In How Tos

From finding the right shape to looking good and bringing out the best flavour, to choosing the right kind of material, this guide will help you make the right decision when it comes to finding the best glassware for every occasion.

What’s the difference between glass and crystal?

  • 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 and certain detergents.
  • Crystal is popular at weddings because of the fine ringing sound it makes when clinked.

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  • 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 is also heat resistant such as borosilicate glass.

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The benefits of double wall glassware

These sorts of glasses have been around for a while and are definitely here to stay.

Reasons to love double wall glasses.

  • Hot or cold drinks – they keep their pouring temperature for far longer than normal glass.
  • No cumbersome handles! Because burn risk is no longer a thing, these glasses are elegant.
  • For hot drinks, they are lighter than stoneware.
  • It’s fun to see your hot drinks, especially layered coffee drinks through the glass.

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What is borosilicate glass?

You’ll be seeing this word quite often when shopping for glassware… glass made with silica and boron trioxide. This type of glass is break and heat resistant and a good choice for a busy kitchen and glass used for tea or coffee. It is chip and crack resistant. You’ll often see it used for eco friendly glass straws and glass teapots.

What shape glass should I use?

While there are plenty of drinks to be enjoyed, there are many kinds of glasses designed to enhance your drinking experience.

The tumbler

Short glass with a strong, flat bottom. Perfect for whisky or serving spirits on the rocks. Also good for short cocktails.

The highball

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 mixer to alcohol.

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.

The coupe glass

This type of glass has a tall stem and a wide mouth, purposefully designed to serve chilled “shaken” cocktails that are served without ice. You can chill this glass before serving a martini or margarita or even your favourite bubbly. The stem prevents your hand from heating up your drink. These days many people like to serve a gin & tonic out of a coupe.

As a champagne glass, a coupe allows more surface area to be exposed to the air, meaning you can enjoy the aroma of your drink and not just the sparkle.

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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.

Cabernet Glass

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.

Burgundy Glass

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 Glass

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 perfect glass for Pinot Noir

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.

How to enjoy Chardonnay

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.

Which glass to use for White wine

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.

Champagne: coupe or flute?

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. A coupe is a popular choice for serving sparkling wine at weddings, it is both stylish and elegant and less top heavy and prone to breakage – a classic choice to serve more than one drink from sangria to your favourite cocktail.

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