A week or so ago, my family sat down for a weeknight dinner.  I made what I considered a very nice meal and my husband and I each had a glass of a lovely wine.  Right as we started eating, my two year old launched into a temper tantrum over something silly and we decided to let him wear himself out instead of indulging his request of having cookies for dinner.  We proceeded to eat our meal and drink our wine while listening to unbearable screaming.  I asked my husband if he thought the lovely ambiance was affecting how the wine tasted.  He said no, but thought it was definitely affecting his ability to enjoy the wine.  That evening led me to wonder how much the environmental factors around you affect how much you like a wine.

I imagine that this has happened to other people.  You are on vacation in some wonderful place.  You go to a restaurant for dinner and the service and food are exceptional.  You get a wine with your meal and it is the best wine ever!  You find this wine at a store and open it at home and for some bizarre reason it is not nearly as good as it was when you had it on vacation in paradise.  Did the surroundings and the mood you were in make the original wine taste better than it would have in ordinary conditions?

There are a few things you can do on an “ordinary” evening to enhance your wine experience.  Some things though, like a screaming two year old or a lack of Mediterranean view, may be beyond your control.  In my experience I really believe that the type of glass you use can affect how a wine tastes.  This has to do with the connection between smell and taste.  A large wine glass that allows you to swirl the wine which will release its aroma.  I included the battery in the photo to provide scale.

Recommended Wine Glasses

Small glasses are not recommended because they do not allow you to swirl the wine which will inhibit the release of the wine’s aroma.  I also would not recommend a cup that does not allow you to see the wine, or one made of plastic that has a scent (no Solo cups!).  You don’t need to buy expensive glasses though, because they do break.  Stores like Target carry great glasses to enjoy wine at affordable prices.  Basically, if you want to get the most enjoyment out of a wine, find a glass that allows you to smell and taste it.

Not recommended for maximum wine enjoyment

Back to my original point.  I would love to hear about your experiences regarding wine and environment.  Has anyone else had a wine that they truly loved but when you tried it again in a different setting the wine was not as good?