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#353151 - 06-19-2009 19:25:01 Stemware influence - real or imagined?
Eric_Anderson Offline
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Riedel's got a glass for nearly every wine. Sometimes it's a different bowl shape; other times it's a change in size. Is this just good marketing or science? Is the perception that this enhances the wine real or imagined?

Hey, I've smelled and tasted the differences ...or did I?
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#353152 - 06-19-2009 19:59:18 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: Eric_Anderson]
John Tomasso Offline

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I don't think it's imagined - I'm a believer.
OTOH, I have neither the patience nor the resources to buy a set of stems for every single oddball variety I may decide to drink.

If that means I have to choke down my Cote Rotie from a Burgundy stem, well then, I'll just have to suffer.
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#353153 - 06-19-2009 20:13:35 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: John Tomasso]
larry schaffer Offline
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Registered: 12-16-2007 22:56:17
Posts: 218
Eric,

Dude - are you just trying to stir the pot here? You were at the Riedel seminar at HdR, right?

I was BLOWN AWAY by how differently the wines both smelled and tasted at that seminar. Not to say that I agreed with Georg in terms of what each glass did, but there can be no denying each wine came across as different in each of the glasses . . .

Does that mean that you need to have a different glass for each variety? Not sold on that . . . .

But if you go to a tasting and different folks have different glasses, all you need to do is a side by side . . . and your 'this wine is a dog' may turn into 'hey, this smells GREAT out of YOUR glass' . . .

Cheers!

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#353154 - 06-19-2009 20:16:37 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: Eric_Anderson]
LarryA Offline
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Registered: 02-15-2004 20:38:40
Posts: 34
Some of the differences are definitely real. Try pinot in a Vinum Bordeaux and a Vinum Burg -- big difference.

More fun: try a pinot in a Vinum Burg, a Vinum Sommelier, and a special Oregon Pinot glass (a bit hard to find). Also differences, but which one is best depends on what pinot you're drinking. (I did this at a Riedel seminar at World of Pinot Noir last year.) Overall the Vinum Burg was most likely to be the best with all pinots, and the Oregon Pinot least likely. From other experience, the Sommelier Burg seems to be best with older pinots.

Other glasses I like: White Burg Sommeliers with chardonnay, white burg, and Sauternes; Vinum Syrah with syrah, but Vinum Bordeaux essentially just as good; Vinum Bordeaux good with cab and bordeaux, but Vinum Burg good with older Bordeaux.

The one Riedel glass that performs its assigned function better than any: Sommelier Sauternes. Sauternes are definitely different and definitely better in this glass. Hard to admit, but worth the investment if you like Sauternes and Barsac.

Another comment: the Sommelier Burgundy and Bordeaux, which are very large (contain a bottle of wine, I've tried it), don't work very well if you're at a wine tasting where the pours are 1-1.5 oz. Great with big pours, but with small pours it seems like the breathing space of the glass overwhelms the small amount of fluid contained therein.

There are many other glasses. I don't think I have the patience to try them all, and certainly don't have the money or storage space to buy them all. The least useful/specific is the standard Vinum Chardonnay. Not a bad glass, but it doesn't seem to enhance the wine intended to be served in it.
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#353155 - 06-19-2009 20:21:15 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: larry schaffer]
Eric_Anderson Offline
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Originally Posted By: larry schaffer
Eric,

Dude - are you just trying to stir the pot here? You were at the Riedel seminar at HdR, right?

I was BLOWN AWAY by how differently the wines both smelled and tasted at that seminar. Not to say that I agreed with Georg in terms of what each glass did, but there can be no denying each wine came across as different in each of the glasses . . .

Does that mean that you need to have a different glass for each variety? Not sold on that . . . .

But if you go to a tasting and different folks have different glasses, all you need to do is a side by side . . . and your 'this wine is a dog' may turn into 'hey, this smells GREAT out of YOUR glass' . . .

Cheers!

Me, stir? cool Yeah, I was there - and have done these seminars before. Maybe it's just mass hypnosis?

