Wine & Spirits: The Glass is the Thing

Spiegelau’s New Hybrid Collection Meshes Form and Function
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Stemware examples from German manufacturer Spiegelau

Stemware examples from German manufacturer Spiegelau

When it comes to the vessel from which I sip my grape-based beverages, I’ve always been partial to German producer Spiegelau. Elegant, with that desired thin rim that always seems to make any wine taste better, their lines of stemware are also durable and priced a bit more competitively than others.

Recently, Spiegelau welcomed the new Hybrid collection, contemporary stemware that is a fusion of the 1980’s cult classic Willsberger glasses, and the internationally successful Authentis series. Merging innovative design with functional utility, the Hybrid falls at the highest end of Spiegelau’s style spectrum, and sets an avant-garde tone for a modern tabletop.

Spiegelau's new Hybrid collection is striking, durable and affordable.

Spiegelau's new Hybrid collection is striking, durable and affordable.

The Hybrid line is available in four shapes (Bordeaux, Burgundy, White Wine and Champagne) and the stylized forms especially complement fruit-driven wines.  By maximizing the wine’s surface to air ratio with its angled shape, the design allows aeration within the glass, thus releasing hidden aromas and flavors. Sold for $29.90 a pair, the stemware features an exaggerated diamond silhouette, with a bowl that angles outward and narrows at the top, achieved through Spiegelau’s advanced pulled stem technology. In addition, the Platinum Glass process removes impurities and imperfections, enhancing clarity and brilliance. This process also makes these modern pieces extremely durable — despite such a delicate appearance — and they are touted as both dishwasher safe and scratch-resistant.

I recently tried a set of the Bordeaux glasses. They definitely passed the test from an aesthetic point of view: thin rim, large bowl, long stem. Perfect for both that fruit-forward Napa cab as well as that restrained aged Bordeaux. I typically hand wash my stemware, but was intrigued that a glass that appeared to be so delicate could withstand the heating and beating of the dishwasher. Several washes later, my glasses are still hanging in there resiliently. (They do, however, have a pretty large footprint and take up a decent amount of real estate on the bottom rack of the dishwasher. And note that some dishwasher detergent is powerful enough to leave a scent in the glasses—so give the glasses a sniff test before pouring in a glass of that expensive First Growth. If in doubt, rinse thoroughly with hot and then cold water.)

You can purchase the four shapes of the Hybrid collection online.

is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, DC area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on www.twitter.com/kmagyarics.

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