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serving port -- proper glass?

alkapal Jul 17, 2008 11:09 PM

what is the proper glass in which to serve port?

i've recently seen it served in a sherry-size glass (filled to the rim, almost), and seem to recall years ago seeing it in a brandy snifter. i thought it needs room to "breathe" in the glass (?) so one may inhale the aromatics (?). (need help with terminology, too!)

the google search reveals different answers, and shows different size glasses.

i trust you wine experts here on chow. please educate me. thanks!

  1. w
    whiner Jul 18, 2008 12:00 AM

    A traditional Port glass has a Bordeaux-shaped bowl but is smaller and a little thinner. Almost a smaller version of the Riedel Vinum Syrah glass. Or like a Champagne flt, but a little wider, especially near the bottom of the bowl. A glass should be about 6oz - 12oz but I would never pour more than up to 1/2 capacity.

    Personally, I use Zinfandel/Chianti glasses for Port.

    1 Reply
    1. re: whiner
      alkapal Jul 18, 2008 12:22 AM

      thank you, whiner! so the sherry glass filled to the rim was definitely wrong. i thought so, but i was with friends and it was "their" place, and i wasn't having port anyway. for the record, it was le jardin in new jersey http://www.lejardinnj.com/dining.html (food was good.....)

    2. m
      Maximilien Jul 18, 2008 04:48 AM

      sherry glass will do fine.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Maximilien
        alkapal Jul 18, 2008 05:55 AM

        maximilien, what about the aromatics? they are not "captured" for the imbiber to enjoy....
        i thought that was one of the hallmarks of drinking port? or am i so confusing the "port" protocol with the "brandy" protocol (or cognac, for that matter...)?

        1. re: Maximilien
          alkapal Jul 18, 2008 06:29 AM

          sherry glasses taper in at top? in my op, the shape of the glass was like a liquer glass, tapering out slightly. like this: http://www.cocktaildb.com/barwr_detai...

          in any event it was filled up.

          1. re: Maximilien
            zin1953 Jul 18, 2008 07:19 AM

            Uh, no.

            1. re: Maximilien
              Maximilien Jul 18, 2008 10:02 AM

              well, my mistake...

              I just brain-farted and thought about something else...

              I was thinking about an INAO type glass.

            2. penthouse pup Jul 18, 2008 05:58 AM

              Reidel sells port glasses in its Vinum line--holds about 8 ounces though you'd fill it a little less than half way...

              1. r
                rpaessun Jul 18, 2008 08:00 PM

                I realize this will not answer you question........but I just have to share a fond memory. When I lived in Denver, two of my closest friends had moved from Australia. They were only going to live in the States for about five years and did not want to accumulate much. They taught me so much about South Asian cooking and being Aussie they loved to drink. After every dinner they would serve port.........Charles loved port. They served it in little clear glass egg holders in the shape of a chicken that they had on hand. Quite unique, yet utilitarian considering their circumstances. This much I can tell you, I would perfer to share port with them in the chicken shaped egg holders than with anyone else, no matter what the vessel. What a pleasure it is to relive these memories.

                1. Gussie Finknottle Jul 21, 2008 07:06 AM

                  At the Instituto do Vinho do Porto in Lisbon they serve Port in glasses which are identical to the standard ISO tasting glass.

                  Only difference is the stem, which is squared with a depression on one edge for your thumb.

                  Of course, the glasses are not filled to the brim.

                  1. nanette Jul 21, 2008 10:44 AM

                    And here I thought serving it in small juice glasses from IKEA was okay. A lot of my friends drink port, and I don't any of them have "proper" glasses.

                    1. c
                      capheind Jun 29, 2010 05:34 PM

                      Two years late, but thats never stopped me before.

                      The method of serving port varies wildly with the way your drinking it. many restaurants serve port as an aperitif, and use a very small little glass that looks a bit like a short wine flute. If served with a meal its often served in a broader bottomed glass, and if served for after-dinner lounging its generally served in a specialty glass that has a small tube running from the bottom to allow you to drink the least oxidized portion first.

                      So the "correct" glass depends on why and when your drinking it, and just how snooty you intend to be.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: capheind
                        zin1953 Jun 29, 2010 06:49 PM

                        "generally served in a specialty glass that has a small tube running from the bottom to allow you to drink the least oxidized portion first."

                        I am having a difficult time trying to picture what you mean. Is there a link you could post to a picture of such a glass?

                        1. re: zin1953
                          Maximilien Jun 30, 2010 03:57 AM

                          here you go ...


                          Kind of weird! IMO.

                          anyway, first time I've seen something like that, at least out of a evil scientist chemistry laboratory (or maybe the thingy that separate the broth from the fat on the top)

                          1. re: Maximilien
                            zin1953 Jun 30, 2010 06:39 AM

                            Yes, well . . . that's what I was afraid of.

                            This is the sort of glass sold by the "Wine Enthusiast" and other mail-order catalogs. In 35 years of working in the wine trade, and as an importer of Porto, I have ***NEVER*** seen these glasses used ANYWHERE by ANYONE -- not in Portugal, not in the UK, not in the US; not by winemakers, not by wine merchants, not by restauranteurs; not by anyone in the trade, or anyone serious about wine in any way, shape of form.


                            1. re: zin1953
                              craig_g Jun 30, 2010 11:06 AM

                              Yeah. I've only got a small fraction of your experience, Jason, but I've been to a few serious Port verticals with the producers as well as plenty of other events both for the trade and collectors, and I've never even heard of such a thing.

                              I suppose they might be useful for extremely old Ports that are getting really spirity, or maybe they just date from a time when a higher level of fortification was used.

                              I had a set of Riedel port glasses that I loved but over the years I've broken all but one. They were good for Sauternes and I also found them really handy for tasting a small sample of a wine I was debating decanting.

                              1. re: craig_g
                                Bill Hunt Jul 1, 2010 07:13 PM

                                When the winemakers of Taylor and Fonseca, presented their '94's as the co-winners of the WS Wine of the Year, they served their offerings in copitas - over 1000 of them.


                              2. re: zin1953
                                Bill Hunt Jul 1, 2010 07:11 PM

                                I have also noticed their absence from all of the Port Houses, that I have visited. Maybe there are a few smaller producers, or I missed them.

                                For us, it's always been a copita, though some have differed in volume and also thickness of the wall.


                            2. re: zin1953
                              Bill Hunt Jul 1, 2010 07:09 PM


                              What is being mentioned is a glass, sold by Wine Enthusiast, and called a "Port Pipe." Never tried one. Looks clunky, but who am I to pass judgement, with zero experience. Here's a look: http://www.wineenthusiast.com/port-si...


                          2. Bill Hunt Jul 1, 2010 07:06 PM

                            Personally, I prefer a copita for both Ruby, or Tawny. In that Ruby category, I am including VP.

                            I love the Villory & Bosch copitas, but they are long gone (still have 23), and find the Riedel Vinums a tad large. Still, since we can easily replace them, we use them for all of our Ports, and also port-style wines. Here's a look from K&L: http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku...

                            That is just my personal tastes.

                            I too have been served Port, even VP, in tiny cordial glasses, filled to the rim, and I make not of such service.

                            Have not had a brandy snifter offered, but will try a Taylor-Fladgate 10 year Tawny, just to see how that goes. Might be interesting, but seem to think that the "heat" might come to the fore.

                            Just personal observations,


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