Effects of the form of glasses on the perception of wine flavors: a study in untrained subjects

Appetite. 2003 Oct;41(2):197-202. doi: 10.1016/s0195-6663(03)00082-5.


Many wine connoisseur claim that the glass shape has a direct impact on wine aroma. This hypothesis was investigated in healthy volunteers (85 m, 96 f; age 19-73 years); 89 subjects received red wine, 92 subjects white wine. Subjects compared three glasses with a white wine and three glasses with a red. Glasses were of different shape but of the same height and of comparable opening diameter. All glasses had elegant stems; two glasses of 'tulip' and 'beaker'-like shapes were used in sessions with red and white wines. Different bulbous glasses were used in either red or white wine sessions. Subjects were blinded whether they received one or more wines. Intensity, hedonic tone, and quality of the wines were rated repeatedly before and after drinking. Ratings of wine odors from different glasses were influenced by glass shape. Importantly, this appeared not to relate to the esthetic impression the glasses made. Thus, the present data indicate that the shape of glasses seems to influence the perception of wine odors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cooking and Eating Utensils* / classification
  • Esthetics*
  • Glass
  • Odorants*
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Wine*