It is well known that for different wines, glasses of different shapes are used, which favour the tasting of their contents by presenting specific features, but so far we haven't had news about the shape of the container being able to change the taste of the wine itself.
Well, this is the conclusion reached by a group of Japanese scientists, analysing the ethanol vapour emanating from a wine glass by means of a camera system developed at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University. The experiment uses a mesh impregnated with the enzyme alcohol oxidase, which converts the low molecular weight alcohols to aldehydes and hydrogen peroxide. This mesh is also impregnated with peroxidase and luminol, and the whole, placed on top of a glass of wine, triggers a chemical reaction that causes a colour change, then collected and analysed by the camera.
Thus, depending on the shape of the glass and the temperature of wine, very different images are captured, indicating changes in the taste we would perceive while tasting the wine in different containers, providing different “bouquets” and taste effects.
Specifically, the study director Kohji Mitsubayashi, reveals that at 13º C the concentration of alcohol emanating is lower at the centre than at the rim of the glass, resulting in a ring-shaped pattern that favours the appreciation of wine aroma without interference from ethanol.
Conversely, at higher temperatures and differently shaped glasses (straight cut glasses, Martini glasses, etc.), this pattern disappears and the wine loses (apparently) its most characteristic properties, demonstrating that the design of the glasses plays a decisive role in the enjoyment of wine. Thus, this system is also emerging as an ideal help to perfect the design of glasses, supported by scientific evidence.
Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005: a red wine from the Rioja DO which blend contains tempranillo and garnacha of 2005 and presents an alcohol content of 13.5º.
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2004: a red wine Rioja produced with graciano and tempranillo from the 2004 vintage and with an alcoholic strength of 12.5º.