Does a wine glass shape matter? Does it alter the taste of the wine? Definitely!
All quality glassware manufacturers produce numerous ranges of glasses whose designs are all different. The fundamental similarity is that the various bowl shapes are designed specifically for the grape varieties of the wines they are intended to hold.
Some producers limit their ranges to a very basic Red Wine, White Wine, Bordeaux style, Burgundy-style and Champagne. These then cater generally for most reds, most whites etc. The more expansive producers create glasses for most of the major grape varieties. You will find glasses for Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chianti, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Rioja, and the list goes on.
The general ranges will adequately cater for most Reds or Whites, but if you want to get into Rioja, for example, choose a glass designed explicitly for Rioja, and your taste buds will reap the rewards. Grape specific glasses are designed so the bowls of the glass, when tipped, will direct the flow of the wine directly to to the part of your mouth that will appreciate that sensation the most. There are sense areas in the mouth that allow you to taste sweetness, bitterness, saltiness and acidity, and the glasses are designed so that the wine finds these areas.
Note how different shaped glasses make you tilt your head or strain your neck to get the liquid into your mouth. In turn, the liquid then finds other areas of the mouth because of the direction in which it enters.
Why not try this yourself! Grab two different shaped glasses but pour the exact wine into both; try and taste and see if you notice the difference.
You’ll eventually find glasses that suit your needs for the types of wines you like, and you should enjoy your favourite wines even more than usual!