So, doesn't this call into question every TN and score you've ever read?
_________________________
Homer: Every time I learn something new, some of the old gets pushed out of my brain. Remember that time I took the wine making course and forgot how to drive?
Marge: You were drunk!
Homer: And how.

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#353156 - 06-19-2009 20:34:50 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: Eric_Anderson]
larry schaffer Offline
Member

Registered: 12-16-2007 22:56:17
Posts: 218
Originally Posted By: Eric_Anderson
Originally Posted By: larry schaffer
Eric,

Dude - are you just trying to stir the pot here? You were at the Riedel seminar at HdR, right?

I was BLOWN AWAY by how differently the wines both smelled and tasted at that seminar. Not to say that I agreed with Georg in terms of what each glass did, but there can be no denying each wine came across as different in each of the glasses . . .

Does that mean that you need to have a different glass for each variety? Not sold on that . . . .

But if you go to a tasting and different folks have different glasses, all you need to do is a side by side . . . and your 'this wine is a dog' may turn into 'hey, this smells GREAT out of YOUR glass' . . .

Cheers!

Me, stir? cool Yeah, I was there - and have done these seminars before. Maybe it's just mass hypnosis?

So, doesn't this call into question every TN and score you've ever read?


Why yes it does . . . . as does length of aeration, whether decanted or not, temperature of room, age of bottle after bottling . . . . yada yada yada

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#353161 - 06-19-2009 21:29:54 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: larry schaffer]
BTraub Offline
Member

Registered: 02-15-2004 19:19:59
Posts: 216
Loc: Long Beach, CA
I can understand and accept the idea that different shapes can impact the aromatic profile of a wine significantly.

I have a harder time accepting the idea that the taste is impacted that much. Granted, taste is certainly affected by smell, so to that extent there may be an effect. But Riedel's claim that the different shapes deliver the wine differently to different parts of the tongue and thus impact the palate perception of the wine makes less sense to me. Mainly because I think different people sip differently--the way different mouths interact with the glass will differ, the shape and size of the mouth, the amount and manner of sipping the wine will differ, the quantity of wine taken with each sip, etc., will all render the differences attributable to the shape of the glass and its rim pretty difficult to quantify even subjectively. Just too many variables, IMO.
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#353162 - 06-19-2009 21:32:24 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: BTraub]
larry schaffer Offline
Member

Registered: 12-16-2007 22:56:17
Posts: 218
Bennet,

All I can say is that the Riedel seminar at HdR proved to me that this IS the case - delivering the wine to different parts of your mouth WILL impact flavors . . . If you skip over the tip of your tongue, you will get a different sensation of the wine . . . Now if you swoosh the wine all around your mouth, the point may be moot . . . but I'm not so sure.

Interesting to think about, at least!!!

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#353163 - 06-19-2009 21:52:12 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: larry schaffer]
Eric_Anderson Offline
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Originally Posted By: larry schaffer
Originally Posted By: Eric_Anderson
Originally Posted By: larry schaffer
Eric,

Dude - are you just trying to stir the pot here? You were at the Riedel seminar at HdR, right?

I was BLOWN AWAY by how differently the wines both smelled and tasted at that seminar. Not to say that I agreed with Georg in terms of what each glass did, but there can be no denying each wine came across as different in each of the glasses . . .

Does that mean that you need to have a different glass for each variety? Not sold on that . . . .

But if you go to a tasting and different folks have different glasses, all you need to do is a side by side . . . and your 'this wine is a dog' may turn into 'hey, this smells GREAT out of YOUR glass' . . .

Cheers!

Me, stir? cool Yeah, I was there - and have done these seminars before. Maybe it's just mass hypnosis?

So, doesn't this call into question every TN and score you've ever read?


Why yes it does . . . . as does length of aeration, whether decanted or not, temperature of room, age of bottle after bottling . . . . yada yada yada

Yet we shell out $$ for unique stemware. Cognitive dissonance at work.
_________________________
Homer: Every time I learn something new, some of the old gets pushed out of my brain. Remember that time I took the wine making course and forgot how to drive?
Marge: You were drunk!
Homer: And how.

