The right glass for drinking cognac depends on your experience

The right glass for drinking cognac depends on your experience

A glass of sniff and lavender with a bottle of cognac – Static Media / Shutterstock

There are two basic types of glass used to make Cognac: vintner and vintner. Deciding which one to use is ultimately a matter of preference, but experts have a clear preference. Snipers are bouffants with a short shank and a wide middle. They go by many names – brandy cutters, brandy glasses, and balloon glasses. Sniffers have a long history dating back to ancient Rome, although the name “sniffer” was not coined until later in the 19th century.

These glasses even predate cognac itself, which wasn’t invented until the 16th century. Tulip brandy glasses are a more recent phenomenon but are quickly becoming the glass of choice for Cognac lovers. Tulip calyxes have a longer stem, and a body that narrows in the middle before bulging out. There are two reasons why tulip glasses are preferred over sniffers. First, the way you hold the glass is different. With sniffers, you hold it by holding the stem between your fingers and allowing the bottom of the glass to rest in your palm.

The warmth of your hand will warm the cognac somewhat. This is by design, but experts say this diminishes the flavors of the Cognac. The second main reason to choose tulip glass is the nose. Cognac experts claim that tulip glasses give off a wider range of aromas due to the shape, while brandy diffusers trap all the aromas within the glass and leave you with nothing but the harsh smell of alcohol.

Read more: 13 alcoholic drinks your home bar should have

Why smell is important when drinking cognac

Cognac swirls from a tulip-tipped glass

Cognac swirls from a tipped lavender glass – Igor Norman/Shutterstock

The taste of cognac is inevitably mixed with its aroma. If you take a swig of your drink and get whiffs of toasted caramel, vanilla, and apricot, your taste buds will blend with those notes to form the full flavor of the drink. If all you could smell was burning alcohol, the same thing would happen, but it wouldn’t be as pleasant. You will still taste the cognac, but the full profile of the drink will not be able to shine when using a snifter instead of a tulip glass since the shape of the glass allows some of the harsh aromas to escape.

Cognac connoisseurs certainly talk a lot about brandy sniffers. Some go so far as to call for its complete abolition. But sniffers have been used for brandy much longer than tulip glasses have been used for cognac, and you’ll still see a lot of Cognac lovers using classic sniffers without any real difference in their level of enjoyment. If you know a cognac connoisseur and are looking to impress them with how cool you are about the latest cognac glassware trends, pick up a set of tulip glasses. If you want to feel like a railroad baron giggling over a warm fireplace, sniffing brandy is just the trick. You can also use tulip and snifter glasses for beer and other drinks.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.

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