A chato is simply a small stemless wine glass. They come in many shapes, and every Spanish region has it’s firm favourite. In Madrid, the typical chato was a bit like a double size shot glass. Whilst, modern chatos often have the same aroma collector shape as an ordinary wine glass.
Traditionally, wine in Spanish taverns was brought to the table in square glass jugs known as frascas and served in a chato. Although you’d never dream of pouring Vega Sicilia into one, chatos are great for family meals, picnics, and barbecues; being a whole lot more practical than your oversize wine glass. Furthermore, if you know anyone whose wild gesticulating is forever smashing the family crystal, then a chato is your solution!
The Spanish verb chatear, commonly heard in regions like Valdepeñas, is a derivation which means to go from bar to bar drinking wine with friends – and what could be finer than that!