Wine Glass or Tumbler.
I like my wine in a tumbler but my wife won't order wine in a restaurant if they don't have wine glasses.
Is this such a big deal to anyone else?
When at home, My wife and I drink wine from tumblers and my wife would be perfectly content to do so in a restaurant. But for me, if I'm dining out and paying 100% markup or more, I want all the stuff that will maximize my pleasure in the wine. I want my champagne in a flute. I want my white in a stemmed glass so it will stay cold longer. I want my red in a big balloon glass that will allow me to appreciate the bouquet.
it is a big deal to some for sure. I know an Italian who is quite conflicted when he goes to Italy and gets served wine in a tumbler. To him, it just doesn't feel right, even though he knows that's how they do it in the old country.
There are clear advantages to the proper glass for different beverages, but unless the point of an evening is an amazing and interesting wine (and not the amazing and interesting company for example), then insisting on a particular wine glass is more about the ritual of the thing than about ensuring you get the full bouquet and experience of a wine.
Personally I prefer a tea cup, but I'm currently trying out an unglazed terra cotta wine cup.
Yes, it matters to me. I want a proper stem to drink out of for a lot of the reasons already listed here - proper stems for the appropriate wine to accentuate the aromas and flavours of the wine is the biggest for me.
As for drinking wine out of tumblers and "that's how it is in the old country," that's not really true, especially in wine producing regions (which is basically all of Italy). While it's not really that big a deal to drunk bulk wine out of tumblers, winemakers would be aghast to have their wines consumed out of less than ideal stemware. I guarantee you that in most restaurants in the Langhe, Montalcino, Montepulciano, the Veneto, etc, etc, that wine will be served appropriately.
At wine dinners I've hosted/attended, several people (myself included) will bring our own stemware to ensure that what we're drinking can be enjoyed appropriately. I'm not embarrassed to admit that, nor do I care about looks that I may get in the restaurant as a result. Generally speaking it's discussed with the restaurant in advance though.
I am more than happy to drink plonk out of a tumbler. If the wine is of a little bit higher standard, or even if it's plonk that I'm trying for the first time, I like to have it in a glass I can hold by the stem, swirl, get my nose down into, etc. I ain't fussy, I just like a glass that suits the occasion. BBQ? Tumblers are harder to knock over and break on the uneven terrain of picnic tables and decks. Birthday or holiday dinner? Yeah, I'm going to want to spend some time sniffing and savoring that without warming it up, so give me something with a stem.
Meh. tumblers were cool for about 6 minutes sometime in 2007. give me a real wine glass please.
I'm happy to do it once in a while as a sort of quirk of an individual restaurant. But mostly it just seems like an indication of respect to the effort put into making good wine and providing the right sort of tools for their guests. After all, what about a place that only offered you one size of spoon to stir your iced tea, eat your soup and your ice cream?
But it really does make a difference. Here's a way to prove it. Open a bottle of wine. Decent wine, not ghastly expensive stuff (although that would work), but not plonk, either.
Haul out a tumbler or a juice glass, and several different shapes of wine glasses. I'd say at least two, no more than four. (You may have to bring some friends in to get them; that's fine. They'll enjoy this, too.)
Pour an inch or so of wine in each glass. Swirl it around and sniff. See if there's a difference from one glass to the next.
Now, taste the wine from each one. There's a difference. Wait five minutes, and the difference will be more pronounced. 'S true. The main thing is the interaction of the wine molecules with the air above it and how concentrated those molecules are as they hit your nose and how that affects the taste.
And then we can get into the tactile pleasures of a thin edge on a wine glass (which I do love) versus a thicker ridged one.
As someone with the bad habit of talking with my hands I would hate to admit how often I've managed to tip a glass of wine across a table. Very embarassing in a restaurant but waiters are always very understanding. At home not a lot of understanding for the stains produced so I switched to a medium sized, 16 oz. brandy glass. Solved the spilling problem, fits better in my hand than a tumbler and nicely traps the aroma.
I prefer stemmed glassware, although many restaurants and bars in Spain serve wine in small, fruit-juice sized glasses.
I have a bigger problem with wine or coffee served from metal, square or octogon-shaped glassware, or anything with goofy stems.
On a recent cruise with Celebrity we went to a wine tasting sponsored by Reidel Glasses. We kept moving the wine around from glass to glass to see the difference in taste. It was not subtle! Now I used to drink my good red out of just about any glass lol!!! but now if I use the proper glass (happen to have Reidel) because of the difference in taste.