Have you ever wondered how wine glasses make a difference when you taste wine?

There are three characteristics of wine glasses that can affect the taste of wine: the material of the glass, the size of the bowl and the shape of the glass.

First, the material makes a difference, not only visually, but practically. Crystal is the best material you can choose for wine glasses. Crystal has a rough surface that helps agitate the wine when swirled, allowing you to better smell and enjoy the wine. It increases the production of bubbles in Champagne. Also, crystal is the only material that allows for the production of very thin glasses with thin rims.

Second, the size of the glass affects the taste of wine. White wines develop their full potential in glasses with a smaller bowl.  White wines are delicate and a smaller bowl allows the aromas to concentrate. Red wines show off in glasses with a larger bowl. Larger glasses with broader bowls provide red wine greater surface area for swirling. That allows the oxygen to unlock their fabulous flavors.

Third, the shape of the glass has an impact on the tasting experience. You taste different things in the different areas of the mouth: sweetness on the front of the tongue, acidity on the side of the tongue, and tannins at the back of the tongue. The shape of the glass directs the wine to a specific area of your mouth, affecting how you taste the wine. The shape of the wineglass has a huge impact on how you taste a wine by enhancing specific flavors.

The concept of using glasses specifically designed for each wine was introduced by Professor Claus Riedel. Today, Riedel is one of the biggest and most respected glass companies in the world. The company has performed wine tastings throughout the world for more than 45 years. Riedel representatives educate more than 20,000 consumers annually. Learn more about Riedel glasses by clicking here.

Beans Creek Winery offers Riedel wine tasting classes to explain the difference the glasses can make when you taste wine. Mike Liedel, Riedel representative, and Tom and Josh Brown of Beans Creek, demonstrate how the glasses enhance specific aromas of the wines. Check our events page often to see when the next class will be.

Remember, though the glass is important, the wine is more important. As Josh Brown says, “If you happen to have Beans Creek wine and just a plastic cup, drink the wine from the plastic cup.”