Choosing glassware for your drinks at home may seem like a pretty straight forward task, but have you ever paused to consider why red wine is served in a different glass to white wine, or why martinis are in different glasses to Mojitos? While there is an element of aesthetic pleasantries, a lot of the glass choice comes down to science. Each glass is meticulously made and moulded to keep the drinks colder, and the bubbles fizzier for an extended period of time.
Wine should be enjoyed for both the taste, and the aroma it lets off. This is why the opening of the glass is quite wide, allowing your nose and sense of smell to be a part of the experience. You may have noticed that red wine glasses are much rounder and larger than white wine glasses. This is because red wine need a bit of room for their aroma and taste to be fully emerge. Both of these glasses have long stems, to keep the wine cold, away from your warm hands.
Champagne flutes have been designed to maintain the cold temperature of sparkling wines, to ensure the bubbles do not go flat. The aroma of champagne is less important than that of red wine, and therefore the opening of the glass can be much smaller, and still enjoyed.
An old-fashioned glass or a ‘rocks glass‘ is designed to hold a lot of large ice cubes. The short, compact nature of the glass makes it ideal for stirring, and maintaining the cold temperature of the ice cubes.
Highball Glasses are often the glass of choice for cocktails served with soda water or other fizzy drinks. It’s slender and long shape is designed to keep the drink cool and maintain bubbles. It’s also the ideal shape for stirring which is important for when the alcohol settles to the bottom of the glass.
Similar to the red wine glass, martini glasses are designed to keep the drink cold, but to allow the flavour to breathe. Its long stem keeps your warm hands away from the chilled liquid. Martini glasses conical shape helps to keep all the ingredients i.e. olives, together in the centre of the glass. You will find these glasses are often chilled before use.
Glassware is important for fully experiencing a drink, however don’t worry if you do not have one of each. Drinks of course can be enjoyed in any kind of glass- some are just more ideal than others!