A couple weeks back we purchased the Riedel Sommeliers Grüner Veltliner glass- after all, what Austrian wine enthusiast could live without one. This signature glass comes packaged in a single tube and sports a signature green stem…for Grüner (green), of course. The glass retails for$106/glass – you know it’s something special.

A quick run through the website shows that Riedel recommends drinking Grüner Veltliner out of a variety of Sauvignon Blanc-Riesling glasses or a Sangiovese glass if you don’t have the GV glass, but after the impromptu and informal taste test we conducted on Thursday night, we’re relatively certain the GV glass is worth it.

We tested the Weingut Meinhard Forstreiter 2009 Grüner Veltliner Kogl Krems DAC ($13/bottle) in the Grüner Veltliner glass against one of the other recommended glasses, the Vinum Extreme Sauvignon Blanc-Riesling glass. The difference was surprisingly obvious- especially in the aroma.

This wine is typically a very straight-forward Grüner Veltliner – high acid, fresh, fruity and with the signature white pepper we’ve all grown to love. Of course, it showed beautifully in the Sauvignon Blanc glass and had we not had our new Grüner Veltliner glass, we would have likely been 100% satisfied with its performance. We did, however, have the Grüner Veltliner glass and the fresh citrus and white pepper were far more evident in the latter glass.

It’s important to note that a pair of the Sauvignon Blanc glasses averages at $66 – which means the Sauvignon Blanc glass is almost one third the cost. Of course, price doesn’t always designate quality, but it’s an important consideration.

So other than price, why might this difference have occurred? Well, for one the Grüner Veltliner glass is a lot taller – both in its stem and in it’s tulip-shaped glass. It is also far more tapered at the top which would account for the inherent presence of the aromas. As far as taste, like on the nose the flavors were more vibrant and begging to be tasted rather than just exceptionally eager.

Of course, we are not proposing that everyone run out and buy their own Grüner Veltliner glass (although we’d love it if it meant you were going to drink tons more Grüner!) But now you know – for optimum Grüner enjoyment, spending a little extra might be worth it.