10 April, 2012

Chateau Baccarat launches a new line of luxury stemware

Many of us serious wine drinkers are familiar with high-end stemware such as Riedel and Schott Zwiesel but there is a new contender on the block: Chateau Baccarat. As in Baccarat Crystal, makers of the most beautiful crystal objects in the world.

Chateau Baccarat, in collaboration with Boisset Family Estates, took their crystal wares on the road and a small group of us met at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco to taste wine from these luxurious verres du vin.

These glasses were designed by an oenologist by the name of Bruno Quenioux who is the Head Sommelier at Maison Baccarat in France. Actually I should say they were engineered and the shape of this glassware was created to enhance aromas and flavors of wine. A little about the shape: Rounded Concave bottom and a wide base create a large surface of contact to better aerate wine; the "closed angle" condenses alcohols to let the aromas better express themselves and the "vertical chimney" at the top apparently reharmonizes the aromas that will soon be penetrating your senses. So does it work? Read on:

We did a side-by-side tasting of three wines: A 2009 Buena Vista Chardonnay, a 2009De Loach Pinot Noir and a Raymond Estates Cabernet Sauvignon which are each at the $20 price point. Each wine was poured in the control glass (a rather small yet typical wine glass you probably have at home) which you tasted and then poured into the Baccarat glass. The difference was quite striking for each wine. Aromas were much more pronounced and the flavors were fuller and richer. It improved the quality of the wine so much that each tasted more expensive. Which is a perk as this stemware is not cheap.

If you must own luxury items this stemware is beautiful and functional and would be worth adding to your collection. In the meantime I will add it to my bucketlist of purchases and save every penny that I can to purchase it. Stemware costs $85 a piece, tumbler is $70 a piece and the decanter is a mere $499. So is it worth the money? If it makes your wine taste like a higher quality wine maybe yes. Especially if it will make my $2 buck Chuck taste like $4 buck chuck!

Anthony Dias Blue led us through the tasting

They also make a champagne flute
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