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Wineglasses: Class Of Drinking Horns

Thursday, 28 January 2010

wineglassesBy the thesaurus, a wineglass is defined as a glass tallbay with the volume of 200-250 ml used for mineral water or fruity water and wine. Today a tallbay is considered as the developed drinking horn or a sophisticated bowl, dipper, cup or even a wine bowl. The wineglass appeared long time ago though looked differently. In fact first wineglasses appeared in the XVII century when the glass-blowing art was developed. And up to this time all the materials available to manufacture the containers for drinking beverages included metal, wood, ceramics and bone.

Wooden or ceramic wineglass is nonsense and it is easier and more logical to make a bowl or a dripper from wood. Bone is the traditional horns to drink wine, and here the only thing to do is just to slightly decorate the horns. Metal was usually used to make cups and precious metals and stones were used for the solemn cups. And the wineglass is something very fragile which is known for its delicacy. And the appropriate raw material is required to manufacture wineglasses, glass or crystal.

Wineglasses differ in shapes; they come astonishingly narrow and wide, tall or short glasses, tulip-shaped or a barrel-shaped, with the tightly fitted «waist» or as a bud of flower. And this variety is not just happened incidentally. The point is people believe that the taste of what you drink depends on the shape from where you drink.

Claus Josef Riedel made this stunning discovery in 50s of the ХХ century, from the family of glassblowers, the father to the present owner of the reputed company Riedel, the manufacturer of the Bohemian glass since 1890.

Such discoveries are called revolutionary since it appeared that the shape of a glass may build the taste of wine. It turned out that a shape of the glass or bowl can change the flow of wine to particular areas of the roof of mouth or a tongue, and they are responsible for various tastes, in their turn. Thus, the tip of the tongue is responsible for the sweet taste and thus, the containers recommended to drink dry and cool white wine should be with necks tapering off. For the sweet and oily wines the recommended glasses should have wider neck, on the contrary, that helps to avoid the «sweet» tip of the tongue and go to the are sensitive to acid, and in this case the sweet of the beverage has more spicy note of acidity and the gamma of taste gets wider.

However, when using wineglasses, bear in mind that the shape of the glass is not the only thing to influence the taste of wine. The size matters as well. And this is why not all wine is drunk from glasses. So, red wine is the best to drink from the container of 70-100 ml not more, while the size of the glass should be much more than 200-250 ml. But the «flut-shaped» wineglasses (with gradually widening neck and then getting narrow off the 2/3 of the glass height) or «flur-shaped» (used for vintage wine) of 200 ml go well with champagne and sparkling wine. The size and shape of glasses allow wine to be poured to the three fourth of the capacity for the taste to draw and stronger aroma.

«Sniffer-shaped» glasses are recommended for cognac. They resemble tulips, slightly squeezed on the bottom with the wider bottom and tapering off neck. Cognac is poured to the level of the widest part to have the surface of the liquid to exhale the aroma, and the narrow neck allows keeping the aroma offering it to the gourmet all right. This is interesting that «sniffers» somewhat vary in shape, depending on cognac category. So, younger cognac (of V.S or V.S.O.P categories) are drunk from «sniffers» with slightly tapering neck since such drinks are too aggressive and spirit notes are too strong in the whole bouquets.

Relatively wider neck of the «sniffer» allows leaving spiky scent keeping fruit notes which adds attractiveness to the cognac. The old good cognac of Х.О. category is tasted from the maximum tapering off «sniffers» (as tasters say «tube»), that leaves unbroken the note of fruits, the gamut and delicacy of the drink, without tough spirit notes.

Also the «sniffers» are used for brandy (though it is well known that cognac is brandy but not all brandy is cognac).

Anyway, the wineglasses are not so much adapted to have alcohol drinks, and first, because of little capacity. Thus, goblets are available in more variations up to 3000 ml and they are especially used as the glass for wine, champagne, cognac and other alcohol drinks, though many beverages require lesser volume than the minimal volume of the glass, and many of them require more than the glass provides. Thus, wineglasses present mainly the containers for fruity nonalcoholic beverages and mineral water that look very nice on the duly served table adding crystal play.

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