Glass, History Of

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

For more than 3,000 years, glass has played a unique role in the history of wine, in terms of both serving (glasses, drinking vessels, and decanters) and storage (bottles).

Glass vessels were known in the Ancient world (first appearing in egypt c.1500 bc) and became common during Roman times, when the techniques of glass-blowing spread throughout the Roman empire. Wine was sometimes drunk from glass tumblers and surviving examples show astonishingly intricate craftsmanship. Glass bottles were used as decanters for carrying wine to table, but not for storage because they were too fragile.