Drinking beer from a paper or plastic cup is o.k. but when it comes to wine think glass and a specially designed glass at that. Restaurant sommeliers know this and most top draw dining establishments including many prominent chains and hotels insist on elegant glassware. We recently were introduced to Stolzle who has been producing crystal glassware in Europe for 200 years.
In the past we have been familiar with Riedel and its quality but the disadvantage here is the requirement of a uniquely designed glass for each varietal and the price.. Few people, either individuals or retail outlets have the space this requires. Stolzle uses only two designs on its wine glassware.
Of course we had to sample Stolzle glasses against glass ordinaire and we did this with two different wines in two different price categories. The first wine was Hahn Estates 2006 Central Coast Meritage which included the five classic Bordeaux varietals used in French vintages from that region and priced at $20. To our palate the difference in aroma and flavor was noticeable with Stolzle carrying the day. The second wine was an inexpensive 2006 ForestVille Sangiovese/Chianti which we had just opened to include in our (famous) Chicken Cacciatore recipe. This proved a real surprise as it offered all the soft mellow flavors of the Sangiovese varietal. At $6 we thought Winemaker Andrea Beltran had something here.
And again the Stolzle Burgundy glass provided some extra flavors not present in my glass ordinaire. We concluded that if Stolzle glasses could make a $6 bottle of wine taste this good they were really on to something, but then realized that some people must have known this for some 200 years.
Since Stolzle is used by restaurant chains like Ruth's Chris and The Palm we decided it must be tough made and could stand the not always gentle treatment china and glassware receive at my house. Oh and one can use a dishwasher with Stolzle, something not lost on this indifferent housekeeper.
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