In this review, we summarize the latest evidence demonstrating that the shape and feel of the glassware (and other receptacles) that we drink from can influence our perception of the taste/flavour of the contents. Such results, traditionally obtained in the world of wine, have often been interpreted in terms of changes in physico-chemical properties (resulting from the retention, or release, of specific volatile aromatic molecules), or the differing ways in which the shape of the glassware funnels the flow of the liquid across the tongue. It is, however, not always clear that any such physico-chemical differences do, in fact, lead to perceptible differences. Others, meanwhile, have stressed the importance of cultural factors, and the perceived appropriateness, or congruency, of the receptacle to the drink, based on prior experience. Here, though, we argue that there is also a much more fundamental association at work between shape properties and taste/flavour. In particular, the suggestion is made that the shape properties of the drinking receptacle (e.g., whether it be more rounded or angular)—regardless of whether the receptacle is seen, felt, or both—can prime certain expectations in the mind of the drinker. And, based on the theory of crossmodal correspondence, this priming is thought to accentuate certain aspects of the tasting experience, likely as a result of a taster’s attention being focused on the attributes that have been subtly primed.
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