Champagne flute or a white wine glass, forces us to tilt our head backwards. Conversely a large glass (Burgundy or Bordeaux) requires us to lower our head to drink the wine without it overflowing.
The shape of the wine glass therefore conditions the position of our head during the tasting. This has the effect of influencing the arrival of the wine on the sensory points of the mouth (the tongue and the palate) as any food or drink, the taste of the wine can be broken down into several basic flavors. Sugar, acidity, bitterness and salt. By conditioning the arrival of the wine on our tongue, the wine glass makes it possible to bring out this or that flavors of the wine. For example, a glass for light and fruity white wines with strong acidity such a Riesling, should guide the wine on the edge of the tongue to accentuate the fruity sugar and reduce the acidic character.
Certainly, a glass is not going to turn a bad wine into a good one, but it can enhance it.The same wine can be perceived differently according to the glass in which it is consumed.
The right glass can bring out the quality of your wine, namely its taste and bouquet and, of course, the color. The wine glass should be considered an essential instrument in the tasting of wine.
When I was in France I had my own custom wine glass made from Baccarat with a logo engraved. It was in the form of a tulip, with a larger balloon and the edge smaller and looking outside. This design gave room for the wine to breath and at the same time enhance the aromas.
One of my favorite wine glass manufacturers is Riedel. I meet Herr Riedel several times, back in Europe, when I was judging at wine competitions. Riedel designs are known for how they enhance different types of wine.
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