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Raising (the right) glass

We attended a 'wine glass tasting' for superyacht crew and discovered just how much of an impact the right (or wrong) wine glass has on the taste of wine. And it made us wonder, just how many owners and crew are aware of this?

Credit: Riedel

Spectacular wine is, for many, a huge part of the superyacht experience – a crewmember recently recounted the story of an owner who wanted to store 1,500 bottles of wine on a 43m yacht.

Whether it’s a two-Michelin-star restaurant or your local pub, we’ve all breathed in the aroma coming from our wine glass, raising our eyebrows to mutually agree upon our disappointment with a wine we thought would blow our minds. But did you ever stop to think the wine might actually be fine – better than fine, it might be outstanding – but you were just drinking it from the wrong glass?

Riedel glass company, known best for its collection of wine glasses, held a ‘wine glass tasting’, in association with the Professional Yacht Association (PYA) and its GUEST (Guidelines for Unified Excellence in Service Training) awareness day, where we got the chance to taste the same wine from a variety of glasses, and the difference was absolutely remarkable. Not only do different glass shapes dictate what happens to the aromas and where they go (do they linger in the glass or do they head straight to your nose?), the shape of the glass actually dictates where your tongue touches the glass when you take a sip and, hence, which taste buds react to the wine first. It’s really quite remarkable.  

The shape of the glass actually dictates where your tongue touches the glass when you take a sip and, hence, which taste buds react to the wine first. It’s really quite remarkable.

My question is, how many superyacht crew know about this? And, more to the point, how many owners? The more ways crew can please owners and guests the better. I’m not suggesting superyachts should hold 20 different collections of wine glasses but, if there’s room, why not hold more than one collection? And think carefully about which collections you choose; if you’re only able to purchase one set of glasses, purchase the set that will compliment the biggest variety of wines. There is, in fact, a free Riedel app that will tell you which glass is best for which wine.

“Every grape and thus every wine has its own characteristics, always being influenced by the glass out of which it is being drunk,” Riedel’s Lambert Manden tells The Crew Report.

There is a favourite glass for the superyacht industry, Manden adds, and it’s not hard to see why. “As far the superyacht business is concerned we sell mostly our most exclusive line: Sommeliers. These glasses are mouth blown and hand made in our factory in Kufstein, Austria.”

So next time you’re choosing which collection of wine glasses to purchase for the boat, it might be worth keeping this in mind.  

 

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Professional Yachting Association

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