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#353165 - 06-19-2009 22:20:16 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: BTraub]
Everett Bandman Offline
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Registered: 12-12-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 1445
Originally Posted By: BTraub
I can understand and accept the idea that different shapes can impact the aromatic profile of a wine significantly.

I have a harder time accepting the idea that the taste is impacted that much. Granted, taste is certainly affected by smell, so to that extent there may be an effect. But Riedel's claim that the different shapes deliver the wine differently to different parts of the tongue and thus impact the palate perception of the wine makes less sense to me. Mainly because I think different people sip differently--the way different mouths interact with the glass will differ, the shape and size of the mouth, the amount and manner of sipping the wine will differ, the quantity of wine taken with each sip, etc., will all render the differences attributable to the shape of the glass and its rim pretty difficult to quantify even subjectively. Just too many variables, IMO.

Bennett, Virtually all taste is actually olfactory. The olfactory system is infinitely more complex than the taste bud system on the tongue. Try tasting while pinching your nose shut. If you eliminate retronasal stimulation of the olfactory system, you essentially won't taste much.

I think one can't completely discount the impact of delivering a wine sample to different parts of the tongue, but those of us who aspirate in air along with the wine and swirl around the mouth at the same time, would seem to overwhelm the glass shape effect. Nevertheless, I agree with Larry that a wine "tastes" very different in different glasses. I attribute that to the fact that taste is a process that happens in the mind from all the sensory input. I'd love to see a trained tasting panel identify the same wine presented in different glasses in the dark. Most of Riedel's research is aimed at showing that shape matters. No one has done the opposite to show it doesn't as far as I know.

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#353168 - 06-19-2009 23:19:59 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: Everett Bandman]
Sean_Devaney Online   content
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Registered: 09-10-2005 19:46:35
Posts: 336
Loc: Silicon Valley
[/quote]
I'd love to see a trained tasting panel identify the same wine presented in different glasses in the dark. Most of Riedel's research is aimed at showing that shape matters. No one has done the opposite to show it doesn't as far as I know. [/quote]

This is what I would like to see also. I know different glass's do make a difference with different varieties of wines (and I think this is more pronounced in some varieties than others)but I have no inclanation nor shelf space to have a different glass's for each variety of wine.

FWIW my house glass's are Riedel restaurant Syrah/Shiraz glasses and Schott-Zwiesel basic Burgundy glass's-these cover the majority of wines I drink just fine. I do own 3 Riedel Sommelier Burgundy's but I am way too clummsy to use these verry often crazy

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#353170 - 06-19-2009 23:23:19 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: Everett Bandman]
Alan Rath Offline
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Registered: 02-15-2004 19:48:18
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Originally Posted By: Everett Bandman
but those of us who aspirate in air along with the wine and swirl around the mouth at the same time, would seem to overwhelm the glass shape effect.
That's been my resistance to the idea of glass shape affecting the taste. I'm willing to buy in to some fleeting difference just at the point you start sipping the wine, but I don't think I've ever made a judgment about a wine at that point. Even then, if you think about the two methods of drawing a taste: either slowly by taking smallish amounts together with air, or in a bigger gulp, I don't see how the glass shape could make much difference.

One time I lined up a bunch of different glasses. Turns out that there really isn't that much variation in the size of the openings on many glasses; from a hand waving physics POV, it's hard for me to believe the wine somehow pours differently from different shapes. Remember that to get the wine out of the glass, the surface has to be even with the lip, so whatever the shape, it's covered up at that point. Think of water flowing over a dam: doesn't really matter what shape the dam is under the water.

As for aroma, I'll relate a story I think I've told before: a few years ago in a group tasting I was the only one to pick up a corked wine. Turns out I had picked up a different glass from everyone else (I had a kind of crappy shallow burgundy glass, everyone else had chardonnay style glasses). Soon as I let other people smell the wine from my glass the TCA was obvious. Interesting, even though I still remain skeptical of the whole glass shape thing.

