I remember my first time in a Riedel glass tasting. It was around seven years ago at the Helsinki Wine-expo. I was not a wine geek then, wine curious perhaps. A friend convinced me to try out Riedels glass experience, where the same wine was served from four different glasses to make the point that Glass Matters. Yes, I tasted the difference. Or at least I think I did. How much is psychological is quite interesting. A friend, who is a neuro scientist, has written articles about tasting cheap and expensive wines. if you know the wine is expensive, you will be more likely to like it he says. It may be the same with the glass: if you know you are holding handcrafted fine crystal, you will like the taste better. The aromatic experience I truly believe is different due to different shapes of glasses, so that of course strengthens the total experience. Anyway, glassware matters to me, and that is most important.
I have three favorites when it comes to wine glasses: the Zalto white wine glass (works for sparkling as well), the Zalto burgundy (for all reds) and the Lehmann Grand Champagne glass. We have been collecting Zaltos for a few years, but newly also purchased a set of Lehmanns as they were sold for an attractive price at the Grand Champagne event. The event is actually named after this specific glass that is designed by Master of Wine Essi Avellan. All of these favorites are light, thin and hand made. You are almost worried you will break the glass just by holding it, however, when wine is poured the glass gains balance. These babies will not break in normal usage, but you have to be careful not to tip them over. And God forbid, they cannot be washed in a dishwasher. I have a special soft brush for them (the one I used to clean my baby daughters milk bottles). Eventually there will of course be an accident and one of the beautiful glasses will break. It is the risk that wine drinkers take when they buy nice glassware.
It would be interesting to hear thoughts from you readers if you think glass matters, and which ones are your favorites!