What is it about snifters that’s so irresistible? Is it that low to the table accessibility? The way it slips lovingly into your palm with a glassy snuggle? That bulbous bowl calling forth images of a well-fed paunch or Dickensian jowls? I prefer wine glasses that are graceful and elegant, but when it comes to snifters, there’s room for a little coziness, some humor, even. Snifters are leather armchairs, musty bookshelves, men’s slippers and tartan throws. I don’t generally have brandy in the house, but I think I could learn to make nightcaps a habit if I had a nice set of balloons.
This is Riedel’s Tyrol Pinot Noir glass, but I think it makes a better snifter than a wine glass. Supposedly, the half-sphere base reflects light in a way that helps you see the color of the beverage. I don’t care about that as much as I do its lovely hourglass figure.
This is Luigi Bormioli’s Napoleon Brandy, from the Michelangelo collection. See? Napoleon! Perfect name.
This fuzzy one is the Fuga brandy glass from from Rosenthal, one of my favorite crystal companies for modern design. It’s not pixelated in real life. (Although that’s an interesting idea.) In addition to Fuga, their Tac, Triangle and Calice lines are also worth a sip or a quick look here or here.
And a classic from Waterford. I’m actually surprised by the lack of snifter imagination out there. There are so many amazing designs in stemware, but poor little brandy seems to have been left in the dust. Probably because no one drinks brandy anymore, but that’s not really a good reason, is it? I know it’s terribly uncouth, but I’d drink Porto out of mine. Have you seen any interesting snifters lately?