Articles Tagged wine glasses
This might be one of the earliest monthly wine product samples roundups here on 1WD, but I’m tending to a sick kiddo at the moment, and figured that I’d use the limited available writing window give you the lowdown on a couple of rather not-so-inexpensive wine products (no book reviews this month!)
before I accidentally kill the brain cells housing my thoughts on them while they were still fresh in my memory.
First up is “The Wine Glass” ($112 for a set of 2), part of the 1 Collection, a collaboration between British Master of Wine (and friend of 1WD) Jancis Robinson and Notting Hill native designer Richard Brendon. The idea behind the glass, as per its creators, was to create a drinking vessel that can be used “for every wine, whatever its colour, including sparkling wine, port, sherry, sweet wines and anything else you want to savour and enjoy to the fullest… specially designed to maximise your enjoyment of all wines’ aromas, flavours and textures in the most practical way possible.”
That’s a lofty goal, and one that, in my testing experience, the glass mostly achieves. While I found it a bit large for dessert and fortified wines, it does a fair job on those, and an exceptional job on anything bubbly or still. Robinson describes the style as “gossamer-thin” and she’s right – The Wine Glass is so light that you might forget that you’re holding anything at all when it’s in your hand. This comes with the anxiety that it might break easily, but for its lack of thickness it is surprisingly durable, and handles stints in the dishwasher with ease.
It’s also a stylish item, and for that you are paying a dear farthing, my friends, at about $56 per stem. Is it worth it? I have serious reservations about answering that question in the affirmative; while The Wine Glass is superior in almost any measurable way to most of the stemware available designed for everyday use, it’s simply too luxurious an item to fit into such a category. This is especially pertinent considering that you can get nearly the same durability, style, and all-in-one applicability from Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson‘s The One stemware line, which currently goes for under $30 a pair. And lest you think $15/stem suggests an experience fit for inferior sipping, when I sat for the 2010 Romanée-Conti vintage tasting in NYC, they used Andrea’s glasses…
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So… here we are… the last wine product review roundup of 2017. The quick refresher: this is the series of posts in which I cast a critical eye (and, sometimes, other body parts) onto those product samples I receive that cannot be safely ingested. Given the inevitable (yule)tide of the approaching holiday season, I decided to go with a) products that seemed classy, and b) products that were also (potentially) useful. The results are recommendations for two new and interesting pieces of wine stemware, both on the pricey side, but both worth considering for the
lovable drunk dedicated wine-lover on your Nice List.
First, there’s the Vacanti Spirale Wine Glass ($50 per two-pack). The idea behind this stemware is that it’s designed for bottle-aged reds; there’s a nifty little spiral indentation at the bottom of the glass that’s supposed to trap sediment, so that your teeth don’t end up becoming what traps the sediment. Of course, you could just decant properly, but even then you tend to end up with a least a little bit of precipitate in the glass when you start reaching the last dregs of an older red.
The little spiral thingy is not only visual cool, it actually works, though admittedly the use case for the Vacanti is fairly limited. The only real word of caution I can add is that the Spirale design wrecks total havoc on sparkling wines, sending the bubbles up in a concentrated stream that strips away a surprisingly large percentage of the pleasure of drinking those wines; if you grab some of these, avoid pouring bubblies into them at all costs.
Next, we have what ought to be a limited use-case-scenario glass, that actually ends up being a very good almost-all-purpose one: the Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Glass by Riedel ($37.50 per stem). Ostensibly, this tulip-shaped, tapered wine glass is meant to enhance the sensory experience of drinking fruit-forward Cabs, such as those offered by Martini (well… duh…). And certainly the glass does an admirable job of doing just that.
But… what’s far more interesting, in my limited testing, was how versatile the Cab glass ended up being on the drinking front. I threw just about every style of wine at this thing, and it handled all of them either very well or almost-danged-superbly. It’s best for fruity, balanced whites and reds that aren’t too strong in alcohol, but it worked out just swell for more delicate styles and even bubbles. The only thing that it couldn’t handle (mostly a factor of its size) was the dessert wine category. Other than that? It could end up being the only stemware option that you (whoops, I meant the persons on your Nice List) need.
Photo-bomb courtesy of Lorelai Roberts
Once again with travel looming, and with a break between bouts of Alsace coverage probably not being that bad of an idea, we’re going with an early run of the monthly wine product review roundup (in which we highlight wine product samples that I receive that cannot be safely digested).
First up, we go (very) small scale with Hand-painted wine glasses by Jodi Granovsky (around $30 and up). Granovsky contacted me and offered up some examples of her work (available on Etsy), which I can now attest to striking a fantastic balance between obviously-hand-made and display-worhty-rustic-chic. As you’ll see from the inset pics, she’s fond of seasonal themes.
Generally – and it’s the case here – I don’t recommend ornamented stemware for drinking, as the designs tend to overshadow (and in some cases obscure) the true star of the gustatory show, which ought to be the wine, and cleaning something that is hand painted tends more often than not to be a pain. But if you’re looking for a pretty, high-quality gift for a wine lover on your list, these would likely find a nice spot on display somewhere in his/her home.
Next, and lastly, I was recently able to put a sample of the ArT Wine Argon Wine Preserver Spray (about $15) through the paces. The ArT is basically a can of non-toxic argon gas that you spray directly into an opened bottle of wine. Being denser than air, the argon should sink below whatever oxygen is in the bottle, protecting the unfinished wine in the bottle from oxidation (thanks, chemistry!). ArT claims a fourteen day preservation maximum; I sprayed the stuff into a half-empty bottle of Christophe Pacalet Chenas (delightful, by the way), put the ArT-provided stopper into the bottle neck, and left town for about a week. When I came back, that Chenas was still fresh-as-a-daisy drinkable (ask me how I know).
On the plus side, ArT is easy to use, it seems to work great, and the can is recyclable. The downsides: I’m not sure how the hell you will be able to tell when you’re getting low on argon in the can (ArT claims it’s good for up to 130 uses), and it’s probably the least-romantic wine preserver ever (unless you consider spraying Glade to be a romantic endeavor). Still, I can see a lot of viable uses for it, particularly on premise.