Cheers
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#353171 - 06-20-2009 00:02:53 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: BTraub]
Bob Summers Offline
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Originally Posted By: BTraub
I can understand and accept the idea that different shapes can impact the aromatic profile of a wine significantly.

I have a harder time accepting the idea that the taste is impacted that much. Granted, taste is certainly affected by smell, so to that extent there may be an effect. But Riedel's claim that the different shapes deliver the wine differently to different parts of the tongue and thus impact the palate perception of the wine makes less sense to me. Mainly because I think different people sip differently--the way different mouths interact with the glass will differ, the shape and size of the mouth, the amount and manner of sipping the wine will differ, the quantity of wine taken with each sip, etc., will all render the differences attributable to the shape of the glass and its rim pretty difficult to quantify even subjectively. Just too many variables, IMO.


A few years ago there was a vocal group who said that an inexpensive Lennox stem that looked nearly identical to a Riedel Sommelier Burgundy stem was a good substitute. We did a side by side taste test with an aged Burgundy, a young Burgundy and a young Calif Pinot. The Riedel spread the wine across the palate while the Lennox seamed to focus it in a stream (one said like a waterslide) down the middle. The Sommelier was preferred by everyone for the Burgundies. Most preferred the Lennox for the young Calif Pinot because the Riedel seemed to expose it's flaws.
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#353176 - 06-20-2009 02:47:53 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: John Tomasso]
ksyrah Online   content
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Quote:
If that means I have to choke down my Cote Rotie from a Burgundy stem, well then, I'll just have to suffer.

According to Georg, the burg stem is a good substitute for syrah. As far as the Bordeaux stem, "People. Look at me. Look at my eyes. Do NOT use the Bordeaux glass for the shiraz. It is the worst glass for shiraz. It has a similar shape and only differs by an inch, but it's a very important inch". (Not quite an exact quote, I've drunk too much syrah since then.)

-Al
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#353178 - 06-20-2009 03:40:32 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: ksyrah]
BTraub Offline
Member

Registered: 02-15-2004 19:19:59
Posts: 216
Loc: Long Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: ksyrah
Quote:
If that means I have to choke down my Cote Rotie from a Burgundy stem, well then, I'll just have to suffer.

According to Georg, the burg stem is a good substitute for syrah. As far as the Bordeaux stem, "People. Look at me. Look at my eyes. Do NOT use the Bordeaux glass for the shiraz. It is the worst glass for shiraz. It has a similar shape and only differs by an inch, but it's a very important inch". (Not quite an exact quote, I've drunk too much syrah since then.)

-Al


Well, call me a cynic, but I just can't get past the fact that Georg has a financial interest in getting everyone to buy as many different shapes as possible. Doesn't mean he's not right, but. . .
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#353183 - 06-20-2009 06:25:15 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: Eric_Anderson]
blil Offline
Crazed Wino

Registered: 12-13-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 6251
Loc: Paola, KS
I think it's very real...up to a point.

I'm a firm believer in the difference between, say, a Pinot Noir in a Burgundy glass and the same Pinot in a Bordeaux glass. You'd have to be nuts (or a really stubborn cynic) to deny the different aromatics.

OTOH, I'm not so sure there's a huge difference between, say, the Bordeaux and Brunello glasses. At least there isn't enough to make me want to go out and buy the Brunello glasses.

I like the Shiraz glasses. They're great for new world Syrah and new world Rhone blends. But I like the Burgundy glass for old style Rhones.

I use the Chianti/Zin/Riesling glass for all white wines, roses and dessert wines. I love the shape of that one. Overall, I think it's a huge step up from the Chardonnay glass. But I don't like that glass for reds. I prefer to drink my Chianti and Zinfandel from the Bordeaux glass.

The Prestige Cuvee Champagne flute is quite nice. The laser-etched "bubbler" in the bottom of the bowl keeps a fine stream of bubbles working up through the middle of the glass.

For pure drama, my favorite two Riedels are the single malt glass and the Hennessy VSOP glass. Try those two and I guarantee you'll toss out all your tumblers and brandy snifters.
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#353190 - 06-20-2009 14:55:38 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: blil]
ksyrah Online   content
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My favorite is the sommelier hermitage glass. But I don't use them often because they are somewhat fragile.

