A Porrón is a traditional glass wine pitcher, which holds 3/4 of a liter of wine or about 25 ounces which is about the equivalent of a bottle of wine.
Porróns are found at bars, eating establishments and in the homes of many Spanish families throughout the country in modern day Spain, much like the better know Bota Bag, however it was originally from Catalonia and is still more typically seen in there as well as in Aragon and the Valencia a
The porrón is designed specifically to allow multiple people to drink from the same vessel without it touching their lips. Its very convivial in nature and is fact designed so that while an intimate group is casually breaking bread together they can also enjoy communal drinking and the sharing of a bottle of wine. In Spain sharing the porrón is almost always in accompaniment with food.
It requires skill and practice to guarantee that the wine actually makes it into a one’s mouth and to keep it from spilling onto clothing. At Vina Castellano we keep lobster bibs on hand for those who are less confident in their skills. 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.
I have read that while it was once very common in Spanish homes, the tradition is now slowly being lost. The idea is said to have originated as a replacement to Bota bags, which were traditionally lined with goat bladders to prevent liquids from seeping through (though modern Bota bags have plastic liners and a plastic nozzle). Both Botas and porróns alike are generally filled with regular wines, white or red, but are also used to drink Cava, and a smaller version filled with a sweet, dessert wine (typically Garnacha) is also common in Catalan restaurants. The lack of touch with the lips allows a group of people to convivially share the same bottle of wine without using multiple glasses and also without offending people’s sense of hygiene.