Feb. 27, 2015 — Here’s a fun test for yourself and/or your friends. No one has to be a knowledgeable wine lover, or even drink wine for that matter. It’s all about how glassware changes the taste of the wine. It works with just two different glasses but can also work with three or four. The only caveat is that one glass must be a good quality wine glass with the correct shape for the wine being tasted. We recommend Riedel. This company makes glasses for many varietals and the glasses vary in shape. There’s a science behind their designs and how the wine is tasted on the palate. The other glass or glasses could be a juice glass, a very small wine glass, or a V-shaped wine glass. The latter shape is especially annoying because often a high-end crystal maker makes the glass and it will absolutely kill the wine.
You can use any wine but we’d probably use a California Cabernet Sauvignon in the $15 to $20 category. A Pinot Noir will work well, too. A $5.00 wine is not the best choice for testing. Pour a small quantity of wine in each glass then taste. If you can persuade the tasters to swirl a little bit, that would be helpful
We’ve experimented several times and it is really revealing. Even someone who never drinks wine can tell the difference. The real or correct wine glass will win every time as the shape enhances the nose and allows air to interact.
Moral of the story: invest in decent wine glasses! Your wine will taste better and that’s what enjoying wine is all about.