The science of sipping

Riedel's Coca-Cola glass: It's the real thing!

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What a pair.
  • What a pair.
When I first heard that Riedel was making a Coke glass, I guffawed.

If you don't know the high end Austrian glassmaker, it's famous for creating wine stemware to enhance the drinking of specific grape varietals. The complex role that size and shape play in conveying the message of a fine wine is one thing, but soda pop?

With wine, I've seen doubters sample vino in side-by-side glasses only to realize that the differences aren't subtle. The shape and size do alter the aromas that come out of the glass, as well as the place on the tongue where the taste connects, effecting the perception of acidity, tannin and the length of time the flavor remains in your mouth on the finish after you swallow.

The glasses make an enormous difference. But could this possibly be the case with the world's favorite carbonated beverage?

Riedel was willing to try, and convened a panel of industry experts and Coca-Cola lovers to shape the new glass by trial and error. Strangely enough this delicate yet dishwasher safe, 17-ounce lead crystal glass — inspired by the iconic curves of the original Coca-Cola contour bottle — captures distinct spices, aroma and taste. It's made to hold a can of Coke over ice.

Oddly, it works. The shape keeps the carbonation out of your nose and heightens the citrus and spicy nutmeg-cinnamon aromas.

At $25 for two glasses online, these aren't for everyone. But if your life is focused on a healthy dose of hedonism and indulgence as is mine, you'll never go back.

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