It is not a myth – choosing the right wine glass could mean all the difference in your wine tasting experience.
Wine should not be drank out of its bottle
In April 2015, Japanese scientists developed a camera system to study how a wine’s aroma changes as ethanol escapes from the glass. It was discovered that at 13°C, “the alcohol concentration at the rim of a traditional wine glass was higher than at the centre”. Apparently, this is called a “ring phenomenon” which allows wine lovers to enjoy wine aromas without “interference of gaseous ethanols” (Click here to read article written by Elli Zolfagharifard for Dailymail).
Most wine connoisseurs will agree that aroma plays an important part in the enjoyment process, and drinking it directly out of a bottle will mean missing out completely on this crucial step. Then comes the next question – what kind of glass enhances the aroma?
Analyzing a traditional wine glass
The most common recommendation is probably to get glasses with stems, to keep the heat from your hands off the wine, preventing unwanted alteration to the taste. However this is not all. According to Wine Folly, there are three essential features of a wine glass.
A broad body with increased surface area allows wine swirling to release the wine aroma. This calls upon the need for feature two, sufficient space for “aroma collection“. Topping off with feature 3, thin lipped glasses allow the wine to be guided to a specific spot on your palate. Glasses with thick rims force you to suck the wine out of the glass rather than pouring it out, which greatly influences the flavor.
One step further
For a fully optimized wine tasting experience, there’s more to the art of choosing wine glasses, and this infographic from Wine Folly explains it all.
One might be overwhelmed by this variety of choices, but these are tested and proven to make all the difference. Countless research on wine glass designs have shown that certain glass shapes and material can accentuate different grapes’ characteristics better. For instance, white wine glasses usually have smaller aroma collectors for better temperature control whereas red wine glasses have larger bowls to better flaunt their aroma. Sparkling wines are best consumed in flute shaped glasses to minimize surface area exposure and keeping the bubbles bubbling the longest.
Therefore, wine drinking is both an art and science, and its important to understand them, to maximize the enjoyment value you get out of your wines. So be sure to choose the right glass to go with that next glass of Cabernet Merlot!