I recently read a very interesting article on the topic. I believe the article was written by Mark Phillips and can be found http://www.winetasting.org/wineglass.html.
In a nutshell, Mr. Phillips cites his own experiments as well as those of the Monell Chemical Senses Center (“one of the world’s most prestigious laboratories studying taste and smell”) as written by Daniel Zwerdling, an NPR reporter in an article about Riedel, published in Gourmet Magazine in August 2004.
All experiments basically proved that “subjects couldn’t tell any difference from one glass to another”.
So what of these Reidel studies or tastings where people claim to appreciate certain wines much more from certain glasses?
That question is addressed by Mark as having 2 possible answers, both I believe are quite compelling and extend beyond wine glasses, to a lot of wine in general. His answers were:
1: great salesmanship
2: power of suggestion
A wine’s label, price tag, “expert” score – just some of the many factors that influence how people react to & appreciate wine.
As someone with a wide and eclectic taste in music, I have often compared wine appreciation to music appreciation. Most people can recognize whether music (or wine) is just plain BAD. But when it comes to all other MUSIC (wine) the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One may like it while the other does not. One might insist it is the best they have even heard (tasted) while the other thinks it is absolute crap. And BOTH are right.
Same thing with wine glasses. Yes – small, thick & poorly shaped glasses stink for wine tasting/drinking/appreciation. But once one gets to the larger, thin, quality crystal wine glasses, is there really that much of a difference? And who is to say which is “BETTER”??
As always, drink YOUR wine YOUR way from a glass YOU like & ENJOY!!!!