Alcohol is expected, but not required, in many occasions. You might drink champagne during a wedding toast, margaritas on a fun night out, or sip brandy after a nice dinner. All these drinking activities require different glasses. It’s difficult to drink fancy cocktails without a glass, after all.
At home, you might drink your pinot noir out of a coffee mug. But bistros and wine bars nearly always serve their drinks in different kinds of glasses. Even caterers with bar services in Seattle have collections of glasses with different styles. But have you ever thought of why they pour champagne in narrow, fluted glasses and scotch into short, squat tumblers?
Professionals want an alcoholic drink, whether it’s a very expensive French vintage or a $5 margarita, to be a taste experience. And the glassware that they’re served in prolong or heighten certain facets of the drink. The design of a cocktail or wine glass does one, or all, of the following functions.
Moderate the Drink’s Aeration
If you’ve ever ordered red wine, or hang out with people who are knowledgeable about their intricacies, you’ve probably heard the phrase “let the wine breathe.” This simply means exposing the wine to air, which can enhance the flavor of certain vintages. Wine bars and sommeliers use an aerator or a decanter for this purpose. You can accomplish the same thing with your red wine glass, thanks to its wide mouth and deep bowl. These features expose a lot of the liquid’s surface to the air, and allow you to swirl the liquid to aerate.
White wines don’t need as much aeration and their glasses have smaller bowls. Champagne, on the other hand, needs minimal air exposure to keep from turning flat. Tall and narrow flutes keep champagne bubbly for a longer time.
Enhance Presentation of Sight and Smell
Bartenders often make a nice show when mixing drinks or opening bottles. The design of the glass enhances this performance. When you drink from a wine glass, its wide bowl makes sure that you’ll smell the wine’s aroma before you taste it. Cocktail glasses have wide, conical bowls so that you can appreciate the perfume of the drink’s ingredients.
These wide bowls also make sure that you can clearly see the liquid inside, allowing you to appreciate their colors and texture. You can appreciate the layers of cocktails, like tequila sunrises and margaritas, thanks to highball and margarita glasses.
Control Drink Temperature
Your hand can warm up your drink if you hold it long enough. Glasses with tall stems, like most wine and cocktail glasses, help prevent this by keeping your hand away from the bowl. This is why it’s typical for you to hold the wine glass by the stem and never put your fingers around the bowl.
On the other hand, some spirits taste better when kept warm. Brandy snifters, with their round, compact shape, encourage you to hold it in your palm. Your body heat will transfer to the drink, maintaining its warmth.
Pouring your drink into a correct glass might seem like a hassle. But even if you’re enjoying a drink on your own, don’t you deserve the full satisfaction that a good drink can deliver? Serve your drink in the right glass, and you can appreciate the artistry behind these complex beverages.