This class blew me away in terms how experiencing wine can be so different depending on a few things. I was worried I might be sweet talked into a glassware set, but I was proven otherwise by Riedel. One of the most curious things about wine is the different type of glassware you can use to enjoy a glass of wine – but do we really know the nuances of each type? For me, it was such an informative session to learn about the science and the why behind each glass.

shape of wine vancouver international wine festival

Riesling Glass
This glass directs the aromas in a narrower channel and with the quick route the wine travels, it hits the sides and back of your mouth for a palate cleanser. Having a Riesling slow down in a large bowled glass as was demonstrated starts to taste sour or dry.

Oaked Chardonnay
I can’t speak science to this, but the smell of oaked Chardonnay was a lot sweeter when correctly put into this glass in comparison being put in a traditional wine glass. Smooth and light, it hydrated. In other glasses, it lost its sweet smell and hit the sides of my mouth, almost acidic.

shape of wine vancouver international wine festival

Pinot Noir
Like the previous two, the smell was more directed in this glass with the correct wine. Having the wine slow its travel in the bigger bowl seemed to allow the wine to hit the correct spots of my mouth. Paired with the white chocolate, I felt like that rat in Ratatouille that could visualize the flavours in colour and movement. The white chocolate covered my palate and the Pinot Noir ebbed in and picked up its flavours with its tannin and spice. When Pinot Noir was poured into the Riesling glass, all I could taste was tannin.

This was my favourite. I love merlot and realized how many times I must have drank it without giving it the space to breath and move in a bigger bowl. The more elements, the wider the bowl apparently. The smell was sweet and complex, the red fruit unlocking. The wave of wine in my mouth was smooth and bold and paired with the dark chocolate, it covered my mouth with a complex but delicious aftertaste. Okay — on a personal note, how many times have I drank a merlot in a narrower glass and made it taste like a punch of sour and tannin? I even think of wines I disliked because of their spicier notes —  I’ll have to revisit every wine I’ve tasted with this glass.

For more information on the Vancouver International Wine Festival, check out their website here: