wine mask in use
Credit: © Wine Glass Mask™

No true wine lover would dismiss the importance of aroma when it comes to enjoying a glass of wine. Similarly, some studies have found that the shape of your wine glass impacts the presentation of this bouquet. But would a wine glass specifically contoured to your face help you appreciate a wine’s delicate scent even more? A new Kickstarter is claiming that, yes, it would – or at the very least, makes for an intricately designed gag gift.

The punnily named Wine Glass Mask claims it’s “the first wine glass contoured to fit your face.” Specifically, unlike a typical wine glass where the opening is circular, the Glass Mask is shaped, as it implies, like a gas mask. “By leveraging technology hospitals have been successfully using for decades to dispense oxygen and nitrous oxide, we have a nose for innovation,” the brand says in its promotional video.

© Wine Glass Mask™

On its face (pun intended), the Wine Glass Mask actually seems like an intriguing idea; however, just how seriously we’re supposed to take this invention remains up in the air. Kickstarter videos usually take one of two routes: funny or technical. The Glass Mask leans heavily on the former, and as a result, the product undermines some of its claims – primarily, is this really any better than a normal wine glass? Inventor James Piatt seems to have some legitimate design and engineering credentials, but even he describes his creation as “part functional and part novelty.”

That said, in the Kickstarter’s description, the Glass Mask gets a bit more technical, saying it takes advantage of the “Venturi Effect.” “As red wine breathes, wine molecules combine with nitrogen and oxygen in the air,” the campaign explains. “The venturi nozzles on the front of the Wine Glass Mask reduce the flow of oxygen and nitrogen and increase their velocity entering the wine aroma mixing chamber as you breathe in. The added air speed lifts more wine vapors off the surface enriching the aroma and flavor.” Piatt also insists test batches “prove that this design helps amplify the smell of wine.” Whether it works or not, I’m left intrigued enough to want to give it a try.

With 24 days to go, Piatt’s invention is still looking to find its footing: The Wine Glass Mask has only raised $366 from eight backers. However, I could see this catching on: Even if you don’t buy in to the somewhat vague technical specs, the novelty factor is definitely there. And at an early bird price of just $15, though these glasses aren’t cheap, they don’t break the bank either. If this “all-or-nothing” campaign has any major hurdle to overcome, it’s may be its $78,000 fundraising goal. That’s a lot of wine glasses – regardless of the shape.