Love wine? Maybe you’ve heard that the shape of the wine glass affects the wine’s flavor. I had, so I did some digging to find out if it was actually true! An experiment was performed in 2015, by a team of scientists in Japan, analyzing different wines, in different glasses, at different temperatures. Their results: “Different glass shapes and temperatures can bring out completely different bouquets and finishes from the same wine,” (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wine-snobs-are-right-glass-shape-does-affect-flavor/). According to Jennifer Newton at Scientific American, “In the future the [team’s] system could help indicate the best wine glass and precise temperature to serve a certain wine,” (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wine-snobs-are-right-glass-shape-does-affect-flavor/).
Okay, so it was proven that the flavor and aroma are affected, but why? When you drink, you tilt your head differently, depending on the shape of your glass. With wide rimmed glasses, you lower your head, but when drinking from narrow rims you tilt your head back. These different positions change the speed of wine hitting your tongue, as well as where it hits. The tongue has separate portions having different receptors tuned into different tastes, specifically: bitter, sour, salty, sweet and savory. Thus, a liquid hitting the back of your tongue invokes a different taste sensation than if it hits the front, or sides. Taste and smell are picked up by different receptors, but the combination of both is interpreted by the brain to provide the perception of flavor. Aromas are going to strongly impact how your wine tastes. Yet our sense of flavor comes not only from taste and aroma, but also from the overall feel. This includes touch, texture, and temperature.
So what makes a good wine glass? According to Tom Mullen at Forbes, “It doesn’t matter how curvy the sides are. The edges need to come toward each other at the top to focus aromatic potential. If it’s too small it will hide the aromas and crispiness,” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/tmullen/2016/08/25/why-the-shape-of-a-glass-shapes-the-taste-of-your-wi...). So, if you are in the market for a red, white, sparkling, fortified, dessert, or vintage wine, I highly suggest checking out this article by the Vinfolio Staff, for a guide in pairing the correct glass for your wine, http://blog.vinfolio.com/2017/03/10/does-the-shape-of-the-wine-glass-affect-the-taste-of-the-wine/.
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What is your favorite wine and what glass would you use? Let us know in the replies!