Why do glasses have a stem?

Have you ever wondered why there are SO many different glass types out there? Why do wine glasses have a stem, what benefit does a gin Copa have, where did coupes come from?

Read all about what glass is designed for what drink and why they (and you!) benefit from with different glass shapes and sizes.

White Wines - are typically served in smaller bowled glasses to preserve floral aromas, express more acidity in the wine and deliver more aromas due to the proximity to your nose.

Red Wine Glasses - tend to be larger with a smaller opening which delivers more aroma compounds. Some stronger reds like Bordeaux prefer larger surface areas in the glass allowing ethanol to evaporate making the wine taste smoother.

Flutes- Like all the glasses mentioned above, flutes are designed with a stem to ensure there is no heat transfer. The long body and small opening to allow the deliciously fizzy bubbles to remain in your drink.

Coupes - It said that coupes were moulded from Marie Antoinette's left breast and that she wanted her court to toast her health by drinking from glasses shaped like her bosom… However, the truth is the glass was invented long before the reign of the queen! They were first used to serve retro cocktails including Coupes the Side Car, Martinez, and Aviation. We now use these for champagne or cava on special occasions.

Gin Copa - The Copa glass dates to the 1700s in Basque Region of Spain. The Spanish were large drinkers of gin and developed the ‘balloon’ cup instead of using a highball or standard tumbler. The Balloon shaped glass was designed to trap the aromas from the gin to provide a better taste to the drink, whilst also allowing space for plenty of ice & lime. Crucially though, the bowl shape is said to stop the ice cubes from melting as quickly and dilute the drink. This has now been adopted over the UK and is the most popular way to drink gin.

Cocktail/Martini - The conical shape of Martini Glasses is mainly designed for looks, although the same applies to the stem not transferring heat to the drink. A martini should be served cold with an olive. The same shaped glasses are often used to serve a variety of other cocktails such as Espresso Martinis or Appletinis.

Brandy -  Also called snifters, are designed to allow you to take in the aroma of the Brandy but also its bulbous shape is meant to be so you can hold it against the warmth of your hand to enhance the flavour.

Beer Tankard - Beer Tankard is shaped for flavour and created to enhance the all‐round experience of beer drinking.


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