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February 16, 2006

What's in a glass? I was going through a book last night on the Riedel dynasty and wondered why we are so enamored by glasses. Any host/ess will tell you that a nice glass is essential but in wine it is not just the colour and shape of the glass that is important but also the thickness of the lip and the ability to swirl the wine and admire the legs.

Why does the size of the lip matter? Besides for the fact that no one want to drink good wine from a glass that reminds you of a cheap water glass, you also don't want to interfere with the way the splendid liquid enters your mouth and hits your tongue on impact. And who wants to drink out of a red glass even if it does match your theme? Keep those for the water, how can you admire a fine claret if you can't see it? How can you judge sweetness and alcohol if you cant's see the legs?

The one part were Riedel has gone against common belief is when they designed a tasting glass that actually has a space in the stem for your wine and creates a gentle stream when brought to your mouth, nice to watch! And good to taste from as well. The best way to get your favourite glass though is still to try all your own glasses and see which one does justice to your favourite bottle.

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