How the shape of engraved crystal glasses changes the drinking experienceClive
Drinking fine wine, beer or spirits is a multisensory experience of taste, aroma, sight and texture. The shape and type of glass you drink out of changes the drinking experience, and an engraved crystal glass can improve the quality of the drinking experience.
How much are your drinking?
Studies by Dr. Angela Attwood at Bristol University looked at how the shape of a glass affects the perception of how much you have drunk. She studied people drinking beer from a curved glass versus a straight one. When volunteers were shown images of various amounts beer in straight and curved glasses and asked which images showed glasses that were more or less half full, they made more errors when judging drinks in curved glasses. So, if you want an accurate perception of how much you have consumed, use a straight glass.
The strength of wine aromas correlates with the ratio between the widest part of the glass and the diameter of the top opening. People drinking wine from wide rimmed glasses tend to lower their heads, whilst people drinking from narrow rims tilt their head back. This affects the speed that the wine hits the tongue and where it hits. This alters the taste.
A few years ago, people used to drink champagne from wide bowl-shaped glasses. Nowadays, there is a preference for narrow wine flutes. A narrow glass means that the carbonisation (the bubbles) in the champagne are not released as quickly. In a wide bowl, the bubbles disperse more quickly. When bubbles escape, they cause the champagne to become flatter and this affects the texture, which is a part of the tasting experience.
The brandy glass or snifter as it is sometimes called is wide around the middle and narrower at the top. The shape of the glass is designed for the hands to easily fit around the bowl so that heat from the hands warms up the brandy. The glass is filled with a small amount of brandy, which allows the rich aromas to drift to the top of the glass where the nose is when the drink is sipped. Aroma is an essential component of taste.
Choosing the right glass for you
Choose a style of glass for your taste. Some people prefer a tankard to a straight beer glass. Not all champagne experts are convinced that the flute is the best glass, with some prefering a more traditional wine glass. For spirits with mixes, tumblers are often preferred, and for small shots of spirits, a shot glass that allows the drink to be quickly downed in one go is favoured.
Making your glass special
Whatever style of glass you prefer to enhance your drinking experience, engraved crystal glasses are beautiful pieces that elevate drinking to a luxury experience. Premium quality, yet affordable, with a suitable engraved message, they commemorate special occasions, express gratitude or mark special achievements. They make ideal gifts for loved ones, colleagues, and friends.