The allure of quality stemware
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
While ultimately, the value of the wine that you are serving is the number one thing that is important, what you serve it in can also have a nice impact on the moment, and the memory of that moment. On a related note – I once reconnected with an old friend and she said that when she was changing her linens she thought of me, as one thing that she remembers was that I always used high thread count sheets on my bed. Well, a glass can have that same affect [on a woman].
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What made me think of this topic was that as I was pulling a bottle of wine to write an article too, I picked my best glass out of the bunch to have my wine in. This glass is one of a group that I purchased from another associate. My boy Cosimo sold one of his restaurants to Andrea, and Andrea wasn't going to use these glasses, so I got them at a nice discount. What I love about these glasses is that there is a line around them which tells you where the standard pour should be. Honestly, these were the first wineglasses that I recall ever having some sort of indicator of where the wine should be poured to. And trust me, that is a comforting thing, knowing that you are getting a proper pour when you go out to someplace and order a glass of wine.
I have seen a number of different styles of symbols on wine glasses which let you know where your wine should come up to in the glass, and of course, the other safeguard is for the server to pour it into a small carafe and then into your glass.
But getting back to presenting wine, the glass can really raise your emotions, somewhat elating the experience. I mean, you could drink wine out of anything, including a Mason jar, but that definitely isn't sexy (hmmmmmm, maybe I will have to start pouring my personal bottle into jars to drink out of so no one inquires for a glass of it for themselves).
There are a ton of makers of wine glasses that you can use, with Riedel being one of the preeminent manufacturers. For one friend of mine, I bought him like four dozen crystal glasses as a wedding present, figuring that by the time that all of them would be broken, either they had a great run as a couple and were still going strong, or it was the signal to call it quits and end the thing. Waterford and Mikasa also are some great names as well.
You don't have to go overboard, but just know that not every glass will stand the test of time, nor something as ordinary as falling on it's side, or my girlfriend, who is the enemy of all wine glasses! I have gotten some nice glasses out of Target, but definitely wouldn't trust a CVS or a Walmart. Restaurant supply places are all great sources.
Just imagine that you're entertaining, and instead of pulling out the typical white or red wine glass, you pull out something that makes the other person say “damn” if not get envious. Your glasses have some sort of visual indicator which shows that standard five ounce pour mark. Now, you might just be eating takeout, but the classy wine glass just raises their impression of you. The last thing would of course be some very nice, high threat count sheets. That's all I'm saying.