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Plastic Cups to Taste Wine

My first trek to wineries in Ohio was met with some disappointment with the tasting experience at two wineries. These winery tasting rooms serve their wines in small one ounce transparent plastic cups. Fortunately the third winery I visited used glass stemware. I realize that using plastic cups is a money saving practice but it does a disservice to tasters. Transparent cups make it difficult at best to judge a wine’s color and the color of the wine along the edge of the wine. These small cups also limit the wine’s bouquet.  You can’t stick your nose in the cup or you’ll hit bottom and your nose is likely going to over shoot some of the cup if you place it along the top. One’s tasting is limited to the taste and after taste of the wine. I like to look at a wine’s color and smell the wine then swirl the wine and smell several more times before tasting it.  Unfortunately I am biased against wine served in small transparent plastic cups. My first thought is “What are they trying to hide?”

The vast majority of wineries use ISO stemware. There are a few wineries that use fine stemware.  The ISO type stemware levels the playing field. It allows one to compare wines from different wineries taking the vessel out of the picture. However I applaud those tasting rooms that use fine stemware. Several of the tasting room visited in Oregon, Italy and Ontario use fine stemware. Fine stemware enhances the tasting experience. It also enhances one’s ability to detect faults in the wine.

What type of vessel do you like to taste wine from?

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