Science Vindicates Wine Snobs

The glass you drink from affects wine's flavor
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2015 10:47 AM CDT
Science Vindicates Wine Snobs
Good thing this isn't a martini glass.   (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

As snotty as people might sound when they insist on a wine glass with a certain shape, it turns out they're right: The shape of that glass actually does have a bearing on how the drink tastes, Scientific American reports. Scientists made that clear using what they have dubbed, in the journal Analyst, a "sniffer-camera." Researchers placed a combination of chemicals on a mesh strainer, which they put on wine glasses. The camera, which showed images of ethanol vapor, revealed how that chemical was distributed in the wine. And ethanol concentrations, UPI reports, can influence the taster's perception.

Turns out that wine in researchers' wine glasses, at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, had a lower concentration of alcohol in the middle of the glass than around the rim, Scientific American reports. But wine in a martini glass, a straight glass, or served warmer didn't have the same "ring phenomenon," which, a researcher says, "allows us to enjoy the wine aroma without interference of gaseous ethanol. Accordingly, wine glass shape has a very sophisticated functional design for tasting and enjoying wine." The team's work could eventually help us choose the right glass, and temperature, for each drink. (Of course, that probably won't fix the wine headaches, whose cause might not be what you think it is.)

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