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Confessions of an Empty Glass Sniffer

I confess that I suffer from the common wine drinker’s malady, empty glass sniffing. I began rather innocently. At wineries I visited, I often received an ounce or less tasting pour and after I drank or spat out that small amount of wine, I often thirsted for more. I found that I could prolong my sensory high by sticking my nose into the empty glass and inhaling deeply. With Pinot Noir, the wine residue that coats the glass can create an intense aromatic perfume which is quite unlike what one experiences with a half-filled glass of wine. I assume a physicist could explain this phenomenon (something to do with surface area), but why worry about the reason or the details. The experience can be further heightened if the winemaker is present and extols the virtues of his Pinot Noir (the “halo effect”).

One should avoid this activity at all costs except in the sanctity of wineries or your own home. Attempts to enjoy empty glass sniffing in restaurants or wine bars encourages puzzled and scornful stares from others in the room. You can be made to feel like a pervert. Treatment of this condition is futile and unrewarding. An understanding support group of friends and family can be very helpful.

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