Yes that's a somewhat distorted Gary Vaynerchuk holding up what he calls the "big ass glass" on an episode from last week focusing on Barberas. By the way, before I go on I thought I'd also give you a link to an even BIGGER glass: The Maxi Burgundy Riedel. Now that's getting kind of ridiculous if you ask me..
Anyway, as I was watching this episode I thought about the occasions when he pulls out that glass as opposed to the normal glass he uses, and it seems that whenever he wants to really give something a close evaluation, or he has wines he considers really special, he pulls out the BAG. It doesn't really seem to depend on the specific wine, either.
So does that mean he is not maintaining the proper Riedel spirit of an optimum glass for a particular wine? This is supposed to be a grand cru Burgundy glass and so far I haven't seen him taste any grand cru Burgundies (much less any Burgundies). Are these wines being put at a disadvantage by possibly not showing their best?
First of all, I think that huge bowl is good for any wine because of the maximum surface-to-air contact as well as the ability to swirl wine like crazy without it flying out of the glass. And there's a large bowl to retain the aromas, also.
Secondly, the shape of the bowl with it's outward-flared rim is kind of unusual and I can see that wine would be directed to a different area of your mouth than it would be with a more conventional glass. But does that really make a difference? He puts the wine in his mouth and then he chews it and moves it all around, so that while it might initially land on one part of the tongue, that is only for a millisecond (or even a nanosecond) and then the wine is distributed throughout his entire mouth. So how would actually drinking wine from that glass be any different from another glass?
If you drink water your whole mouth is gonna get wet. You can't confine it to any one part of your mouth. What I think makes a difference is when you drink the wine, you are also putting that massive bowl up to your nose so you are getting the aromas as well as the taste coming in and the shape of the bowl will then make a difference.
Anyway, after my usual writing-more-than-is-necessary habit, what I am trying to say is that it seems you don't have to be so darn specific trying to match glass with wine. Some glasses are just going to make the wine experience that much better, no matter what kind of wine it is (as long as it is a good one).
On a happy note, congratulations to Sonadora, whose Wannabe Wino blog celebrated its 1st anniversary last Saturday November 12! It's one I subscribe to and always enjoy reading what she has to say (or rather, write, I suppose), so I hope she keeps up her diligent posting schedule.