Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Would you rather … drink from a properly shaped plastic "wineglass" or an inferior-shaped cup made of glass?
—Guy, Erie, Colo.
Good question. I have plenty of happy memories of enjoying wine from "imperfect” vessels—red plastic cups around the campfire; juice glasses when the wineglasses were dirty; even sneaking some wine into a baseball game in a plastic water bottle. The experience can transcend the way the wine is served.
But I’m a big believer that proper stemware allows a wine to show its best. I’ve sat through a few seminars with wineglass guru Georg Riedel and I'm convinced that proper stemware makes a difference.
If I had to pick between a well-made, properly shaped plastic "wineglass" and an actual small wineglass, I would make my decision based on the thickness of the rim. One of the things I learned in those seminars is that thicker lips on glassware can distract from the enjoyment of the wine. Something about a thick rim makes it feel like a teething ring in my mouth.