Do engraved drinking glasses make drinks taste better?

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Whether you drink alcohol or stick to soft drinks, the type of glass you drink from is part of the experience. Drinking from engraved glasses adds to the enjoyment.

An engraved glass usually has a personalized message on it. People give engraved glasses as a thank you present or as an award for an achievement. Somehow, when you drink out of an engraved glass, it feels more special than drinking from a plain glass. This may be just a subjective experience as there is no scientific research to back up the theory that a personalised engraved glass makes your drink taste better. However, there is evidence about how the shape of the glass affects the drinking experiences.

The shape of the glass

The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, believed that the colour of the glass affected the taste of wine, but there is no evidence for this, unlike the shape of the glass.

The sides of a wine glass bow inward, which focuses the alcohol on the rim. When the nose is pointed to the glass, the harshness of the alcohol aroma is reduced, and this makes the smell of the wine more distinct. In the journal Chemistry World, Japanese scientists mapped the concentration of alcohol in glasses, and concluded that the shape of the glass and the temperature of the wine impacted the flow of the alcohol, and this affects the taste experience of wine.

This shape of the glass affects how you drink too. The head is tilted differently depending on the glass shape. With wide rimmed glasses, the head is lowered, but people tend to tilt their head back with narrow rimmed glasses. Different head positions change the speed at which the liquid hits the tongue, and this can affect the taste of wine and other drinks.

The pleasure of drinking comes from a combination of aroma and taste, and the shape of the glass can affect both.

The visual and tactile

As well as taste and aroma, there are two other senses involved in drinking – sight and touch.

Different glasses do not feel the same. Crystal glass feels warm to the touch, and a stemmed glass does not feel the same as a straight glass.

Brandy glasses are designed to be held in both hands. This warms up the brandy from the heat of your hands, and also adds a sensual feel to the drinking experience.

An engraved crystal drinking glass both looks and feels special, as a luxury item should. Perhaps there is another sense that can be added to the list of those involved in drinking – memory. If your engraved drinking glass was given by a loved one, you will have fond memories of them whenever you use the glass. If the glass was an award for an achievement, it will invoke positive memories of that achievement.

Whether engraved drinking glasses improve the drinking experience or not, they are ideal personalised gifts to say that you care, you recognise achievements, or simply want to say thank you.

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