Does the shape of a wine glass truly affect the aroma and taste of the wine? Luxury French glassmaker Baccarat believes so, which is why they have created their revolutionary new Chateau Baccarat tulip-shaped wine glasses. The glasses feature a unique trapezoid shape and design that the company claims prevents the alcohol in the wine from overpowering the subtle aromas of the vintage.
Established in 1764, Baccarat has a great deal of experience working with high-quality crystal. The company makes high-end home decorations, lamps, jewelry, and perhaps most famously, their unique stemware for oenophiles. The Chateau Baccarat line is the newest collection of wine glasses and decanters, and it focuses on form and function to release the subtle aromas of each wine.
The glasses in the Chateau Baccarat collection feature three distinct design features that the company believes will tone down the overpowering nature of the alcohol in wine, and allow the true bouquet of the wine to flourish.
Each glass features a rounded-angle, sloped bowl, with a wide base. This allows the wine to move horizontally, while preventing the alcohol from climbing out. The distinct shape also prevents oxidation when the wine is swirled in the glass. In addition, the narrow aperture allows the aromas to gather so that the bouquet and flavors of the wine are harmonized.
Baccarat representatives say that the new wine glasses create the perfect balance between fire and water. This means that the structure of the wine is preserved, yet the alcohol still contributes to the blend to allow the drinker to fully appreciate the complexity of the wine. The unique glasses were inspired by the vessels that sommeliers and wine makers use to sample wines, and were designed with the aim of enhancing oenology. Each of the glasses in the collection was created for a different wine, including red wine, white wine, and champagne.
Riedel was the first company to research and develop the effects of different glasses in the 1970s, and since then the trend has exploded. Many connoisseurs now believe that fine wines must be handled differently to release the delicate aromas in each varietal. The Chateau Baccarat collection was first released in France this year, and the company has recently launched the glasses in Hong Kong and China. Baccarat representatives expect the glasses will be a big seller in China.
China has seen a dramatic increase in wine sales over the past ten years. According to the Vinexpo trade show and the International Wine and Spirit Research organization, China is now the fifth largest wine consuming country in the world.
Experts believe that the explosion of wine consumption in China is partly due to the growing purchasing power of consumers in the country as well as the decision by the Hong Kong government to drop wine import duties in 2008. Baccarat expects strong sales of the glasses in the Asian market despite the $118 price tag of the glasses. Representatives from the company believe that the strong passion for wine and the growing community of wine lovers in China make the country an ideal marketplace for the revolutionary glasses.