The Glass Makes All The Difference

There are two things in the world I love almost as much as food; beer and wine! So how awesome is it that I have a good friend who works in the wine industry and invites me to cool events? The answer is, really freaking awesome.

Last night I attended a Riedel Vinum XL Tasting hosted by CEO Maxmillian Riedel. For those of you who don’t know, Riedel is the premier wine glass maker in the world. They are like the Rolls Royce of wine glasses and the goal of this event was to teach participants how different glasses effect the experience of different wines.

From left to right: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvingon

We compared three different wines in three different glasses; Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. In each and every case the wine was clearly best in its corresponding glass. When drinking the wine in the “wrong” glass you noticed that the wine that had lost of fruit suddenly became flat or the wine with the rich aroma of oak and vanilla suddenly had an unpleasant bitterness.

One of the most interesting parts of the tasting was at the end when Maxmillian said, “as wine drinkers, I’m sure you’ve been to plenty of tastings where you meet the wine maker and they ask you to sample their wines.” We all nodded. “And what,” he asked, “do they serve you their wines in? A plastic cup.” Maxmillian then asked us to pour our wine in to one of the plastic cups in front of us and smell and taste it. The change was unbelievable. It was as if the wine lost every single characteristic, good or bad, in the plastic.

Riedel does these wine glass tasting all over the country so if you don’t believe me you should sign up for one yourself and see. If you can’t get to a tasting at least try this; buy a nice bottle of wine. There are a lot of really nice wines out there for under $15 so you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Then pour some in to a small “white wine” glass, a larger “red wine glass” and a plastic cup and sniff, swirl and sip. You’re results probably won’t be as dramatic as drinking out our beautiful Riedel glasses, but I guarantee you’ll notice a difference.

Oh, and the best part, we got to keep the glasses!

“Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy.”
Alexander Fleming


4 comments on “The Glass Makes All The Difference

  1. I never really thought about how the glass makes a difference in the taste. Very interesting. And what a great swag gift!!

  2. Janet Tsang says:

    Fantastic entry Alli. I think I’m going to haul myself to one of these. I’m going to be away for the April one but hopefully there will be on after that 🙂

  3. And here I thought I was imagining things. Thank you for clearing that up. I had a recent experience where a wine I had many times at home did not taste as well while visiting my parents. Ignoring what Freud would say I think I need to get them nice wine glasses next holiday season.

  4. Wait, people who MAKE wine PROFESSIONALLY actually serve it in a plastic cup? GROSS!

    I would love to do this experiment with my wine-loving friends. We have Riedel Cab/Merlot/Bordeaux glasses and champagne flutes, but not white…for some reason whites make me sick!

    Love this post!

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