September 27, 2020
Imagine a Beethoven symphony played through your iPhone speaker. Now imagine hearing it front row at Carnegie Hall. The music is beautiful in both cases, of course, but the experiences couldn’t be more different.
In the same way, some wines require attention and space to show their full potential. Serve a Vosne-Romanée in a plastic cup with a side of Doritos and it might not taste like much. But serve it with a roast chicken on a Sunday afternoon at a candlelit table with loved ones, and the same wine can be transcendent.
Today we’re pleased to introduce our newest tool for enjoying wines that reward contemplation: fine mouth-blown glassware.
Designed in Switzerland and crafted in Slovakia, Grassl Glass is a new stemware company of the highest order. Their glasses have been adopted by top wineries around the world, including Jean-Marc Roulot, Etienne Sauzet, and Henri Boillot in Burgundy.
The glasses are the work of skilled craftsmen with decades of apprenticeship. Using sand specific to Slovakia, artisans produce lead-free glass that is less porous and more durable than other high end stemware. Their final product is almost weightless — an exquisitely delicate and refined instrument.
We admit a bit of skepticism before trying these out. We break a fair number of glasses during Owner’s Hours tastings in Newton, and the $5 Ikea stems we use have a decent shape and offer stress-free use. But we were astonished at the difference these glasses make. For us, they delivered in three primary ways:
Weight: At under 4 oz, these glasses weigh less than your average corkscrew. It feels less like holding a glass of wine, and more like holding the wine itself — an intimate experience between wine and drinker.
Aromatics: We haven’t learned all the details about how the designers came to the shapes they did, but we will say one thing — they work. The aromas leap from these glasses. We performed hours of tests with the same wines side by side in Grassl and generic glasses, and the results were clear.
Experience: The thing that impressed us most was also the hardest to pin down. Put simply, these glasses make you pause — their featherweight delicacy compels careful attention. Not every wine requires such contemplation, but for those that do, a tool like this is invaluable.
We’re offering three models:
This is Grassl’s Burgundy glass. It’s got a wide ballon bowl designed to subtly aerate the wine. This is perfect for red Burgundy, but also works for white Burgundy, Condrieu, and Northern Rhône Syrah.
This is Grassl’s Bordeaux glass. The bowl is deeper and taller, designed to aerate richer wines with more body and fuller textures. It’s ideal for Bordeaux and Southern Rhône blends.
This makes an excellent all purpose red/white glass — it showed all of the wines we tried well. It’s at its best with white wines, particularly Burgundy and Loire.
All stemware ships for free in the US.
New Everyday Grassl Glass Stemware
March 12, 2021
Today we’re excited to introduce the Versatile model from Grassl’s Elemental series — they’re smaller and slightly less fragile than the Vigneron series, and come at about half the price. They’ve become our household all-purpose glass, and they elevate every wine we put in them. (They’re also the new house glass behind the bar at Boston’s premier wine restaurant, Troquet on South.)
We use the Vigneron series (Cru, Liberté, and 1855) for special wines and special occasions, and the Versatile for that weeknight glass of Bourgogne rouge or Sancerre. At less than 4oz, each Versatile glass is a finely tuned piece of art, helping even the humblest wines show better.
We’ve got a year of entertaining to make up for — with immunity (we hope) on the way, we can’t wait to get back to planning picnics, dinner parties, and long, lazy brunches. The Grassl Versatiles are the perfect upgrade to your at-home wine game.
Grassl Glass: Versatile: $159/six-pack