Why You Should Always Be Pouring Your Beer And Wine Into A Glass

We've probably all experienced the sensation of taking a sip of our favorite beer on tap at a bar and thinking, "Why does this taste so much better?" At home cans and bottles are a common method of beer consumption, and while most of us aren't swinging wine straight from the bottle, merlots and chardonnays are increasingly available in can form as well. It doesn't require much effort to pour them out into a glass, but why even bother when you have a container ready to drink from? Well, it turns out you might be missing out on the full flavor your drink has to offer if you aren't pouring it into a glass, and we reached out to Mandy Naglich, a food journalist and Advanced Cicerone, and author of "How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering and Savoring Life," to find out why.

Naglich told us that while the shape of your drinkware isn't that important, pouring your drink into a glass is still essential because "drinking straight from a bottle or a can blocks almost all the aroma." She added, "Aroma is responsible for up to 80 percent of what we taste," so when you don't pour your drink out, "you're missing out on a lot!"

Pouring releases aroma and improves flavor

As Naglich says, pouring out beer and wine is essential to releasing aroma because both the physical action of pouring beer and wine, and the wider tops of glasses, enhance the flavor and experience of drinking. When you pour beer into a glass, some of the carbonation bubbles are popped, creating a foamy head. Those popping bubbles release tons of extra scents into the air around your drink, which helps your brain sense more notes from the beer itself, adding to its taste and complexity. While wine isn't usually carbonated, pouring it into a glass or other vessel aerates the wine by agitating it and exposing it to oxygen. This causes oxidation in the wine, which softens tannins and releases more aromas from the wine, improving its flavor.

Even after pouring releases more aroma, the shape of a glass improves your ability to taste. Properly poured wine glasses are only ever filled part way because the space at the top of the glass should be left empty to collect scents, and the wide top allows your nose to take in all those smells as you drink. The same goes for the wide top of a pint glass with beer, having your nose close to the aroma of your drink makes the flavors stronger and more discernible. It's a small extra step, but pouring out your beer or wine really does make a difference.