Does it matter whether wine is served in a varietal-specific glass, an old jelly jar, or a green plastic cup? The material the glass is made from matters a great deal, says maria lorraine. “I can taste and smell paper cups, so no-go there,” she says. “Plastic only if there is no glass. Plastic glasses usually aren’t shaped to concentrate aromas, nor are they as fun as glass, but they can get you by.”

EmyLouie agrees. “Plastic does have a scent that I can pick up at times that must mingle and interfere with the wine smells,” she says. “Plus wine drinking is sensual. Putting plastic in the mouth feels different then putting glass on the lips.”

But given that your vessel is glass and has no odor, does the shape matter? carswell thinks varietal-specific glasses are a “gimmick,” but concedes that shape can seriously affect the experience of different wines. “The bouquets of some wines—old Burgundies are a classic example—need a lot of space to develop to their fullest,” he says. “Chilled wines are best served in glasses smaller than would be ideal for room-temperature wines since they lose their chill and so should be replenished often.”

fourunder thinks nice wine glasses can be an important part of creating a mood, but doesn’t care much about the vessel when at home alone. “A long as it’s glass, I don’t care if I’m drinking out of my Fred Flintstone jelly jar glass from my youth,” he says. And some people like to drink wine by the tumbler.

EmyLouie thinks the glass matters for reasons of mystery and beauty. “My gypsy Grandmother gave me a thick antique lavender goblet that I had when I was a young woman; every sip out of that thing took on mystical properties,” she says. “The cup was old, weird, beautiful and my grandmother was mysterious. The right accoutrements create an ambience. The whole experience can transport a person to a different time and place, like opening theater curtains to watch a story unfold.”

Board Link: Does The Vessel You Drink From Matter?

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