Sauvignon Blanc with oysters or goat cheese. Pinot Noir with roasted chicken or duck confit. Even casual wine drinkers know the importance of choosing the right meal pairing. But another element that is not as widely-understood is the importance of choosing the right wine glass.
Thankfully, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is making sure its guests enjoy their wine the way it was intended. One of the new perks of staying at the recently-renovated oceanfront Elite Suites is experiencing “Glassology,” a private tasting focused entirely on learning how glassware can affect the taste of wine.
This innovative approach to wine tasting was first announced in May as part of an elevated wine program for the Elite Suites. As part of the program, guests also get to work with a sommelier and chef to come up with a dinner menu based on their wine preferences.
And forget about your typical mini-bar. The two-bedroom Elite Suites have their own exclusive wine list featuring hard-to-find bottles handpicked by Christian Navarro, otherwise known as wine therapist to the stars.
In order to offer these Glassology tastings, the Four Seasons Resort Maui received the stamp of approval from Riedel, credited with designing museum-worthy, taste-enhancing glasses. Resort manager Martin Dell, who leads the Glassology tastings, was personally certified as a Riedel Glasselier by the Austrian glassmaker to show guests how the shape, size, and density of each glass can influence the taste.
During a Glassology tasting, guests get to drink four different wines out of various receptacles. You start by drinking each wine out of the right glass. A Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand out of a white wine glass, narrower so that the wine doesn’t touch the sides of your tongue that are more receptive to acidity. Next is an Oaked Chardonnay from California, followed by a Pinoir Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and finally a Cabernet Blend from Bordeaux – all served in their own distinct glass to best enhance the taste.
Then comes the interesting part: Tasting the same wine but from the wrong glass, like a stumpy chalice straight out of your grandmother’s house. Or worse, out of a common plastic cup. To say that you can taste the difference would be an understatement. Even the most delicious wine tastes not-so-great out of a plastic cup. It’s like eating ice cream with a fork.
In addition to teaching wine lovers the importance of glassware, Glassology also helps dispel a few common myths. The reason some people don’t like Chardonnay is probably because they’ve never tasted it out of the right glass. Which is admittedly hard to find. That’s why whenever Dell goes out to dinner he chooses the wine based on which types of glasses the restaurant has.
Here are some more quick Glassology tips for your drinking pleasure:
Air it out. Make sure to ask the restaurant to decant your red wine, every time.
Champagne flutes are a fluke. To enjoy the effervescence, drink it out of a white wine glass.
Chill your Pinot Noir. If you can’t keep these lighter reds to room temperature, drink them a little colder rather than a little warm.
What about stemless? Perfect for backyards. Just make sure to take a sip and set it down.
You can get the full Glassology experience by booking an Elite Suite at the Four Seasons Resort Maui for $14,000 a night.