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Published:  23 July, 2008

Scientists have proved what wine connoisseurs have known for decades - that the shape of the glass wine is drunk from does affect the way it tastes. According to a report in New Scientist, research, undertaken by Kari Russell of the Univesity of Tennessee shows that the concentration of gallic acid present in wines poured into differently shaped glasses - Bordeaux, Martini and a Champagne flute - drops at different rates. When gallic acid meets oxgen, it is converted into catechingallate ester (esters are responsible for giving wine certain tastes). The Bordeaux glass was the most successful at converting the gallic acid, due to a larger proportion of the wine being in contact with air. The Martini glass performed better than the flute, but the released chemicals were lost from the (wide) top of the Martini glass. Georg Riedel of Riedel Crystal said: I very much welcome Kari Russell's research. The shape of our glasses is determined through tasting and we have proved time and time again that wines taste very different when tasted in different-shaped glasses.' * The Port Wine Institute has commissioned Portugual's most famous living architect', Ivaro Silza, to redesign the traditional thimble-sized' Port glass. The Institute believes the existing glass does not complement either the sight, taste or smell of Port. The new glass will apparently be much larger.