Not long ago, wine was largely confined to formal dinner settings. Now, it’s evolved to become an everyday lifestyle drink – or, at least, the glamour that was once reserved for wine has mostly disappeared. So, not surprisingly, the wine glass has also evolved to different shapes and materials, with uses for different occasions.

Plastic wine glasses were once considered inferior, with complaints including the inability to properly smell the wine aromas or only smelling plastic. As technology has improved, there are now high-quality plastic glasses that even wine connoisseurs like.

South Africa is an outdoors-loving nation, and Wines of South Africa specifically designed this tulip-shaped plastic tumbler for outdoor use. At a glance, it looks like it’s actually made of glass, and its shape traps the wine aromas, allowing us to properly smell them. It’s light and ideal for outdoor use at picnics and barbecues or on boat trips.

If you want to drink your bubbly in style outdoors, this long-stemmed plastic sparkling wine glass is probably your first choice of glassware. Its shape might not be the best in order to smell the aromas, but it allows the bubbles to rise elegantly to the surface. Because the glass has no base, you cannot put it down on a table, but you can push it into the sand – ideal for use at the beach!

The plastic glass that I have found the most practical is this Riesling glass from Wines of Germany, a stainless-steel, double-wall vacuum tumbler that can keep drinks nice and cold in hot weather. In addition to using it for wine, beer, cocktails or anything cold, you can also use it for hot beverages. It comes with a lid, so you can keep your coffee hotter for longer.

Renowned Japanese Arita porcelain maker Yamaheigama (有田燒九州佐賀縣的山平窯) has developed the “eggshell” series of glassware, using clay with high translucency made into porcelain as thin as an eggshell (1mm thick) that has a distinctive whiteness. Two years ago, Yamaheigama collaborated with local company The Time Sommelier and designed a set of wine tumblers using the same technology. This tumbler might look fragile, but the material is tough and is less likely to break than some crystal glassware. These elegant and contemporary glasses are now available at the 時代横丁Jidai Yochoko pop-up (on until 2 January 2022), located on the fifth floor of Times Square in Causeway Bay.

While it’s nice to see so many variations of wine glasses, it doesn’t mean that the classic stemmed crystal wine glass is going out of fashion anytime soon. It’s just that now we have more options for wine drinking.

Wine is all about enjoyment. It’s like having a nice meal with the best chinaware and silver cutlery. The plates and forks do not make the food taste better, but they do make for a positive first impression.

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A marketer turned winemaker, I make, promote, judge, write about and drink wine.

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