Wine glasses of Bohemian crystal appeared as I remember at the family dinner table on every major holiday as one of the main attributes of the festive mood. Lights flickered in its golden cutting, slipping through the greenness of the glass, and my heart sank in awe… These days I haven’t yet thought that the splendor of wine flavor could ever depend on the form of the glass that holds it, but I have, however, had some confidence, that those who drink from Czech crystal discover Olympus…
At a conscious age, I’ve become more and more carried away by wine. I am often faced with expert commentary and a variety of studies that suggest that the quality of wine changes depending on the tasting glass. Today, the co-dependence of the taste of wine and its supply is a proven fact. If you don’t believe that, just pour the wine into a teacup, mug and a a wine glass. Then try. See the difference?
Shapes of traditional wine glasses originate in the flowery 60s when Klaus Riedel of the Riedel company came up with the innovative idea (another glass of wine probably helped here) to create the perfect vessel for each type of wine. Where there’s an idea, there’s a product, and soon, after some testing, the “perfect shape” was discovered.
Riedel has released a special series of glasses for sommeliers, which consisted of ten different glasses, each of which is supposed to be perfectly consistent with the ten main types of wine. The manufacturer then clearly stated that the shape of the glass helps to reveal the flavor by directing the wine in the mouth in a certain way, which enhances the palatability of the beverage.
Later there was much debate on this subject: experts conducted researches, wrote articles, came up with more and more arguments for and against the importance of the shape of glasses. Most are of the opinion that the magical Riedel discovery is no more than a great marketing ploy, and the nettle aromas of gooseberries and green apples can be clearly felt no matter what kind of glass you use to drink your favorite Sauvignon.
Modern wine experts such as Janice Robinson, author of the famous “Oxford Companion”, believes that the need for a variety of glasses for different types of wine is an absolute purism.
On the other hand, a well-known wine critic and author of “Wine Guide Buyer” Robert Parker is of the opinion that the different wine glasses are supposed to help you penetrate the deeper layers of flavors and experience even more filigreed wine tastes.
As for me, here is what thought comes to my mind in that case: a frame that perfectly matches a painting will decorate the piece of art and become its continuation, but at the same time the painting will remain beautiful also in a modest frame, and even without any. The main thing is not to forget that the artwork should take the primary role.
Probably, special glasses, in addition to the aesthetic pleasure, are to present you with the best opportunity to experience the complexity of the wine flavor, but do not forget that it is just a “frame”, and the joy from a stunning wine is still there even when the glass is not perfect.
If you are still puzzled by the search for the perfect glass for wine, then be guided by the following qualities: it should be a large one (about 500 ml) made of clear glass so there is enough space for the wine flavor; it also will better reveal the color and sort of connect you with the drink. Pay attention to the convenience of the leg on a glass–it should feel comfortable in your hand and be sufficiently stable.