Does it really matter what glass I drink from?

Cellartags - Wine Glass Selection 101

Knowing which wine glass to drink from, especially if you’re new to drinking wine, can be a bit confusing. You may be sipping wine from your favourite coffee mug or mason jar and wondering why it even matters. Well, if you are looking to make the most out of your wine, the shape of the glass actually does matter. It may sound crazy, but there’s science behind it.

A wine’s taste is mainly impacted by the size and shape of a glass. According to Riedel, there are four features of a wine glass that play an important role. The first feature is the base. We won’t go into detail about this one because its purpose is pretty straightforward – it stops the glass from tipping over.

The second feature is the stem. Although the purpose also seems fairly obvious, there are two interesting factors the stem can play. Firstly, the stem allows you to hold the glass without touching the bowl to avoid heating the wine from your body temperature, potentially interfering with the flavour. Secondly, it also keeps your fingers away from the rim of the glass. It may sound strange, but your hands have their own unique scent which can change the aromas of the wine. You may prefer stemless glasses for your wine which is perfectly fine. But when it comes to expensive bottles, it may be worth using a nicer glass to enhance the experience.

Next is the bowl, the part of the glass where the wine actually settles. You have probably noticed that some wine glasses have a wider bowl than rim. This is to allow for proper swirling, which allows the wine’s aromas to attach themselves to oxygen, making them easier to smell. If you’re looking for the full sensory experience, try and opt for glasses with a bigger bowl to allow for more space and let the aromas fully manifest.

The final part of the glass is the rim. This part of the glass is where the wine makes contact with your mouth. This may be a personal preference, but generally the thinner the rim of the glass, the smoother the transition between glass and mouth. As a rule of thumb when shopping for wine glasses, take note of the thickness of the glass – the thicker the glass, the more likely it’s of poor quality.

But hey, if you’re happy drinking your favourite wine from a mason jar (or straight from the bottle), don’t let anyone stop you.


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