What a Difference a Glass Makes

What’s in a Glass? If you drink wine, you’ve probably had discussions or read articles about glassware. One person says plastic tumblers or canning jars are perfectly OK and the next says the right glassware is critical to enjoying your wine. So…who’s right?

Jill, our staff, and I use Riedel Overture series Magnum red wine glasses for almost everything we drink. And, since we drink primarily red wines, this is OK. They’re perfect for drinking Cabs and Merlots because they are thin and they bring out the nose and flavors so well. And, as an added bonus, the Vinum series are very sturdy and inexpensive, as well. We received a set of four of them two and a half years ago as a gift and, even though they are used everyday, we still have two of them intact.

Occasionally, if we’re having guests, we might break out something a bit fancier, but for everyday enjoyment, we prefer the Riedels. Does the glass make a difference? As I said earlier, I think it depends a lot on who you are, what you’re drinking, and what you’re doing.

Obviously, for most of us, if we’re going on a picnic, we’re not taking lead crystal. There are very good acrylic glasses available for picnics and deck parties. And, for fancier gatherings, there are some drop dead gorgeous glasses on the market. But, for many people, the glass makes a big difference as to how much they enjoy the actual wine. Why is that? Are they being snobs or is there real evidence that the glass actually does make a difference?

We held a tasting not so long ago featuring five high-end wines paired with high-end hors d’oeuvres. We used a different restaurant series Riedel glass with each wine so that our guests could experience the wines in their best light. What convinced us the most was the reaction we received when we had our guests try a very fine Russian River Pinot Noir. After smelling and tasting the wine from the genuine Pinot Noir glass, we had them pour the wine into their Bordeaux or Syrah glasses. The difference in smell and taste were so evident to many of them that they immediately bought the Pinot Noir glasses for when they were enjoying Pinot Noir.

So…again I ask, who’s right? Well, you are, of course. It’s really that simple. A glass can make a tremendous difference to the right person and for someone else it just doesn’t matter. Drink whatever you enjoy the most from whatever vessel makes you the happiest.