-Al
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#353193 - 06-20-2009 15:19:16 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: Alan Rath]
Everett Bandman Offline
Local

Registered: 12-12-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 1445
Originally Posted By: Alan Rath
Interesting, even though I still remain skeptical of the whole glass shape thing.

I remember the days of scientific skepticism well wink Won't even believe your own observations, unless their scientifically valid. grin

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#353194 - 06-20-2009 15:21:27 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: ksyrah]
blil Offline
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Registered: 12-13-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 6251
Loc: Paola, KS
I'm quite proud of the fact that I've shown remarkable restraint for the past 15 years by limiting myself to the Vinum series. grin
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#353203 - 06-20-2009 19:03:14 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: Everett Bandman]
Eric_Anderson Offline
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Registered: 12-13-2000 08:00:00
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Originally Posted By: Everett Bandman
Originally Posted By: Alan Rath
Interesting, even though I still remain skeptical of the whole glass shape thing.

I remember the days of scientific skepticism well wink Won't even believe your own observations, unless their scientifically valid. grin

The Earth is round! News at 11:00! laugh
_________________________
Homer: Every time I learn something new, some of the old gets pushed out of my brain. Remember that time I took the wine making course and forgot how to drive?
Marge: You were drunk!
Homer: And how.

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#353205 - 06-20-2009 19:23:28 Re: Stemware influence - real or imagined? [Re: ksyrah]
BEB Online   content
True Southern Exposure
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Originally Posted By: ksyrah
My favorite is the sommelier hermitage glass. But I don't use them often because they are somewhat fragile.
but you have one more than you had 4 months ago! wink cool
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#353206 - 06-20-2009 19:33:05 tell me.... [Re: Sean_Devaney]
Roland Dumas Offline
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Registered: 11-19-2003 08:00:00
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Loc: San Mateo, CA
is the shape of the glass for shiraz different than the shape for syrah?

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#353207 - 06-20-2009 20:46:26 Re: tell me.... [Re: Roland Dumas]
Eric_Anderson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Roland Dumas
is the shape of the glass for shiraz different than the shape for syrah?

Hmmm, w/o looking at a catalog I don't know for sure. I can say that at the Riedel seminar at HdR this year, we tried three wines: '05 Guigal St. Joseph, '05 Elderton Shiraz, and '07 Miner La Diligence Syrah; in 4 different glasses. 2 of the 4 glasses were the Sommelier Hermitage 0400/30 and the Vinum Extreme Syrah 4444/30. IIRC, I found that I preferred the Vinum for the Shiraz, but preferred the Somm for both the St. Joseph and the Syrah.
_________________________
Homer: Every time I learn something new, some of the old gets pushed out of my brain. Remember that time I took the wine making course and forgot how to drive?
Marge: You were drunk!
Homer: And how.

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#353210 - 06-20-2009 23:19:26 Re: tell me.... [Re: Eric_Anderson]
Alan Rath Offline
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If you look closely, there are a nearly microsopic series of grooves in the edge of the Shiraz glass, the purpose of which is to funnel the oak molecules to specific tongue receptors that are most sensitive to the flavors of newly sanded wood. By pure blind luck, I've also discovered that rubbing a thin film of Lemon Pledge on these grooves really enhances the oak nuances of any wine that has the words "Molly,", "Foot", or "(insert small furry animal name here)" crazy
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#353213 - 06-21-2009 00:10:56 Re: tell me.... [Re: Alan Rath]
Roland Dumas Offline
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Registered: 11-19-2003 08:00:00
Posts: 910
Loc: San Mateo, CA
Originally Posted By: Alan Rath
If you look closely, there are a nearly microsopic series of grooves in the edge of the Shiraz glass, the purpose of which is to funnel the oak molecules to specific tongue receptors that are most sensitive to the flavors of newly sanded wood.


thank you for clarifying. Is the direction of the grooves reversed for shiraz from the southern hemisphere?

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