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  • Writer's picture3 Sommigos

3somm secrets: The Noble Tastevin

Updated: Feb 19

Now consigned to the dustbin of history, occasionally seen around the necks of sommeliers as a symbol of their profession, this shallow silver cup was once an integral feature of the wine trade.

Cast your mind back to 1680. Wine was stored in barrels in dark cellars and served in pitchers (it would not come in bottles for 100 years). Quality was an issue, and the preferred way to judge wine was by its clarity and colour. This was challenging in the dim candlelight. So the winemakers of Burgundy created the tastevin, made by French silversmiths, with shiny facets to refract the light and highlight the wine.

Measuring 3" in diameter and 1" deep, they were all the rage until electric light arrived in the 20th century. Now wine is judged in a glass against a well-lit white background. The buggy replaced by the automobile.

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