Re: Wine drinkers - An excellent article on wine glass shapes
Phil Grenier, of Wine Knows in Grayslake, said he was skeptical at first of claims by Riedel and other glassmakers. So when a Riedel salesperson offered to do a demonstration, with four wines poured side-by-side into his company's specialty glasses and regular all-purpose glasses, Grenier was game.
"By the third wine I said, 'Forget it. Just pour into the Riedel.' It does make a difference," he said.
Many, many years ago...but same personal experience here. Was very skeptical at first. But it's true. But I also agree with someone else's comment further in the article that you don't need a whole lot of different glasses. Riedel makes a great "Sample Set" (Vinum Series) of 4 different basic types in one box, that's not too expensive. We use them each year at the Los Angeles County Fair special wine tasting event "The Glass Does Make A Difference." Guests pay $75 and go through a class where several of the same wines are compared in different glasses, and we use the Riedel Vinum Sampler 4 (which they get to take home afterwords)...along with a standard restaurant/bar wine glass...commonly referred to in the industry as a "Joker Glass."
We ask for a show of hands afterwards of skeptics...and we never get one!!! Converts each and every one.
But you don't have to spend a lot on fairly adequate glasses. I sometimes throw this cheap set of 4 "big-bowl red" glasses in the trunk when we drive someplace and stay at a hotel:
We can then host friends in our room with glasses much nicer than the "jokers" the hotel might have. Think I paid under 10 bucks for that set of 4 glasses. At that price...you don't have to worry about breakage so much. And they are more durable than the thiner Riedel crystal.
And always in the trunk of my car, is one of the plastic wine glasses from the tasting room at California Adventure. I think those are very nice unbreakable "double walled" plastic wine glasses, and I believe they are made for Disney by Riedel. They really do look like glass at first glance. That puppy has been much appreciated when I'm at some Best Western or Motel 6 and the only thing to pour wine into is a bathroom tumbler!
But at home...we always use the best we have.
A tip at restaurants: Many will set your table with joker glasses or serve in some other standard type of wine glass...yet they often have much nicer and more appropriate glasses "in the back" that they will bring out upon request. So when ordering a nice wine at a restaurant, it never hurts to ask, "...and we'd like your best stemware."