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Getting Fancy: And Wine Glasses to Match

June 25th, 2024

Yeah, you order some wine, and they bring you a glass, big deal. But did you ever notice a glass that was a little different than usual? In some situations, special wine glasses are the norm. The most memorable for me are the glasses they use at the wineries in the Willamette Valley (OR) for a Pinot Noir tasting. Now those are fancy.

Fancy wine glasses are also the norm for special tastings, usually away from the main bar in a special area. Most high-end wineries (like Joseph Phelps) aways bring out their fancy glassware. It is expected. But do you ever enjoy wine in fancy wine glasses at home?

In my case, the answer is “sometimes”. We usually use Riedl glasses of various sizes and even a have a few enormous pinot noir glasses, including the Willamette Valley ones. But beyond that, “da nada”.


Matching Style & Wines with the Occasion

But this recently changed when we got to check out a few special ones from Glasvin. Amazing stuff.
We’ll get to tasting with fancy glasses later, but for now, let’s just consider the design. One of the attributes of top-end wine glasses is the sheer art of their form.

For Glasvin, the New York designer, Diana Elaine Naylor has created many of their styles. Her artwork speaks for itself and the glasses she created are an extension of that into sculpture. It’s early in the development of this type of expression for her, so it will be interesting to see where it leads.

When enjoying the product, it’s all about the glasses. Nice on the eye. Love the way the stemless tumbler fits in my hand for casual appreciation of a wine.

But there is another thing to consider about these creations, their weight, or lack thereof! Like many functional designs, such as bikes, fast cars, tennis rackets, and suitcases, they all achieve maximum performance when they weigh nothing.

Never really thought about it, but this is also kind of true with wine glasses. The lighter they are empty, the fancier they seem. In fact, being relatively weightless applies to fancy wine glasses in general; not only those sold by Glasvin, but also by the Wine Enthusiast, Gabriel-Glas, Josephinenhütte, and others.

But we must inform you there may be a price to pay. Be advised about your budget. You should also keep them off the patio later in your celebration.

At the formal dinner table, they are amazingly light and poised. I enjoy watching people pick them up during a tasting, as they visibly restrain their hand from saluting, rather than drinking! When you experience these glasses be sure to keep with the wine etiquette, gently swirl, bring that pinky up, and take a long, educated sniff before tasting. There you go,

Basically, the manufacturer makes these glasses for your enjoyment; pure “wine snobbery” best fits their proper application. Hey, expensive wine deserves a glass to match, so having a set of these around for those special bottles is a plus.

Clean them according to the instructions that come with the product and pay close attention to their positioning if you put them in the dishwasher.

Unless your dishwasher has the kind of rack that works well with long fragile stems, carefully hand wash and use a pure water rinse using bottled water or your RO system with minimal towel drying.

Here’s to your next celebration with just a little more class. Salute!

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