Glass act: How to choose the right glassware for an event
When hosting an event, it’s the details that elevate the experience from ‘everyday’ to exceptional. One such detail is as simple as choosing the right glassware to accompany your drinks menu. The right glassware complements the taste experience and, of course, the ambiance of the occasion – because drinking a premium red wine from the only clean mug available, just won’t do.
Let’s start with the basics, the five pillars of a strong drinks menu; wine, champagne, cocktails, beer and whiskey.
Wine is probably the most complex of them all – requiring a different glass for each different type. Bold and delicate wines belonging to the white and red palettes deserve their own types of wine glasses. If you’re hosting a wine tasting event or wine pairing dinner, you’ll need to prepare for every category of wine down the line from Burgundy and Bordeaux to Sherry glasses, the list goes on.
Each type of wine glass is designed slightly differently in order to allow for the flavours and aromas to properly develop. This is particularly important for red wines, which require glasses with taller stems and wider bowls. You may not think it, but it can make a big impact on the overall experience of the wine for your guests.
For a cocktail and semi-formal events, you can get away with supplying one universal wine glass for red, white and blush wines.
Expert tip: For an all-purpose wine glass, choose a long stem with a good-sized bowl to allow both white and red wines to breathe. Stemless wine glasses are also becoming a major trend for more casual occasions.
Everyone loves some bubbles. The first champagne glass was a champagne coupe, a stemmed round bowl. Legend has it, this glass shape was moulded on Marie Antoinette’s breast. While very stylish, and definitely the stuff of Gatsby-esque parties, this glass shape is not the most practical for the more clumsy drinkers among us. This is however, also the perfect shape for a champagne tower – making it a must if you’re feeling extra fancy.
The modern champagne flute is the result of a lot of (very important) research that went into finding the perfect shape for optimal bubble-retention, and practicality. The structure produces less bubbles in the mouth, meaning deeper flavours and longer lasting fizz. The flute is the favourite champagne glass for all types of events from mimosa brunches, to celebratory lunches, and both casual and formal events.
A cocktail is a fun drink. It evokes a mood, whether it’s a sophisticated Old Fashioned, or a girls-just-want-have-fun strawberry daquiri, like the drink, the glass reflects the mood and personality of the person holding it.
There’s a cocktail for every occasion and a cocktail glass to go with it. The list is long, but there are four basic glasses you’ll never go wrong with for any event: the tumbler (lowball), tall (highball), martini and stemmed tall glass.
Good ol’ trusty beer. The favourite at any day or evening event. Many guests enjoy, or even prefer, a dumpy, so no glass required. But nothing beats an ice-cold draught. Surprisingly, there are more than 10 different types of beer glasses, but three staple glasses are the best bet to go with for an event: Pint glass, Pilsner glass and beer mug.
Pint glasses are for most beer and ciders, the Pilsner glasses are for light beer, the wider rim retains the foam. The Beer Mug is enjoyable for a hot day and outdoor events, out as the handle keeps it cold, away from clammy hands.
Much like wine glasses, whiskey glasses are also carefully shaped to improve the overall experience, aroma and flavour of the drink. When it comes to true whiskey tasting, when you really want to appreciate a single malt, a small, tulip shaped glass with a short stem is ideal.
When you’re doing more than just a little tasting, the shorter-stemmed, thicker Glencairn glass is preferred. Then, of course, for those who take their whiskey on the rocks, nothing beats a tumbler. The Irish Coffee glass is also a must for that perfect after-dinner treat.
Need to hire glassware for your next event? MPR Hiring offers every type of glass you could possibly need, together with an end-to-end event and catering equipment service. Our events team will be able to help to decide exactly how many of each glass type you need and will make sure your event goes off without a hitch. Get in touch for advice and a custom quote.