Can the shape of your wine glass affect the taste?

It is commonly agreed that the shape of a wine glass affects the taste of the wine. Many generations of wine connoisseurs and wine experts, along with wine lovers, have debated over which wine glass shapes are best suited to a particular wine. Ideal Wine Company review how the shape of a wine glass can impact the taste of your wine.

The basic shape of a wine glass is designed for optimum wine drinking. The sides usually bow inwards towards the rim, which means that we point our noses towards the centre of a glass. This reduces the harshness of the gaseous ethanol, or alcohol, making wine aromas more distinct.

This shape is key to how we drink. When you drink, you tilt your head differently, depending on the shape of your glass. With wide rimmed glasses, you lower your head, but when drinking from a narrow rim you tilt your head back. These different positions change the speed of the wine hitting your tongue, as well as the intensity of the aroma while drinking. The intensity of wine aromas also strongly correlates with the ratio between the diameter of the glass cup, at its widest point, to the diameter of the opening.

Ideal Wine Company wine glass shape
Can the shape of wine glasses affect the taste of the wine?

Taste Test

This theory was put to the test, to see to what extent the shape of a glass changed the taste of a wine. Using a Cabernet Sauvignon as an example, the same wine was sampled from two different glasses. Both Riedel, one glass was a traditional Bordeaux glass while the other was designed for Cabernet/Merlot.

The Bordeaux glass

This glass had a larger and less round opening. The large opening caused the wine to hit the palate all at once, softening the acidity of the wine and causing it to taste more monolithic. This caused the wine to taste smoother and less fruity, with the taste not persisting as long on the palate. The less round bowl caused the aroma to be less intense. This wine was kept smooth yet resulted in more muted aromas. This glass would be a good choice for bold, European reds.

The Cabernet/Merlot glass

In comparison, this glass had a much smaller rim and a rounder bowl. Due to the smaller opening, the wine hit the palate in one centralised place and expanded outwards as you tasted it. This caused the wine to taste more acidic and made the taste persist longer in the mouth. The round bowl did a lot to collect the aromas in the glass and funnel them into your nose. The wine smells more intense as a result.

What to Look For

As the test shows, the taste of wine changes with the glass that is used. Make sure to match your wine glass to both what you are drinking and to highlight the notes you want to make dominant. While taste is personal, it is traditionally advised to stick to smaller bowls for white wines and larger bowls for red wines.

Demand for Australian Fine Wine Rises in the Past Year

New export figures have shown the Ideal Wine Company that demand for Australian fine wine has increased in the past year.

The growth of the Australian fine wine industry

Australia has spent the last 200 years making wine. Its efforts are starting to pay off, as the land down has started to develop a reputation for making excellent wine in the past few decades. Now it produces vintages that rival those made by established powers in the fine wine trade such as France, Spain and Italy.

There are regions in the south of Australia that have the temperate climate and ideal soil types needed to produce first class vino. This has allowed areas such as Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales to become famous for their ability to produce quality grapes such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir.

The AGWA Wine Export Approval Report March 2015

New export figures published in a report by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) show that demand for Australian fine wine has continued to surge. AGWA’S Wine Export Approval Report March 2015 shows that the land down under registered a 3.6% rise in volume and a 3.9% in the value of its wine exports between March 2014 and March 2015.

AGWA CEO Andreas Clarke was quoted by Drinks Business explaining the role fine wine played in this surge. Clarke explained that “some of the strongest growth is seen in the premium price segments.” The CEO went on to explain that “while the above A$7.50 price segment accounts for just 5% of total export volume, the value share is considerably higher at 27%.”

Demand for Australian fine wine has risen in Asia

Clarke also pointed out that a fair share of this growth can be attributed to the rising popularity of Australian fine wines in Asian markets such as China. The world’s largest continent accounted for more than half of exports of Australian wines priced above A$7.50 in the year to March 2015; a rise of 13% from the year before.

Andrew Caillard MW, who established Langton’s (Australia’s fine wine classification system) agreed with Clarke. He was quoted by another Drinks Business article saying that “Australia is really making its best wine now. We’re seeing iconic vintages year after year and Asia, especially China, is leading the demand for top-end wine.”

Find out why everybody loves Australian fine wine

Therefore demand for Australian fine wine is rising across the world, especially in Asia, because people are coming to realise what a fantastic product it really is. Find out why it’s rising in popularity by sampling a selection of Australian fine wines from the Ideal Wine Company.