Let’s take a virtual wine tasting tour to learn about some of Europe’s best wine regions. Many of the wines below are enjoyed in their own uniquely shaped stemware, which begs the question...
Does Glassware Matter?
The shape of a wine glass plays an important role in bringing out the wine’s nuanced aromas and flavors. The size of the glass’ opening affects how much oxygen is in contact with the wine. Swirling increases the wine’s surface area even further, and that oxygenation allows the wine to “breathe” and “open up”, releasing its unique aromas.
Ethanol vapors are also released, and the bowl of the glass helps to collect those aromas in a ring-shaped pattern around the rim. Japanese scientists confirmed this pattern by tracking the concentration of gaseous ethanol as it is released from wine. They analyzed many types of glasses and found that the shape does affect vapor distribution; this means that a person would discern different aromas when smelling the same wine in different glasses.
How to Select the Right Wine Glass
The shape of the glass also impacts how quickly the wine flows and where it lands on your palate when drinking. Since smell and taste are so strongly linked to how humans perceive flavor, these factors—along with the wine itself—combine to bring out the complexities of the drink.