Have you ever wondered why wine glasses were different than beer or liquor glasses? Maybe you've wondered why there are so many different kinds of wine glasses. The fact of the matter is that there's a good reason for having all those different kinds of wine glasses. Believe it or not, the wine will taste different in each one of them. Don't take my word for it, give it a try yourself.
Most wine lovers know that etched wine glasses and coloured wine glasses can obscure your view of the wine, but not many know that wine tastes different in different glasses. In order to educate people, Riedel will put on a Riedel Challenge every once and a while.
They'll pour the same wine into a standard restaurant wine glass, a competing wine company's glass, and a Riedel glass designed to complement the wine being poured. Participants then taste the wine in all three glasses. The result: They swear they tasted three different wines!
How is this possible? Each wine has its own special characteristics. Take Barolo for example. A Barolo is made from the extremely tannic Nebbiolo grape. This is a big, mouth-busting red wine with a lot of alcohol. If you were to pour this big-boy wine into your usual wine glass and take a whiff, chances are your senses would be overrun by the smell of alcohol. If you smell anything at all, it will probably be something that reminds you of nail polish. Why does this happen?
The reason you're nose is assaulted by the Barolo is because your nose is too close to the wine. In your usual glass, the Barolo's bouquet doesn't have enough room to fully develop. In the average glass, your nose is only centimetres away from a very powerful wine and the resulting smell is not pleasant.