A tastevin is a small, shallow cup or saucer-like tool that is traditionally used by sommeliers (wine experts) to taste and evaluate wine. Tastevins are usually made of silver or other reflective metal and have a polished, concave surface that allows the taster to observe the color and clarity of the wine, as well as the formation of its legs (the drips that run down the side of the cup after swirling).
The shape of a tastevin is also designed to help tasters evaluate the aroma and bouquet of the wine. The shallow, curved surface of the cup allows the wine to be swirled around, releasing its aroma and intensifying its bouquet. By observing the wine’s color, clarity, legs, and aroma, a sommelier can determine the wine’s age, grape variety, region of origin, and overall quality.
While tastevins were once essential tools for sommeliers, they are less commonly used today due to advances in glassware technology and changing wine tasting practices. However, they remain a traditional symbol of the sommelier profession and are often used as decorative objects or gifts.