I Was Big Glass Gluping

The Riedel explosion has done much more good for wine than bad, but one negative aspect has been the onslaught of giant wine glasses. My recent experience at Thanksgiving not only exposed me to many wines I would never drink on my own,  but it also brought home the change in the way people drink wine today as compared to  a few years ago. In a typical exercise in American overreaction, we went from glasses that were too small to glasses that are just plain huge. I am reminded of The New Yorker cartoon where a man is drinking from a huge glass of wine and comments that his doctor has recommended he cut back to one glass of wine a day. While I understand (and agree with)  some of the Riedel philosophy that the space amplifies the aromas, all to often most wine glasses these days are just big. While the exacting designs of Riedel and other fine wine glass producers without a doubt improves the wine experience, most other (read cheaper) glasses don't do anything for wine except to hold more of it. Many glasses used today make the host look cheap if less than a third of a bottle is poured into the glass. This phenomenon works well for mass-brand-wine-beverage producers as they are more interested in consumers that gulp than those that savor. Bigger is not always better when it comes to glasses.  Invest in fine quality glasses of medium size if you don't want to own dozens of different types of glasses for each and every type of wine. A great wine shows its character in any well designed glass, but can be lost in a glass whose only quality is its size.