When I first began writing A Murder In Time, I envisioned a scene in the Duke’s study, where he and his nephew, Alec, sat around elegantly swilling and sipping brandy in a snifter. To me there is nothing more quintessentially British — or screams Agatha Christie — than two gentlemen relaxing with a brandy snifter in their hands with the rain tapping at the window and a fire crackling in the hearth. Of course, before I could create the scene, I needed to do my research. After all, I wasn’t entirely certain when the brandy glass snifter came into being. Imagine my surprise when my research uncovered that the snifter as we know it was introduced towards the end of the 19th century, and that it wasn’t even English — it is actually an American invention.
While I had to toss out my scene involving a snifter, I could include the Roemer wine glass (also known as the Römer), which was really a glass goblet. Thicker than the elegant snifter, the Roemer wine glasses became popular throughout Europe. In Germany, the glassware is used during celebrations, and became a traditional toasting glass that continues to be used to this day.