THE ORIGINS OF WINE-TASTING
Curious object made of metal, round-shaped and flat, the wine taster is a small container used in the past by sommeliers to taste and examine wine, before being supplanted by more versatile tasting glasses.
Its origins are ancient. Already in the Greek-Roman mythology, in some Pompeian frescoes and even in some passages of the Bible, we can find references to bowls and cups of similar shape to the modern wine taster, used to drink wine. Its current meaning as object dedicated to wine analysis and tasting, has been properly defined only during the seventeenth century in France, especially in Burgundy, and then spread throughout Europe in the next two centuries.
Initially made of wood and metal, to meet the needs of portability and unbreakable requests by insiders of the wine market, it will then skip to silver or silver plating (this metal helped to dissolve the sulfur dioxide of young white wines), evolving from pure working tool to elegant art object. Over the time, the wine taster has started to receive more attention by master silversmiths, enriched with decorations, engravings, ribs, ornaments, hallmarks to certify its authenticity.
Today, abandoned its practical utility, the wine taster has become a collector’s item for wine and antiques lovers, as well as the emblem of a profession, that of the sommeliers, who elected it as a symbol of their associations.
The wine tasters shown in this temporary exhibition at Corkscrew Museum of Barolo, are a small selection of Artrust collection, one of the most important and wide, in terms of quality and number, with more than 4 thousand pieces dating back to the fifteenth century.
Many models mainly come from France, Paris, Rouen, Dijon, Angers, Clermont, Bordeaux, Lyon, but from also other countries around Europe and the world : Italy, Germany, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Mexico.
Created in more than 20 years of collecting, this is the result of a real passion for art and wine culture.