Have you ever wondered while drinking your wine about the glass that you are drinking out of? I usually don’t, until I visited a winery that only serves their wine out of Riedel wine glasses. If you haven’t heard, these are supposed to be THE Wine Glasses of all wine glasses. So, recently I decided that I would conduct a little experiment of my own. Since I have a set of Riedel Merlot wine glasses, I decided that I would put this experiment to the test with a bottle of Merlot.
Before I get into my experiment, I want to tell you a little bit about wine glasses. As you saw above, I said that I have a set of Riedel Merlot glasses. Did you catch that? Merlot glasses. Most people are familiar with there being white wine glasses and red wine glasses. I also knew that there were sherry wine glasses due to my frequent watching of the sitcom Frasier when I was in school. Oh, and then there are sparkling wine glasses as well. But most people don’t know that there are wine glasses for each grape varietal. The purposes of these glasses, whether designated by wine color or grape varietal, are to aid in the aeration of the wine and to aid in the way you experience the wine. What I mean by that is, let’s say you have a sparkling wine, if you put the sparkling wine in a white wine glass, you will not get those bubbles that you would get in a champagne flute. The skinny shape of the flute promotes the flow of the bubbles. Also, the red wine glasses have larger bowls than white wine glasses. This allows the bolder flavors of the wine to have enough room to breathe. So then when you go to smell the wine, you can identify the notes of the wine more clearly than you would if you poured red wine in a white wine glass.
Now that you have been given a little bit of information on wine glasses, I will carry on with my experiment. I used three wine glasses to conduct my experiment: a Riedel Merlot glass, a nice red wine glass that I bought from Bed Bath and Beyond (BBB) and a $1 wine glass I bought from a local grocer.
|Heb Glass||BB&B Red Wine Glass||Riedel Merlot Glass|
|Nose||Only smell alcohol. Even though the glass has a wide opening, in fact wider than the others, the notes are hard to detect.||Mainly smelling the glass and potpourri.||Smells like a young wine with notes of plum and cocoa|
|Legs||The legs are inconsistent. After letting the wine rest a little longer, the legs came down slowly but still hard to see a consistent flow.||Coming down quickly but consistent.||The legs are beautiful, streaming down like a motion picture.|
|Taste||Just tastes like alcohol and metal. No real flavors coming out.||Tannins are subtle and the spice is heavy.||Tannins are more pronounced.|
|Notes||Tastes like a watered down juice that lingers on the palate.||Heavy on the oak, raisin. Here the spice tends to taste like it was heavy on the pepper. Instead of a rounded feel of spice you get a punch of heat on the palate.||Notes of spice, earth and a hint of oak. Here you get notes of spice and earth. The spice is more rounded verses a punch in the face like the BBB glass. The spice feels like earth on the cheeks. Also, notes of cocoa and dark fruit dance on the palate.|
As you can see, there was a difference in the smell and taste of the wine depending on the glass. After, looking at my notes, I thought to myself, am I expecting a difference because everyone speaks so highly of these glasses or is there a true difference in taste and smell? So, I conducted another test, blindfolded, and my conclusion was the same.
Does this mean that I will go out and buy a bunch of Riedel glasses? Probably not, but I will look into Cabernet and Zinfandel glasses since I tend to drink more of these.
If you remember from my previous posts, I have not found a bottle of Merlot that I have fell in love with. While drinking from the HEB glass and the BBB glass, I didn’t particularly care for the wine. However, when drinking from the Riedel, I was able to appreciate the notes and enjoy the glass of Merlot.
The bottle of wine that was used for this experiment was: Cycles Gladiator Merlot, California, 2019. It has notes of cherry, blackberry and cedar. It also has hints of pencil shavings and moss. I think this wine is better paired with red meat; possibly brisket.
After conducting my experiments, I used the remaining wine to make a Pomegranate Sangria. Here is the recipe below:
2 parts Merlot
1 part Ocean Spray Cranberry Pomegranate juice
1/4c Pomegranate Seeds
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
Combine the above ingredients and pour over crushed ice in a red wine glass. Salu’d!
I hope you enjoyed this article. Leave me a message below and tell me if you have tried Riedel glasses. Does glass matter to you?
XOXO, Smiling Danny, Salu’d