A porron (Catalan: porró in the singular, porrons in the plural) is a traditional glass wine pitcher, which holds 3/4 litre, typical of Catalonia and many regions of Spain like Castile and Aragon. It resembles a cross between a wine bottle and a watering can. The top of the bottle is narrow and can be sealed off with a cork. Stemming upwards from the bottom of the pitcher is a spout that gradually tapers off to a small opening. It is shaped such that the wine stored inside it will have minimal contact with the air, while being ready to be used at all times. Until the mid-twentieth century it was very common in homes, but the tradition is now being lost. The idea originated as a replacement to bota bags. Porrons are most commonly filled with regular wines, either white or red, but are also used to drink Cava, and a smaller version filled with a sweet, dessert wine (typically Grenache) is also common in Catalan restaurants. The lack of contact with the lips allows a group of people to share the same vessel without offending their sense of hygiene.
Drinking from a porron
To drink from a porron, a beginner starts by bringing the spout very close to his mouth and tilts it forward slowly so the beak points towards the teeth. Once the liquid starts coming out, the porron is pulled away from the face while the drinker looks up. To finish drinking, a beginner lowers the porron and brings it back down and closer to the mouth again before stopping, quickly tilting the spout up at the last moment so there is no spillage. A regular user can start and stop drinking from the porron with the spout held at a distance without spilling a drop.
Although drinking from porrons has been largely replaced with bottles and glasses, they are still a feature of Catalan/Spanish-themed restaurants, mainly as a novelty for diners to test their skills.
The porron in literature
|“||…and drank out of a dreadful thing called a porron. A porron is a sort of glass bottle with a pointed spout from which a thin jet of wine spurts out whenever you tip it up; you can thus drink from a distance, without touching it with your lips, and it can be passed from hand to hand. I went on strike and demanded a drinking-cup as soon as I saw a porron in use. To my eye the things were altogether too like bed-bottles, especially when they were filled with white wine.||”|
- The botijo, called a càntir in Catalan, is a clay jar used for cooling water. The drinking style is similar to that of the porron.
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