ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

What's the difference between utility-blown glass and a hand-blown one? From what I've read, a hand-blown glass enhances the appreciation of wine better than a utility-blown glass.

—Gideon T., Lusaka, Zambia

Dear Gideon,

Hand-blown glass is generally thinner and more graceful than machine-made glass. This is preferable, not only for the way a lighter-weight glass balances better in your hand, but because thin glass enhances wine, especially at the rim or lip of the glass. A thin, smooth edge where your lips meet the glass is best while taking a sip. These days you'll find quite a few "combination" wineglasses with hand-blown bowls and machine-made stems and bases. They can be a good compromise between beauty and cost.

—Dr. Vinny


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