When it comes to fine wines, it is never about quantity, but quality. But how do you heighten the experience if you are already sipping the finest? To that end, plenty of wine glass makers have dedicated many research and development hours to help consumers get the most enjoyment out of a glass of wine. However, this also means that surveying the large variety of stemware sometimes appears as challenging as looking for the perfect wine.
In an attempt to simplify things, Australian wine glass maker Plumm has designed a five-glass system. Launched in 2009 and recently brought into Singapore exclusively by The Straits Wine Company, the range designed by a Melbourne-based team is the result of two years’ extensive consultation with winemakers, Masters of Wine and wine journalists across the globe. The final outcome is a suite of five basic glass shapes with a sufficiently large enough bowl to swirl and sniff wines, so that maximum aromas can be enjoyed. On sipping, the wine is delivered to the correct part of the mouth so that textures and flavours are enhanced, ensuring maximum enjoyment. As with other appropriate stemware, the glass is clear, uncoloured and unfettered by elaborate crystal cuts or designs.
There are four different collections but all are based on the five shapes, made in Europe from high-quality crystal. As someone who has used highquality glasses for professional purposes for almost 15 years – and who have witnessed occasions when the bowl has come away from the stem of a glass due to vigorous swirling or during hand drying – this writer was delighted to learn that the Plumm Vintage range incorporates “pulled stem technology”. This means that the bowl and stem are one single piece joined at the base of the glass, thus giving the glass greater strength through the stem.
Commenting on the uncomplicated range, which does not require the wine drinker to pull out a different glass for just about every varietal of wine, the brand ambassador for the Plumm range of stemware, Matt Skinner, says: “With so many choices (in the market), I’m not sure if there has ever been a greater need for a practical and affordable range of glasses.” He is a seasoned sommelier, writer and consultant who moved to the UK in 2001 at the request of chef Jamie Oliver to help set up the Fifteen group of restaurants.
Now back in his hometown of Melbourne, Skinner’s various roles, which include consulting for Jamie’s Italian restaurant group in Australia, involve tasting approximately two hundred wines per week. Consequently, to him, “versatility and durability” are key advantages of the Plumm range, alongside the “simplicity, practicality and affordability” advertised by the brand itself. Such has been the success of the stemware that some of Australia’s top restaurants, including Rockpool, Grossi Florentino, Chin Chin and Icebergs, have adopted the range. It is also available in New Zealand, China, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, with Singapore recently added to the list of export destinations.
Iconic collections by some of the world’s most revered wine glass makers
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Founded in 1872 in Bavaria, Germany, Zwiesel has become one of the leading international glass specialists. The Diva range of glasses – made with Tritan Protect technology that increases crystal strength to avoid shattering and which improves scratch-resistance – is probably the most well-known. Schott-Zwiesel offers 27 stemware collections, including the Sensa range (launched in 2012) with a laser-cut spiral in the glass bowl to help aerate wine and enhance aromas.
With a history dating back to 1678, Riedel has become synonymous with luxury glassware. Its pace of innovation and development has increased under the relentless leadership of 10th-generation family member Georg Riedel. He has not only produced grape-specific glasses, but also wine-specific glasses to enhance individual wines – such as the Central Otago Pinot Noir glass which was recently added to the range.