Sipping from the Proper Stemware: Experts Give Opinions at Cleveland Wine Week


The wine gods may very well strike you down the next time you pour that delicious pinot into a plastic cup.
That's according to reporter Marc Bona, a reporter who ventured into a glassware seminar at Cleveland Week of Wine to learn about how to get glassy while drinking wine.
“The art of matching appropriate glassware with specific varietals might seem like a marketing ploy to sell high-priced glasses,” Bona wrote yesterday. “But it serves a distinct purpose.”
Fine-wine distribution boss Mary Horn led the seminar, he said. 
“When it comes to wine, the most important body parts are your tongue and nose,” Bona wrote. “At the seminar/tasting, both were put through their paces like a player at the NFL combine.”
The first lesson: the vessel from which you drink makes all the difference world. 
“Novices – and those who think we know a little bit about wine – who believe Solo plastic cups, tasting-room glasses or elegant … stemware are the same for all wines had their taste buds leap up to protest past injustices,” he said. 
According to the story, class participants drank three wines – pinot noir, syrah and cabernet sauvignon – from a wine glass and a glass beaker.
“The glass makes all the difference where it delivers the wine to your palate,” Horn said during the seminar. “If you spent $75 on a cab, don't you deserve to put it in the right glass?”
Bona said the difference in the way wine poured over the tongue according to the glass used was immediately apparent.
He described his lingual adventure with the three different types of glasses. 
“When tilting back the big-bowl, tulip-lipped Pinot glass, you feel the liquid hit the front of your palate. With the smaller-rimmed Syrah glass the liquid moves quickly to the back of your palate,” he observed. “And with the towering Cabernet glass, it runs to the sides of your mouth.”
Stemware style also affected the way the nose perceived a wine, he said. 
“We smelled and tasted Pinot Noir in plastic cup, correct glass and incorrect one,” he wrote. “In the Pinot Noir the wine's fruit was at the forefront. In the Cab glass, the wine yielded a harshness, minerals and tannins that weren't there in the Pinot glass.”
Bona said the main focus of the class was very direct: go glass, or go home.
“Aroma from the same wine in each glass varied to some degree. But the plastic cup? No flavors wafting there,” he said. “Moral of the story? 'Never drink out of plastic.'”

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