The shape of the glass does influence the taste of the wine.
There are even "glass tasting" events where people do not come to taste different wines, but rather to try out different glass shapes and choose the one that works best for their Bordeaux or Syrah.
I have attended one of these events, and even for a non-expert the difference of taste is clear.
The shape of the glass influences several things, among which :
- How much the wine reacts with air (depending on the size of the
surface exposed to the air)
- How and where the first drops of wine will hit the tongue
This page lists two articles studying the effect of the shape of the glass on the aroma of the wine. Here are the finding from the first study :
- Regardless of the wine type (red or white, clean or volatile), the
total aroma intensity of the wine was highest in the Riedel Burgundy®,
followed by the ISO, followed by the Riedel Chardonnay® glass.
differences in aroma intensity were relatively small, being 1 point or
less on a ten-point intensity scale.
- Total intensity of aroma was highly correlated with the ratio of the glasses cup diameter to the diameter of its opening.
And the second study :
- Two of the glasses [...] produced a greater overall aroma on most of the characters under study (up to 64% stronger than the ISO).
Interestingly, despite their differing dimensions [...].
- Glass 3 produced a similar aroma profile to the ISO glass despite it being very different in shape.
- The DIN glass with its small cup and relatively wide opening resulted in aromas of less than 50% the strength of that produced by
the ISO glass for most of the aromas assessed.
- As per Cliff (2001), the intensity of aroma was highly correlated with the ratio of the glasses cup diameter to the diameter of its