Does the shape of the glass affect the taste of the drink?

We all have our own taste preferences – much like how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Cognac, whisky and wine aficionados are, however, convinced that the quality of glassware, and especially the shape of the glass, affects the enjoyment of the drink.

The ideal shape of a glass for each drink is the result of hundreds of years of experience, and the matter has probably been the subject of numerous studies, too. A university in Tokyo conducted an experiment* by using a special camera and determined that different glasses and serving temperatures had a significant impact on the special camera images of wines. When drinking wine chilled to 13 degrees from a glass of a certain shape, the center of the drink held less alcohol than around the rim. There was no similar spherical phenomenon when warm wine was served from different glasses.

“This ring phenomenon allows us to enjoy the wine aroma without the interference of gaseous ethanol. Accordingly, the wine glass shape has a very sophisticated functional design for tasting and enjoying wine,” says  Kohji Mitsubayashi, who was involved in the study.


Whether the enjoyable taste is down to a scientifically proven phenomenon or not, you should not undervalue the fact that most people will find drinks more enjoyable when served in a beautiful, appropriate glass. Would you like to drink champagne from a plastic cup, for example?

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