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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Would you rather … drink from a properly shaped plastic "wineglass" or an inferior-shaped cup made of glass?

—Guy, Erie, Colo.

Dear Guy,

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.

—Dr. Vinny

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