The Right Glass for Every Cocktail
There’s a reason you rarely see wine in a martini glass or beer in a champagne flute. Each glass serves its own special purpose through its design and shape. When you’re furnishing your bar, it helps to know the benefits behind the designs of crystal glassware. At Pottery Barn, we love a good party. That’s why we have some helpful pointers to share. Learn why certain drinks have their own types of glasses – and how to choose the right ones for your favorite wines, beers and other beverages.
The Shape of White Wine Goblets
White wine glasses and goblets are designed to let you fully enjoy your experience – whether you’re having a casual glass with dinner or throwing a wine-pairing party. White wine goblets are designed to let you tip a full glass on an angle. This way, you can simultaneously take a sip while your nose rests comfortably in the glass. You can properly enjoy the aroma and the full bouquet of the wine. The design of the ideal white wine glass helps place the wine on your mid-palette. That’s where most of your taste buds are located – and you’ll fully appreciate the wine.
Consider crystal wine goblets that are shock-free. With these, you can serve Irish coffee and specialty hot drinks without cracking the glass. Unbreakable titanium crystal wine glasses also do double duty as everyday water goblets that add a touch of elegance.
The Shape of Red Wine Glasses
Red wine glasses have wide bowls for a good reason. These let you hold the glass not only by the stem, but also by the bowl’s bottom. You can warm up the wine to taste it at the proper temperature.
Red wine enthusiasts appreciate subtle, but important differences in various red wine stemware. A Bordeaux glass has a tall, broad bowl to hold full-bodied red wines like cabernet sauvignon and Syrah. The large bowl directs wine to the back of your mouth, similar to white wine glasses.
A burgundy wine glass has a much larger bowl. It can accumulate the aroma of a more delicate red wine, such as a pinot noir. A burgundy wine glass is also ideal for experiencing a full-bodied chardonnay.
The Shape of Beer Glasses
Beer glasses come in various shapes and sizes for heavy, light and craft beers. The most common are pint glasses, pilsners and mugs. These three glasses all have one thing in common: a tall, skinny shape. Pints and mugs are robust, durable glassware. They hold most types of beers. Pilsner glasses are more slender to best hold lighter beers, such as – you guessed it! – pilsners. The height of beer glasses is meant to capture the beauty of a beer’s foam head.
The Shape of Champagne Flutes
You learned to saber that bottle. Now you need beautiful champagne flutes to enjoy your drinks. Stemmed, slender and tall, champagne flutes are meant for champagne, sparkling wine and prosecco. Flutes are shaped this way for good reason. The lip of the glass is slightly curved inward. It’s designed to keep the drink carbonated. The flute’s deep bowl allows the bubbles to flow a longer distance to the top. This creates a specific fizzy texture. Imagine pouring champagne in a martini glass – the carbonation would quickly fizzle out. The champagne also stays chilled in the flute thanks to the stemware’s long stem. It keeps your warm hands away from the bowl.
For even more carbonation, look for glasses that are designed with effervescent points inside the bowls. These keep the bubbles continuously flowing through the champagne, even after the first bubbles dissipate. Continuous bubbles keep the elegance and flavor of your champagne consistent while you’re sipping throughout the celebration.
The Shape of Martini Glasses
There’s an interesting legend behind the martini glass shape. Supposedly, during the Prohibition era, it was quick and easy to throw alcohol out of the short, wide glass rather than get caught with a cocktail. Factually speaking, the cone shape actually prevents the various ingredients of a martini from separating – alcohol tends to rise to the top. The wide, open top also lets you comfortably sip the mixed drink without getting the olive or fruit zest into your mouth.
The Shape of Double Old Fashioned Glasses
Perfect with or without ice for whiskey, gin and tonics or vodka tonics, the short tumbler shape fits nicely in your hand. But there’s more practicality to the old fashioned glass. It’s wide so it can hold and evenly distribute ice and garnishes. The thick, durable base is designed so non-liquid ingredients for a cocktail, such as sugar cubes and bitters, are easier to muddle. Look for a double old fashioned glass that has a heavy base and feels balanced in your hand.
Delicate, fine crystal glassware made with lead is typically used for serving spirits and not for everyday use. If you’re looking for everyday crystal glassware that goes from bar cart to family dinner table to formal dinner party, consider Schott Zwiesel Tritan®. This long-lasting, unbreakable crystal stemware is made with environmentally safe titanium that’s even dishwasher-safe.
There’s so much interesting history behind beautiful drinkware. And there’s so much value in durable crystal barware, stemware and glassware, too. Give sets as wedding, anniversary or host gifts – monogrammed or left elegantly plain – for everyday use. Don’t shy away from gifting yourself a new set, either!