The great rim debate: The circumference vs height of drinking glasses
Don’t let your eyes fool you – most glasses are not taller than what they are round!
The next time you’re out and about and someone asks you to guess which is larger in measurement – the circumference of the rim of the glass or the height of the glass from the bottom to the top – you can bet your booze on the rim circumference being larger!
Most drinking glasses are more round than what they are tall – that is, the distance around the circumference of the glass opening is going to be greater than the height of the cylinder of the glass (this measurement excludes the stem for any glasses with stems).
We didn’t believe this weird phenomenon at first either but after rounding up a bunch of different glasses and with the use of a trusty measuring tape we can confirm that you’ll almost certainly find that the circumference is greater than the height, unless you have some very tall, narrow glasses lurking about in your house!
Most tumblers, tall tumblers, beer glasses, shot glasses, wine glasses, Champagne coupes and flutes do all, in fact, have larger rim circumferences than when compared to the height of the cylinder of each glass.
With the great rim debate aside, the anatomy of each glass is important too. Red wine glasses are typically fashioned to have bigger “bowls” than white wine glasses. This allows you to breathe in the wine’s bouquet more easily, which means you can taste the bold, deep flavours of red wine better.
Whether you drink your bubbly from a champagne coupe or flute also says a lot about a person. Those who drink sparkling wine from a coupe are more interested in the full body and flavour of the wine and not just the bubbles. The wide bowl allows the bubbly to open up to provide a fuller taste, whereas a flute is held by the stem so that your hands don’t warm the wine. This shape enhances the aroma of the sparkling wine and encourages the mesmerising flow of the bubbles.
Glass at the ready, consider yourself well-informed: the next time someone asks you to guess whether the rim circumference or height is larger, bet your next beer on us and opt for the rim being larger!