It’s a well-known fact that using the wrong glass for a given wine can affect the wine’s flavor and aromas, since the size, shape and thickness of each component of the stemware used in tasting does or does not enhance the characteristics of the individual varietals and type of wine.
The four of us – three sisters and one brothers – wanted to make sure we got our shapes right and hit the road. No typo, we literally hit the road on a stemware mission! Our destination was Kufstein, Austria, where we would meet with George Riedel, the internationally renowned producer of some of the world’s most renowned wine glasses.
He welcomed us at eight o’clock in the morning, on an empty stomach: the tasting needed to be unaffected by any organoleptic influence from food or beverages. Herr Riedel poured our Bellini cocktails into thirty glasses each, and the tasting began – a veritable workout for the senses! The peachy aromas and flavors appeared in an entirely different light, depending on the type of glass we were using.
The biggest surprise was… the cocktail glass. Or, as it is commonly known, the martini glass with the inverted cone bowl. The excessively wide opening actually wiped out the peach fruit aromas.
Subsequently, George Riedel asked each of us – without influencing us in any way – which three glasses were, to our mind, the most suitable for Bellini. Strangely enough, after tasting the cocktail in thirty glasses, we all selected the same stemmed glass.
We’re not saying you need to serve our cocktails or Prosecco in Riedel glasses. It is, however, important to avoid champagne flutes (which is sooo Fifties, isn’t it?), martini glasses and tall, narrow tumblers. Bellini is best served ice-cold, in a wine glass with a wide, rounded bowl.