Cheers! Did you know that tasting wine is actually so much more than just taste, it also involves your other senses as well. Everyone knows that your sense of smell plays heavily into the total concept of flavor, but your vision, touch, and even hearing all play an important role too. Think of the last glass of wine you enjoyed. In addition to smelling and tasting the wine, whether you realize it or not, you also looked at it in the glass. It’s color and clarity were seen, and perhaps some tiny bubbles or swirling caught your attention. You felt the weight and balance of the glass in your fingers as well as the smoothness of the wine on your tongue. And you might have even heard a gentle effervescence. All your senses are put to use when you enjoy a glass of your favorite wine.
My husband and I recently attended a wine glass workshop by Riedel, one of the world’s oldest manufacturer of wine glasses. Riedel (pronounced “REE-dul”) is a 300-year old crystal company in Austria. They claim to be the first company to recognize the fact that the shape of the wine glass affects the taste. They have even gone as far as designing specific glasses for specific wine varietals. We were able to taste wines in the various glasses, and I can tell you we were blown away at how much of a difference there was in terms of the bouquet and flavor of the wine.
They have glasses for all the most common wine varietals, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Riesling, Chardonnay and of course Cabernet and Merlot. They also have glasses for dessert wines like port and sherry. Each glass has a different shape to accent the flavor profile of that particular varietal. The design is so intricate, even down to the shape of the glass and the size of the opening. This allows just the right amount of air to enter the glass, and it also helps to direct the wine onto the most ideal points of your tongue for maximizing the flavor. They even have an app for your smartphone that helps you to pick the correct glass for the wine you are drinking.
Since attending this class, Brian and I have only enjoyed our wines with these glasses, and I honestly don’t think I can do them justice, you just have to try them yourself. You can just feel the quality of the glass in your hand, and you will probably find new wines that you might not have liked before. Brian used to hate pinot noir, but we found out that we were just using the wrong glass. Now that he drinks it from a proper Riedel glass he thinks it is delicious.
I strongly recommend these wine glasses if you are serious about enjoying the flavor of your wine, not just the alcohol haha! I guarantee that if you serve your wine in these glasses at your next party or get together, your guests will think that you are a supreme wine connoisseur for picking out such delicious wine. Whether or not you tell them the secret is up to you.
You can find Riedel stemware around at many stores such as Macys, Bloomingdales, and Amazon. Right now they’re on sale at Macy’s and I see they have monogram stemware available. Amazon is also a winner with prime 2 day shipping. Try them out and let me know what you think. Salut!