Garrett Busch of Trinitas Cellars Shares the Art of the Wine Glass
Back when Garrett Busch, CEO and proprietor of Trinitas Cellars, took his first Riedel glassware seminar, he was skeptical about how much of a difference the shape of a glass made when drinking wine. Today, he’s the one teaching such classes.
“Shape is really, really important,” he says of glassware. “It’s not as simple as breaking it down by red or white. It’s actually very varietal specific.
“In our private tasting room, we do all of our wine tastings in varietal-specific glassware. We have five to six different glasses that we work with to make sure that our wine shows its best.”
The main variables to a wine glass are the shape of the bowl and how it relates to the width of the opening, Busch explains. “Those things really impact the nose and how you perceive the esters, which is what you’re smelling when you’re swirling a glass of wine trying to smell more of the bouquet.”
Where the wine hits on your palate and how much gravity you have to use when you’re tipping a glass back are also factors. “All those things combine in a unique way to really impact the flavor of the wine,” he says.
“The best way to showcase this is when you have three different glasses lined up, and you pour the same wine in each and have a blind tasting—a lot of people will be shocked that how different it can be.”
While there are many glassware variations, Busch says two main glasses will serve as a solid foundation at home.
“You have your Burgundy glass and your Bordeaux glass,” he explains. “Your Burgundy glass is typically the shorter, fatter bowl and a smaller opening at the top, whereas your Bordeaux glass is more of your typical wine glass shape—a little bit taller with a wider mouth opening.”
What determines which wine goes in which glass is based is the thickness of the grape’s skin, Busch says.
“Your lighter-skinned grapes—such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir—really need to be in that Burgundy glass. It impacts those in a big way because if you drink them out of a different glass, the Pinot in particular can be harsher on the palate, and the tannins are really out of balance. Your thicker skinned grapes like your Bordeaux varietals—Cabernet Sauvignon being the most popular—really need to be in the correct glass because if you put it in the Burgundy glass, again the tannins will be out of balance, and you lose all the fruit on the nose and on the palate.
“Chardonnay in the right glass is beautiful, voluptuous and toasty, and it can be more acidic and watery in the wrong glass,” he continues. “It’s kind of interesting to try them back to back.”
Does having a stem on the glass matter? “The stem actually has nothing to do with it,” Busch says.
For more information on Trinitas wines, visit trinitascellars.com.