Tastevins

or wine tasters

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

tastevins or wine tasters, as they are known by collectors of wine antiques, are shallow, often dimpled, saucers used for tasting by professionals (and occasional self-conscious amateurs). Because they were usually used in a cellar, or on purchasing journeys where robust construction was essential, they were almost invariably made of silver. The earliest English references to tasters date from the 14th century but only a single extant example pre-dates 1600. British tasters mostly copy the bordeaux model, being 65–110 mm (2.5–4.5 in) in diameter with sloping sides, a domed base, and lacking a handle. Extremely rare tasters were made of glass or porcelain, usually Worcester.