Baccarat trying new-design wine glasses

After years of judging in wine competitions that use different types of glasses, I can attest to the fact that the glass sometimes makes or hurts the wine.

While it's no sin to drink coffee from a paper cup or a soft drink from a plastic one, sipping wine from cheap glass is the antithesis of pleasure. Fine glass increases the pleasure on several levels -- visual, temperature, mouth feel.

Riedel, for example, of Austria has emerged as the go-to glassware for such events and, for those who can afford them, for home entertaining use as well.

Now, however, another globally-known luxury crystal glassware manufacturer -- the French company Baccarat -- has begun marketing a new line of wine glasses with a broad base resembling the "tastevin," a saucer-like cup used by winemakers and sommeliers to taste wines.

The glasses also have sloping sides and a very narrow narrow lip Baccarat says prevents the alcohol from overpowering other aromas.

"The main subject in the final stretch should no longer be the alcohol anymore, but the aromas and the bouquet the fine wines have to offer," Bruno Quenioux, technical adviser of the Chateau Baccarat collection of professional wine glasses, told the Reuters news service.

In the aroma "you can see the smokiness, some flowers, definitely the glass leads you to have the mineral side of the wine," he said. " ... When you go back to the regular glass, you have rusticity. You have something not so subtle."

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