Almost as important as the ingredients, the rituals of serving and consuming a beverage have been developed over centuries to bring us the perfect experience. There are many kinds of glassware and all have been created to maximise the enjoyment of the beverage in question.
The Bordeaux Glass: Designed with high walls and a wide bowl, this glass is best used with full bodied red wines as it directs wine to the back of the tongue.
The Burgundy Glass: Angled walls hold on to aromatics of more subtle red wines and the angle pours wine to the front of the tongue.
The White Wine Glass: With a tall bowl and a smaller mouth, this glass reduces surface area of wine to the air preserving the flavor of the wine.
The Sherry Glass: Is a small glass with tall walls used for serving strong aromatic liquors, such as sherry and port. On occasion used for layered shots.
Decanters are traditionally used to separate liquid in wines from any sediment. These days modern clarified wines do not usually contain sediment so decanters are used to aerate the wine which reduces the tannins in bolder wines promoting a cleaner taste.
The Cocktail or Martini Glass: A long stemmed glass with a conical bowl . The stem allows it to preserve chilled drink while holding for long periods, and the open bowl allows a large surface area for maximum contact with ice, spices, rims or garnish.
A Highball glass is used to serve cocktails with a liquor base and a large amount of mixer and ice. It is tall and it’s squared off sides give a sense of volume. A variation would be a Lowball glass which is shorter.
Hurricane Glass is often used to serve tropical cocktails. With it’s violin shape, it has an easy grip and is flared at the top for the natural aromatics.
The common shapes of pint glass are:
The Nonic Glass: A variation on the conical, where the glass bulges out for improved grip, to prevent the glasses from sticking together when stacked, and to give strength and stop the rim from becoming chipped or “nicked”.
The Tulip Glass: A rounder taller shape flaring out towards the top is the style of this glass. These designs are more commonly associated with breweries using high quality hops because of the aromatic encouragement the wide mouth provides.
The Pilsner: the pilsner is used for light beers like lagers and pilsners. Generally smaller than a pint glass, the Pilsner is tall, slim, and tapered. The design is meant to allow you to view the color and carbonation of the beer while preserving a nice head on top.
At weddings and other ceremonial occasions sake is poured into the small cups called choko from ceramic flasks called tokkuri. Formerly, sake was sipped and sold in a wooden box known as masu but the wood would change the flavor. It is now common to find lacquerware or plastic masu.
To be continued…
We will be updating this list with more glasses along the way.