Types of Drinking Glasses (from Champagne Flutes to Brandy Snifters)

Drinking glasses

Photo Credit: DaveOnFlickr

If you take a look around your kitchen, your favorite restaurant, or even your local pub, you’ll notice that there are many differently types of drinking glasses of all shapes and sizes. Each shape is unique unto itself. But have you ever wondered why certain beverages are supposed to be enjoyed from a uniquely designed glass?

We assure you these glasses are not only hanging around to make things look fancy. The various drinking glass designs are intended to maximize aroma and flavor for the specific drinks they are meant to hold.

Wine Glass: The unique shape of a wine glass is for a reason; to help you notice the aroma and flavor of the wine. The tulip shape of a wine glass is meant to direct aroma to your nose and the stem cleverly keeps you from altering the temperature of the wine in the glass, because you hold the stem, and the heat from your fingers does not warm up the wine.

Champagne Flute: Sparkling wines and Champagnes do best in glasses that hold in the bubbles, as opposed to glasses that would let the bubbles escape. Ideally, a white wine glass would work very well, because it helps with aroma, but the bubbles would dissipate too quickly. The best option is a tulip-shaped flute, because it keeps in the bubbles and has a slight curve to help you smell and taste the Champagne.

Lager Glass: Robust beers, like lagers, are best served in large, wide glasses. However, regular pint glasses also do the job fine. It’s a matter of how much you really want to invest in the lager experience.

Wheat Beer Glass: Drinking glasses specialized for wheat beer are usually taller and more slender. The shape is somewhere between that of a lager glass and that of a pilsner. The shape allows more room for the foam, or “head,” and helps the aromas really come forth.

Pilsner Glass: Pilsner beers are best served in tall, tapered glasses. This shape of glass captures the effervescence of the beer, as well as the color, and really allows the foamy head of the beer to form.

Stemmed Beer Glass: Some beers, such as ales and stouts, are actually enhanced when served in a stemmed glass, like a brandy snifter or tulip glass. The stemmed beer glasses are also good for the formation of head and allow ample room to aerate the beer to release the aromas.

Whiskey Glass: Whiskey can also be enjoyed from brandy snifters, but the unique thistle design of a whiskey glass aids in tasting specific flavors that are specific to the liquor. The longer shape helps bring out aroma while the flared rim brings out the inherent sweetness of the whiskey.

Brandy Snifter: Brandy glasses, which are usually called snifters, are designed to have a short and stout tulip shape to help the drinker take in the aroma and flavor of the brandy. The short stem is meant to allow the glass to be held comfortably held in the palm of one’s hand so the liquor can be warmed naturally to release more flavor.

Cognac Glass: Though Cognac can be sipped from a brandy snifter, the unique tulip shape of a Cognac glass coupled with the rim, allows for tasting all the subtle nuances that Cognac has to offer.

Whatever you’re drinking, make sure you have the right glass! A lot of thought was put into the design of these beverage-specific drinking glasses in order to allow the fullest experience while drinking your alcohol of choice.

One thought on “Types of Drinking Glasses (from Champagne Flutes to Brandy Snifters)

  1. Jeremy Thompson

    I am planning to purchase some glassware for my wife as she loves collecting them. Knowing that these glasses were specifically made for us to enjoy our drinking the right way as it will maximize its aroma and flavor is something I am glad to have learned. Honestly, all these glassware look so wonderful which is why I am having a hard time on deciding. That is the reason why I’ll try searching for some of the Simon Pearce glassware that my wife had talked about before. Thanks!

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