If you don’t think that the wine glass is important, why not drink from the bottle?
Zalto is the ultimate vinous enhancement. Straight sided Austrian crystal masterpieces which combine stunning design with aromatic amplification and palate delivery, the likes of which have never been seen before. Since 2006, this family owned business has rapidly become one of the most famous names in glassware, yet quite simply, they could be the best wine glasses you have never used. Wine enthusiasts, bars, restaurants and wine retailers are using Zalto with continued enthusiasm. The range, known as ‘Denk Art’ takes its name from Father Denk an Austrian priest who worked on creating shapes with a local glass blower to maximise the flavour of wine. The Zalto company then set about making them into such fine and sophisticated vessels.
Zalto believes that wine glasses are tools, used to enhance the perception of the wine’s construct, rather than being grape variety or region specific, in spite of the names used to describe the glasses. The glass names describe the bowl shape and suggested use, yet should not define or limit the contents. Alcohol, acid, glycerol, tannin, sugar, polyphenols and more are the building blocks of wine that need to be delivered to the nose and palate at the optimum speed and concentration. Zalto keeps the range simple and focussed, producing only 10 different glasses, including beer and water + 6 decanters and 2 spitoons. All mouth blown, nothing by machine. With considered use, the glasses will last you hundreds of uses (as opposed to a bottle of wine that is in essence a single use product), enabling you to experience aspects of your wine, never tasted before.
First, and most important, is the way in which they transmit the flavour of the wine. Unparalleled aromatics in the glass mean the wine opens like never before; and thanks to the ultra-thin walls, the delivery of wine into the mouth is totally unimpeded – the only way to describe it is that it seems the wine just moves from the glass to the mouth with no noticeable sense of the glass itself. It’s as if the glass disappears. The name of each glass is a descriptor to be able to identify and differentiate each bowl. The name does not dictate the contents. For example, it is extremely common to prefer precise White Burgundy with minimal new oak influence from the Bordeaux glass.
Secondly, it’s the design: wide bases, straight sides, ultra-thin stems; with perfect balance in the hand and such fine construction, you may worry that you’re going to break them just by drinking from them. BUT fear not… they are mouth blown and cooled very slowly making them incomparably tough for something so fine. Zalto’s own recipe of the three main ingredients for creating crystal, silica, soda (sodium carbonate) or potash (potassium carbonate) and lime (calcium oxide) also contribute to the clarity and durability. They are blown differently to other Austrian glasses, with the bowl and stem formed as one piece, then the foot attached. A more usual arrangement is for the stem to be glued to the bowl. Remember the attachment point is a weak point. Accidentally knocked over onto a granite surface, they will almost always ‘bounce’. Many restaurants which have moved to Zalto from another major glass manufacturer have reported a reduction in overall breakage costs, even though the glasses themselves are more expensive to buy. The return on investment is proven by how much more the drinker enjoys using the glasses and even more importantly the pleasure they get from the contents. Used appropriately, they are also totally dishwasher-proof, they key being that the dishwasher must not suffer from limescale deposits.
Take note of just a few of the many words written about Zalto.
“What I love is that Zalto glasses are the thinnest and most delicate glasses I have come across, yet seem springy and almost elastic in the hand ” Jancis Robinson, FT
“these are, truly, the best I’ve ever used.” Andrew Jefford, Decanter
“I rate the Austrian company Zalto particularly highly. Its glasses are delicate and elegant to hold, and beautifully designed for enjoying wine.” Olly Smith, Daily Mail