Does wine taste different from a paper cup than from crystal stemware? Absolutely. In fact, the size and shape of the vessel affects the overall experience so much — taste, smell, appearance — that there are dozens of different glasses, each designed to serve specific types of wine and other beverages. And of course, there is almost nothing more satisfying than drinking from well-made glassware specifically made for the precise beverage you’re drinking.
Here’s a quick list of a few of the many options:
Tumblers — Tumblers are simple, flat-bottomed drinking glasses that come in a variety of heights and proportions depending on their intended use. The perennial Southern favorite ice tea glass is all but mandatory, and its shorter cousin, the juice glass, is another household necessity. The Collins glass is for a tall mixed drinks, while a highball glass is somewhat shorter. Also in the tumbler category are the old fashioned glass for cocktails served on the rocks, the stemless “dizzy” cocktail glass, and standard water glasses.
Wine glasses — While any wine glass will do in a pinch, there are a number of specific shapes and sizes designed to complement the tastes and aromas of various wines. You can start with the basics: a wide-bowled red and a narrower and taller white wine glasses. For more refined tastes, you can also branch out to include special stems for rosés, individual reds including cabernet, burgundy and pinot noir, and specific whites such as chardonnay. Be sure to reserve space for champagne flutes for sparkling wines and cordial glasses for dessert wines.
Beer glassware — Beer glasses, like wine glasses, have developed over time to enhance the taste and appearance of specific types of beer. Goblets and chalices are great choices for heavy, malty beers, such as Belgian ales and German Bocks. This type of glassware has a wide opening that assists a beer drinker in analyzing the overall flavor profile and aromas. The Pilsner glass’ slender design allows drinkers to appreciate the colors and carbonation bubbles within their beer. Weizen glasses are designed for and primarily used for wheat beers, designed to trap and encourage a thick foam head, allowing for you to appreciate the full aroma and flavor that comes along with wheat beers.
Specialty Glasses — Round out your glassware with some specialty glasses to coincide with your cocktail preferences. Things like hurricane and margarita glasses may seem unnecessary to some, but will be an absolute necessity for margarita lovers. The same is true for snifters for brandy or liquors, and whiskey glasses for sipping.
The types of stemware and barware are many and varied, from the mundane to the obscure. Start your collection with the items you’ll use most often — for yourself or for entertaining — then fill your cabinet with additional options as circumstances evolve. By working with a professional at Bromberg’s, you can ensure that your choices will be timeless classics that work with your entertainment style and existing pieces.