Calling all conspiracy buffs: The sparkling wine glass plot

sparkling wine glass

Do we really need a sparkling wine glass that looks like a cement mixer? Of course not

The Wine Curmudgeon is old enough to remember 1960s-style sparkling wine glasses, the bowl-shaped kind that were supposed to resemble Marie Antoinette’s breasts. Then the experts told us we needed to switch to the flute-shaped glasses in use today, so we did.

But over the past couple of years, that hasn’t been good enough for the experts. First, we were supposed to switch to traditional white wine glasses. Then Riedel, which never met a wine it couldn’t create a glass for, said we needed a sort of white wine glass designed for bubbly.

And now, as Felicity Carter reports in Wine Business International, we need a glass that looks like a cement mixer. And the glass needs to be dusty.

Enough already. This is only sparkling wine, not a cure for cancer. Can’t we just drink and enjoy?

Nevertheless, Carter reports that the experts say there is scientific evidence that the cement mixer glass, and especially if it’s dusty, produces more and better bubbles. And more and better bubbles mean more enjoyable wine.

Which is all well and good, save for one thing (which doesn’t include the cost of replacing your glasses). What difference does the design make to the vast majority of wine drinkers? Can we tell the difference between the bubbles in a flute glass and in the cement mixer glass? Isn’t the wine just as enjoyable in the former?

The answers: Almost certainly not, and of course. And I can’t imagine most of us want to drink wine out of a dusty glass.

I taste lots of sparkling wine, using flutes and white wine glasses, and it’s not the glass that matters. It’s the quality of the bubbly, and all the glass does is let me determine the quality. Crappy wine is crappy wine, regardless of what it is served in.

In other words, don’t spend more on the glass than the cost of the wine. If you drink $100 wine regularly, then by all means buy a $100 wine glass. But for the 99 percent of us who drink wine that costs $10 or less, a glass that costs about $10 is more than sufficient. And the one in the link is more difficult to break. Can the Champagne people say that about their glass?

 Photo courtesy of the Wine Business International, using a Creative Commons license

4 thoughts on “Calling all conspiracy buffs: The sparkling wine glass plot

  • By Phil Ward - Reply

    And we thought Riedel was bad with their multiple types of stemware.
    This glass may be ideal but the design looks like it would be a PIA to use.
    I’m willing to bet that it costs a small fortune to buy, is 100% crystal and “you” would break them regularly considering how difficult it looks to clean and dry them properly. Imho, of course.

  • By J Peter Gallo - Reply

    I drink my Dom Perignon directly out of the bottle mostly.

  • By Linda Murphy - Reply

    Hear, hear, Mudge. While I sip bubbles at home from a white-wine glass, and get a kick out of being served Champagne, by the Champenoise, in their newfangled broad tulip stems, the cement mixer glass is putty putty bizarre. Imagine the breakage rate of these things … and the profit the producer collects in replacing broken glasses.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      Yes, Murph, but is your glass dusty?

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