Step up your cup game. All you need to know about choosing the right glass for the right drink.

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Unless you’re in college, where every drink is poured in a red solo cup, you may be wondering why we’re supposed to drink wine from a stemmed glass, champagne from a flute, or brandy from a snifter? Well there’s a reason and it’s not just to look fancy. The glasses we are so used to drinking out of are all specifically designed to maximize each drink’s aroma and flavor in different ways.

Flute

champagne

You’ve seen these tall glasses while enjoying unlimited mimosas at your favorite brunch spot! Mainly used for champagne and other sparkling wines, the flute is designed to make the bubbles last for as long as possible. Aroma isn’t as important with these wines as they would be for red wine, so the opening is smaller in order to minimize the exposure to air.

Chill the glass before use.


Standard Wine Glass

wine

Obviously, there are many different types of wine glasses, but your typical wine glass has a stem. When drinking wine you should always hold your glass by the stem to transfer less heat to the wine. Otherwise your hand will quickly warm up the wine. Aroma is one of the most important elements with wine, which is why your wine glass should have a large opening. If you can’t fit your nose in it while you’re drinking, you need yourself some new glasses.

Basic rule of thumb: broader openings for reds, narrower for whites. That should get you through most situations just fine.


Martini Glass

martini

This classic v-shaped glass is used for drinks without ice. Drinks served in this glass will be shaken or stirred with ice first, and then strained into it. Again, we’ve got stemware here to control the temperature of your alcohol. The cone shape serves to help maintain temperature, keep the ingredients pushed together (olives, spirits of different specific gravities, etc), and it provides a nice large surface area for the aroma, since you’re typically drinking gin (or a Manhattan) and aroma is 90 percent of flavor.


Rocks Glass (a.k.a. the Old Fashioned Glass)rocks

Want your drink on the rocks? This is the glass for you! It’s especially good for cocktail since the glass can accommodate large cubes of ice and they’re still plenty of room to stir within the glass. It’s also got a nice big opening so you can really smell the aromatics in your cocktail.


Brandy Snifter

brandy

Brandy glasses have a short stem which allows your hand to warm the brandy or cognac while holding it, thus releasing more flavor. The shape of this glass concentrates the alcoholic odors to the top of the glass