Yes, the Shape of Your Wine Glass Really Does Matter

There are plenty of good reasons to be sceptical of snobby wine culture. Regardless of what so-called experts will tell you, expensive wine doesn’t always taste better, a few ice cubes won’t ruin your drink, and professional tasters don’t necessarily have superior palates. But there is one seemingly pretentious practice that’s based in truth: By choosing the right glass, you can make a $10 bottle of wine taste like a top-shelf product.

The artisans at Riedel have spent 11 generations perfecting their specialty wine glasses. As the company’s president Maximilian Riedel tells Fast Company, each glass they sell is made to hold a specific drink, and if you split the same wine between two glasses, it will end up tasting like two completely different varieties.

The secret to their glasses’ flavor-manipulating properties is in the shape, which dictates how the liquid hits your tongue. If you’re drinking pinot noir from the right glass, it will flow in a sharp point towards the tip of your tongue and hit your sweet-sensing taste buds first. This automatically balances out the wine’s bracing acidity.