Toronto – Canada






Luxury In Presentation




Wine at its highest level is a luxury item with prices per bottle often in the hundreds, but frequently in the thousands, depending on your level of collecting.


So, I often wonder why so many people pay such little attention to the vessel they decant the wine into (should they choose to decant at all) and then serve it to their guests.  Whether or not a wine requires decanting, it certainly adds a great deal to the ceremony of sharing a great bottle, as does your choice of crystal stemware. 


Decanters today come in a vast array of styles, sizes and shapes.  I would consider many to be almost works of art as the hand-blown glass stretches into unimaginable shapes yet maintains their core functionality of aerating your wine.  My favorite for decanters has to be Riedel (pronounced like “needle”) of Austria, which lists 48 different styles on its site ranging from around $100 to $1000 plus.  The favorite one I own is called Eve, which can hold two bottles and is shaped like a snake in an upright pose. 


Besides the simple functionality, the right decanter can add an incredible sense of luxury and style when serving to your guests.  We recommend having a few on hand including ones for magnums (or just two bottles of the same) and even some for white wines.


Stemware is also crucial.  Many argue that differently shaped bowls provide a unique experience and should be tailored to the grape varietal or blend.  Riedel goes so far as to do a focused stemware tasting where they guide you through the same wine in different vessels.  Should you attend one, the results will likely have you thinking differently about your choice of stemware to maximize what you get from the wine.  The problem you’ll inevitably face is available storage space!


As with decanters, one of the largest and most diverse manufacturers is Riedel, but there are many others producing high quality products.  Schotts Zwiesel, for example, produces beautiful pieces made of its own “Tritan” crystal, which feels delicate but can withstand far more rough handling and washing than most other crystal.  At or near the top of the heap is Zalto, who makes stemware so light and delicate it seems like you’re drinking out of thin air.  The flip side is that they’re extremely delicate and have a price tag to match their beauty.


The bottom line is that if you’re going to spend the time and money on the perfect wine for that special occasion, don’t scrimp on the serving vessels.  While they can’t turn plonk into Lafite-Rothschild, they definitely take the evening up a notch.




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