Ask Wine Wizard

Drinking From Brass

TroubleShooting

Saurabh Kaushik — Calgary, Alberta asks,
Q

What is your opinion in having wine in a brass goblet instead of glass/crystal. Would it taste different? Would it be better or inferior in a metal goblet?

A
There certainly is something historically appealing about hoisting an overflowing chalice of one’s own homemade vinous deliciousness. In ancient times metal was a common material from which to fashion drinking cups. From medieval castles to Viking mead-halls, brass, pewter, and silver goblets have been part of our world’s imbibing culture. However, such romantic imaginings are best left to be just that as drinking wine out of a metal vessel, especially brass, will most likely change your wine and likely for the worse. In my personal experience, any time I’ve had wine out of a metal cup it has made the wine taste metallic. When I was a college student I used to participate in Renaissance fairs and historical re-enactment events where we drank everything from water to beer to wine from clay, wood, and yes, metal vessels. In those historical epochs, after all, glass or crystal was a luxury only the very wealthy could afford. And afford it they did, for good reason. Drinking just about anything out of metal (except perhaps stainless steel) will likely make it taste metallic.
Response by Alison Crowe.