What’s In A Wine Glass?


Besides wine? Shape and form. An interesting article from SevenFifty Daily “In 1958 the Austrian glassmaker Claus Josef Riedel added a new wineglass to his catalog. With a large bowl and a gently flared lip, the Burgundy Grand Cru was specifically intended to hold Burgundy wines. At that time, a glass made for a particular wine was a first. According to Maximilian Riedel, a grandson of Claus and the current CEO of Riedel, until then nobody else had recognized that the “taste, bouquet, balance, and finish of a wine [could be] affected by the shape of a glass.” His grandfather, he says, “took notice [whenever] a slight change in his glassware made a change in what he was drinking.”

The Burgundy Grand Cru was followed by a line of 10 more wine-specific shapes: Alsace, Bordeaux Grand Cru, Chardonnay, Hermitage, Loire, Montrachet, Riesling Grand Cru, Rosé, Sauternes, and Zinfandel. Today, Riedel makes dozens of specialized glasses; the company’s 2018 catalog specifies which of dozens of shapes are appropriate for some 200 different wines, which include familiar grapes like Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc (in oaked and unoaked expressions); less familiar grapes, such as Bacchus and Zierfandler; appellations, like Hermitage; and styles, like rosé.

The idea that particular shapes are appropriate for particular wines has become so accepted that other makers of high-end glassware, such as Zalto and Gabriel-Glas, now differentiate themselves by explicitly offering “universal” glasses—wineglasses that are suited for drinking any kind of wine.”

There’s a lot more information from Examining the Science of Wineglass Shapes. This is really an interesting article that Robin found. Enjoy!

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