CHOOSING GLASSWARE: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE
When it comes to finding the best glassware for every occasion, this guide is here to help you make the right decision.
Crystal is a type of glass that contains strengthening minerals such as lead-oxide, potassium carbonate and silica to make it more durable.
This added strength allows the crystal to be molded into thinner, more delicate shapes.
Crystal refracts light for that beautiful shine making it perfect for those special occasions and formal dinners. Because crystal can be molded so thinly, crystal wine glasses can have a thin rim that allows for an uninterrupted flow of wine.
Crystal is slightly porous which is what gives it is ability to refract light but makes it unsuitable for the dishwasher.
Crystal is popular at weddings because of the fine ringing sound it makes when clinked.
Standard glass is made using sand, soda ash and limestone which makes it durable, but it can’t be molded as thin as crystal.
Standard glass isn’t able to refract light like crystal, making it good for everyday drinking but not as coveted for those special occasions.
Standard glass is non-porous making it dishwasher safe and some glass with a lower mineral count as also heat resistant such as borosilicate glass.
While there are plenty of drinks to be enjoyed, there are many kinds of glasses designed to enhance your drinking experience.
Short glass with a strong, flat bottom. Perfect for whisky or serving spirits on the rocks. Also good for short cocktails.
The highball or tall tumbler is useful for many types of drinks from everyday juices and waters to tall mixed cocktail drinks that have a high ratio of alcohol to mixer.
The gin glass
As gin becomes more popular, the favoured glass for your favourite gin and tonic is now the Copa de Balon or balloon shaped glass with a rounded shape sitting on a stem. This shape is designed to trap the aromas of the gin to give a better taste to the drink while the large bowl allows for plenty of ice and lime or other fruits to be added and to keep the drink cool.
Types of wine glasses
The shape of your wine glass makes a real difference to the taste and experience. Choose the right shape for each type of wine.
This glass is used most often for all red wines. It has a large bowl with a tall stem. The larger bowl gives the wine a bigger surface area which allows it to oxidise or breathe. Oxidising softens the tannins that are found in red wines to improve the overall flavour and aroma.
This glass has a prominent fishbowl shape to trap the aromas of more full-bodied red wines. This also serves to balance the wine’s intensity. A narrow rim lessens acidity by targeting wine to the centre of the palate.
Bordeaux glasses are taller allowing for more surface area if wine exposed to air as you swirl your wine up the edge of the glass. This shape also helps reduce the effects of tannins by concentrating wine to the back of the tongue.
The pinot noir’s large bowl releases the wine’s subtle and delicate aromas by allowing a large surface area of wine to be exposed to oxygen while the distinctive tulip shape traps the aromas in the glass. This glass targets the wine to the front of the mouth to accentuate sweet flavours and regulate acidic ones.
The chardonnay glass has a large bowl to balance out the oaky notes. This greater surface area exposed to air also lets the wine open up to reveal other tastes. The wide opening of the glass evenly spreads the wine across the palate to bring more complex layers of flavour into focus.
The standard white wine glass is ideal for sauvignon blancs, Rieslings and other white wines best consumed in a glass with a narrow bowl. Too much air can compromise the light, bright flavours of white wines. This glass has a narrow bowl and a narrow opening that also helps to keep your wine chilled.
The narrow bowl and small mouth of the champagne flute helps to maintain the fizzy effect of champagne, Prosecco and Cap Classiques. This shape preserves the bubbles by limiting oxidation while also keeping your sparkling wine cool.