Yes! Size and Shape Do Matter!
I'm talking about your wine glass, of course! Recently, I had the privilege of attending a tasting seminar led by Maximilian Riedel. I approached the seminar somewhat apprehensively because I really never understood how exactly the glass could effect the taste of the wine. Needless to say, this was quite an eye opening experience...
Riedel, long known for creating exceptional glassware, has recently developed a series of glasses that are designed to enhance the specific aromas, flavors, and tastes that are characteristic to each grape. How is that possible? Well, allow me to provide some examples.
Riedel's recent release, the Vitis Series, is specially designed from one piece of glass (rather than the traditional two-piece head and stem). This allows for a V shape at the bottom of the glass. Not only does this just look really cool, but when you swirl the wine you are creating a vortex that effectively pulls the flavors and aromas from the bottom of the glass up through the top. When swirled, the wine coats the wide bowl of the glass helping to increase the surface area and allowing for more aromas to emerge from the glass.
Additionally, one of the things Riedel takes into consideration is the angle at which you hold your head while the wine enters your mouth.
Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling - These types of wines are crisp and refreshing with tropical aromas and hints of sweetness. Therefore, you want to drink these wines from a glass that enhances these characteristics. Riedel has designed a glass with a narrow bowl that keeps your head more level while you sip. This causes you to pull the wine into your mouth. The wine hits the tip of your tongue and activates the sweet receptors before it flows to the side of your mouth to active the sour receptors. This means your Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are as light, crisp, and fruity as nature intended (Yumm).
Chardonnay - In contrast, the Chardonnay grape tends to have a rounder mouth feel as a result of malolactic fermentation, oak aging, and longer time spent on the lees. To ensure proper appreciation, the Chardonnay glass has a rounder bowl which causes you to tilt your head back a bit further before the wine enters your mouth. This extra little bit of tilt causes the wine to hit the center of your tongue and flow evenly over the entire palate - effectively coating your tongue with those wonderful apple/pear flavors and increasing the weighty sensation.
Pinot Noir - The Pinot Noir glass may look very similar to the Chardonnay glass, however, it has that extra inch on top - and we all know how important an inch is. This design allows the delicate bouquet of Pinot Noir to develop to its optimal point and remain captured in the glass. And, similarly to Chardonnay, you want Pinot Noir to wrap around the tongue and coat your mouth with a velvety smoothness. Personally, I think these glasses take Pinot Noir to a new level of appreciation.
Cabernet Sauvignon - The Cabernet glass is the same general shape as the Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling glass but with slightly wider bowl leading to increased surface area. This additional surface area allows the wine can open up a bit quicker while still focusing the aromas. But, unlike the Pinot Noir, you don't want the Cabernet focused on the center of the tongue. The tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon can dry your mouth out. Natural grape tannins tend to collect on the gum line while oak tannins tend to collect on the top of your tongue and roof of your mouth. The narrow bowl shape ensures that the wine hits the front and sides of your mouth allowing you to taste the fruitiness of the wine along with the tannins and other complex flavors.
Quite simply, the Riedel Vitis Glasses make your wine taste better.
offers specifically designed glassware for Syrah, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling.
For the discounted price of just $75, you can own a set of two glasses and conduct your own experiments at home. Just let us know which glasses you want!
To order simply respond to this e-mail or call us at 415-331-2001. As always, if you are looking for some recommendations to fill your new glasses we are happy to advise.
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