I have decided to dedicate Wednesdays to a wine-related item or definition of a word taken from wine terminology.  Today is the first of these posts.  Todays’ wine-related item is the “Tastevin.”

The tastevin, sometimes known as the Sommelier’s Cup, was originally invented for tasting small amounts of wine in dark cellars.  The cup was silver and worn round the taster’s neck like a necklace.  This made them more portable than a wine glass and less fragile.  The tasting cup would have circular  indentations in its side to reflect candlelight across the metal base of the cup and make it possible (in  dark cellar) to determine the clarity of the wine just drawn from the barrel.


Example of an original tastevin.


Today’s version of a tastevin.

Reference:  The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stefano
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 12:37:35

    I love the original tastevin! Although, as you said, nowadays it is no longer used for what it was conceived, it still symbolizes sommeliers worldwide. When I passed the ISA sommelier certification exam, the Association gave me the silver tastevin that ISA sommeliers still wear, just like you said, as a necklace during formal, gala services. It is a nice tradition. 🙂


  2. Christina
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 18:50:55

    I was given one of these at a wine cellar once and I had no idea what it was called. Awesome!


  3. Trackback: Wine Wednesday’s Terminology: Breathe | Red Wine Diva

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