Posts Tagged ‘Wine glass’

Size Matters

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Back from the holyland, hence the UN-holy title.  Fear not, Wine Tasting Guy’s mind is not in the gutter.  I’m speaking of wine glasses.

wine glass sizs

While tasting wine at several wineries (and in some people’s homes) in Israel I noticed people serving wines in small glasses.  Size is relative, but I’m a believer (though not all would agree) that bigger is better.  More room to swirl, more room for the aromas to linger and easier to tilt the wine so that you can observe and appreciate the color.

In addition to size, good wine should be drunk out of out quality glasses.  There are tons of quality glasses out there nowadays.  No, they don’t have to be hand blown glass.  No, they don’t have to cost $50/glass.  But they should be thin glass bowls (I prefer tulip shaped) and they should not have a rounded lip.  The lip of the glass should be straight so that the wine runs directly down into your mouth.

Although the power of suggestion is one I fervently try to avoid I have heard MANY people say that wine simply tastes BETTER out of better glasses.  And you know what… I agree.

SO, you can imagine my disappointment when I tasted wines at some of the Israel wineries out of cheapo glasses.  If an artist was to display their art don’t you think they would use the best frames, light & background possible?  Then why wouldn’t the wineries want their wines shown in the best glasses.

I know, good glasses can be expensive.   And the good glasses break VERY EASILY.  And there were many wineries that DID serve their wines in good glasses.  But given how strongly I feel about Israeli wines I would like to see ALL wineries pouring their wines out of the best (and most cost effective) glasses.

Happy quality wine glass wine tasting!


How to hold a wine glass

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

I’ve taken some slack from friends and contemporaries lately for being a “wine snob”. I really don’t think of myself as an “anything snob”, but…

Last night I attended a very nice Friday night dinner with guys I play basketball with. Two of the players hosted the meal. At the dinner as we were all enjoying some wine I was reminded of an episode with a friend and fellow baller. This friend was at a wine tasting thrown in the apartment of a 3rd friend (also a fellow baller) where I not too subtly pointed out a problem with his glass. It was FILTHY. Some of the snacks served at this party was nuts, cheese & crackers – salty, greasy foods. Drinking wine and eating said (finger) foods can lead to a nasty little problem if one doesn’t know how to properly hold their wine glass…

fingerprints wine glass

OK, call me a wine snob. I suppose that is a label I can live with. But the point is that holding a wine glass by the bowl presents some problems.

The first, known by many is the influence it has on the temperature of the wine. (more…)

Wine Bar – do wine glasses (AKA stemware) matter?

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

I went to a wine bar last night and there were a few things that disturbed me about this place.  The first, which I don’t want to get too deeply into is how they handled a “taste”.  Before purchasing a bottle I like to taste what I am considering buying.  While this is (sadly) not possible at retail outlets this IS usually something granted at wine bars – at least when the location has an open bottle of the stuff.  Well the place I was at last night keeps all their wines in Cruvenee or Enomatic mechanisms – devices that store & serve the wine and keep open bottles fresh.  As such, they have an open bottle of everything on the menu.  Great right?  Problem is that they insisted on charging me the “tasting fee” to try the wine that I intended to purchase.  Bad business.

But what I really want to discuss about this wine bar was their choice of glass.  They use small, thick wine glasses with their logo on the side.

I realize that as I have immersed myself in this industry I have become quite particular.   Part of this “snobbery” or “high expectation” comes as a result of time spent in Napa (and surrounding California wine country) where they do it… “right” (I use quotes as I know this is a relative term).   All wine is served in nice big thin glasses – of all qualities – but at least they try.  And yes, many do have their logo on the glasses used.  Something I think is OK at wineries but tacky in a wine bar.
So, my question to you is – is this particularity or dare I say “snobbery” something that is unique to me?  Do you think that more CASUAL wine drinkers would notice things such as quality of stemware??  (or as the case may be non-breakable glasses and how while they are good for the dishwasher they are NOT good for wine tasting?????)

I welcome your thoughts as always…



Wine Glasses – does it REALLY matter which shape one uses???

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

I recently read a very interesting article on the topic. I believe the article was written by Mark Phillips and can be found

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!!!!