The shape of the glass we choose to enjoy a drink is important – and that is never in dispute. We all appreciate the difference in glass shape.
A brandy snifter is wide at the body and narrower at the top because that enhances and then delivers the heady flavour that we inhale as well as taste.
A champagne flute is much to be preferred to a wide-mouthed bowl because it helps contain those bubbles that delight our nose.
So the shape of the glass in which we serve any libation matters.
More recently, tests have shown that the quality of the glass also matters.
The right glass adds to the drinking pleasure
Both the quality and shape of the bowl and rim contribute to our enjoyment. The experience starts with the tongue. Each part of our tongue responds to specific tastes. The very tip accepts sweet and salt. The sides of the tongue recognize sour tastes. The back of the tongue recognizes bitter tastes.
The shape of the glass directs the wine to the appropriate part of the tongue
The shape of the glass sends the liquid to a particular part of the tongue because that part of the tongue identifies the specific nature of that liquid. Even the rim makes a contribution. Experts say the rims should be cut, not rolled, so the wine flows more easily on to the tongue.
A glass should look and feel wonderful
Your senses come in to play as you sip a good glass of wine.
- Sight: The first sense is in appreciating the colour of the wine.
- Touch: Experience the feel of the glass when you lift it to the lips. The weight of the glass is all about balance when you lift it.
- Smell: Inhale deeply and slowly to savour the aroma.
- Taste: Finally, take that first sip, letting it roll over the tongue.
The clear lesson is that the glass affects the taste of the wine.