Long-time 1WD readers know me as someone who has an inordinate fondness for wine tumblers—I use them more often than stemmed wine glasses, and review the majority of my wine samples while employing the flat-bottomed little wonders.
Tumblers have received short-shrift in the wine community, with many leveling the oft-overstated criticism that they encourage unnecessarily rapid temperature changes for the wine in the glass, due to the body heat generated by your hand. To which I say “bullsh*t.”
Well, it’s not that your hand’s heat can’t warm the wine in a glass; it most certainly can. It’s just that this can be easily remedied by holding the glass just a little bit higher. Not only that, but considering that it’s a lot more difficult to knock over a tumbler than it is a stemmed wine glass, I think my predilection towards stemless is more than justified.
I also happen to be a fan of well-made, well-designed wine glasses (stem or no stem), and so when Gabriel Glas—who make what I considered to be one of the better wine stems on the market right now—offered to send over samples of their new stemless DrinkArt tumblers, I was totally down with giving them the 1WD once-over.
The DrinkArt line ($68 for a set of 6) is another winner from these guys, for a few reasons.
First, it employs the “one size fits all style” design of their earlier stemmed glass series, which I found to be excellent for pretty much any wine you can throw in them (with the possible exception of a few fortified/dessert styles). Next, the flat base is nice and wide, making the tumblers remarkably stable when set down. They also happen to be VERY durable—already surviving 1WD homestead mishaps of being dropped from low coffee-table heights, and are dishwasher safe.
However... With that durability comes a potential pitfall: the thicker profile results in a relatively thick rim, which in general is a big No-No when it comes to wine appreciation. For 99% of the thicker stemware out there, the bulky rim makes for a seriously negative impression of fine wine, more or less sploshing/dumping the wine onto your tongue, rather than the more gently pouring placement that happens with a thinner rim. While this criticism sounds potentially as exaggerated as overheating your wine through holding the glass’ bowl, I can assure you from what I can conservatively estimate as thousands of hours of experience, a thick rim does make a discernibly negative difference when it comes to a wine’s first palate impression.
This is where the DrinkArt pulls a wine appreciation magic trick of sorts: despite a rim that is thick enough to likely cause a healthy skepticism in the minds of wine professionals, it manages to pour its contents onto the tongue with almost as much elegance as their thinner-rimmed stemmed line.
Color this wine pro suitably impressed—and consider this a minor endorsement of the DrinkArt for anyone looking to dip their toes into the wine tumbler pool (ok, that sounded a lot better in my head than it probably does in yours, but whatever…).