Shape of Wine Glasses Affect Flavor to the Individual Person

Our wine and restaurant industry both believe there are red wine glasses and white wine glasses. See the paragraph above to know that I’m about to blow that theory apart. That there are Cabernet Sauvignon glasses, Merlot glasses, Chardonnay glasses and Riesling glasses is pure…well…bonk!

But wait. I like my cab glass, you say. Great, I say to you. Beautiful. Keep drinking out of it. But try Chardonnay in it.

The shape of the glass does affect flavor. Absolutely. And we have really studied the science of the glass and overlayed it on top of #3, but then took it a step further. Could subconscious survival mode come into play as well, thus individualizing the glass to the person away from the type of wine?

Jim at Turtle Run has done some incredible work on how the volumetric pressure and vapor pressure of glasses affects the overall flavor perceived by the consumer and takes a critical eye towards steering the shape of glass away from a grape variety and towards your taste bud count. This is radical new science that only comes from Turtle Run. Jim goes so deep with glasses that if you catch him and ask him about glass shape, he’ll probably demonstrate how your subconscious views glasses through different lenses and how the subconscious can affect flavor experienced from different shaped glasses.

In a nutshell / in a Cliff notes fashion, before you drink any beverage, you breathe into the nose. You smell it. Even water. Yep. Sure do. Subconsciously, your mind says, “Is this beverage safe to consume, yes or no,” and the mind goes through the 40,000 (or if you’re younger, maybe 10,000 or 15,000) specific aroma memories. Proceed to drink, yes or no? It’s called the Orthonasal experience. Due to volumetric pressure, vapor pressure, surface tension, temperature and alcohol concentration, each glass will deliver slight nuance differences in aromas. The orthonasal experience determines both safety and what flavors you may experience by aligning subconscious flavor recognitions. Wines, well natural wines like Turtle Run wines, contain upwards of 1500 natural chemical compounds, so there is a lot at play here.

Now, with different slopes, circumferences, and rim thickness, our tongues and lips will shape and place differently to capture the incoming liquid. Try it at home. Get two different glasses and put them up to your mouth and you’ll notice the shape of your lips will be different and your tongue will be positioned differently. Why is that? To keep us from drowning. And to set up flavor recognition. Both. Then, try liquid in those glasses. Notice how one glass pushes the liquid to the back of your mouth? Another sends the liquid to the sides of your mouth and yet another to the front. Uh oh. Most flavors we experience come from the sense of smell. But now the retronasal experience is where we’re going. It’s the breathing out of the nose. And we’re looking at nanoseconds of flavor recognition. We are also paying attention to vaporization in the mouth due to the heat and humidity in the mouth. If a glass sends the wine to the back of mouth, bitters will be more prevalent. If the wine is sent up front or to the sides, the wine will be softer. Why is that? Vaporization. Our nasal passageway is in the back, so if we can get the experience of alcohol to be noticed first (alcohol boils at a lower point than water) and since alcohol is a bitter…see where I am going? A glass that sends the wine to the back allows for the vaporization of bitter alcohol to be noticed first. If you have a lower taste bud count, that’s probably a good thing. If you have a higher taste bud count, that’s probably a bad thing. Make sense? See how the glass should be aligned towards the person and away from the type of wine?

Lets say you have a high number of taste buds and you find Cabernet Sauvignon and other red wines to be, well, um, GROSS! Try it again but in a smaller glass and any glass that keeps the wine up front. Any glass that reduces the orthonasal experience and perhaps you can tolerate cab. On the opposite spectrum, one with less taste buds tends to steer away from sweet wines. Find the biggest darn glass you can that blows up the aromas and sends the wine to the back of the mouth. Perhaps that’s the way to like a sweet wine. Then again, sugar added wines are gross.

Can you see that Turtle Run Winery is very, very different? NOT A “ME TOO” WINERY. Not even close. Hate additives, hate headaches. HATE SUGAR. SUGAR IS THE CAUSE OR CATALYST FOR NEARLY EVERY DISEASE. The head winemaker who is typing this is Jim and I have a background in nutrition, sports nutrition, body health. I also have ADD, and that gift from God keeps me exploring and upsetting apple carts…all…day….long.

Cheers, Jim

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