The physical differences between the glasses are obvious when you line them up. Glasses #2 and #4 are extensions of glasses #1 and #3 respectively.
The same wine smelt and tasted different in every glass – so with 4 wines tasted in 4 different Pinot Noir glasses, we had 16 unique experiences. Whilst each wine was obviously different, the attributes that each glass shape highlighted in those wine was very consistent. This is what we found:
#1 – Restaurant Pinot Noir Glass
Developed in 1986 the aromas highlighted by this glass were predominantly the floral, sweet fruit and alcohol characteristics. I personally found those very appealing and at times I favoured this glass - if only aroma was being considered. However the wines tasted shorter on the palate, with more acid and they lacked the depth of character that other glasses showed for the same wine.
#2 – Vinum XL Pinot Noir Glass
This glass was developed in 2006 when Riedel worked in conjunction with Oregon Pinot Noir producers. As can be seen from the profile photo, it is an evolution of glass #1 with an extended lip added. This changes the point to where you nose can enter the glass and as a result I smelt more of the herbal, mushroom and savoury characters that good Pinot Noir displays, particularly as they age. This glass definitely showed the more complex aromas and on the palate the lip shape added more body to the wine, than glass #1. This is the glass we have historically been using at The Winery for Pinot Noir tastings, it’s a good glass.
#3 – Extreme Restaurant Pinot Noir Glass
Designed in 2003 as part of a more angular glass collection we all found that this glass initially concealed the aromas that were so freely given in glasses #1 and #2. With time the wine began to be revealed, particularly the herbal, mushroom and savoury notes, but not as overwhelming as in glass #2. On the palate the wines were more fully structured and there was quite a firm tannin feel in the mouth, the alcohol presented a little too strongly. This glass shape was not the most pleasant to put to my mouth, I found it too angular and it placed the wine at the front of my tongue.
#4 – Extreme Restaurant Central Otago Pinot Noir Glass
Here we have it, OUR glass for Central Otago Pinot. For the photo we raised the base of the glass so the profile shows the evolution of the design, because the stem is not as long as glass #3. In this way you can clearly see the difference of the extension with the elegant tulip lip (as with glass #2).