yet another post on wine glasses

We’ve always used the Schott-Zwiesel Tour/Pure line, and bought them (years ago) because they (1) looked cool, (3) were lead-free, (3) offered more diversity than just ‘red’ and ‘white’ glasses, and (4) perhaps most importantly, we assumed (at the time) that they “must be good because they cost $12-$15 each” (!). Not to mention that (at the time), we weren’t hanging out in the more expensive, collectible, ageable “deep end” of the wine appreciation “pool”. I mean, who spends $50 or more on the wine glass, but maybe half that for the bottle of wine??

Things change.

After a few times drinking out of the Zalto Universals and Glasvin Universals that our covid-pod friends own, and after reading through most if not all of the wine glass threads on this board and becoming “glass curious”, I reached out to Chris at CJF, who shipped me a Grassl ‘Buddha Box’ (“it’s one with everything”) for 30 days of contemplation.

The first comparison was Grassl vs Schott-Zweisel. The head-to-head matchups were: Mineralite vs. the SauvBlanc glass (a couple of sauv blancs); Cru vs. Burgundy glass (pinots & a gamay); Liberte vs. Cab glass (rioja, syrah, and some CdP/Rhone blends); 1855 vs Cab glass (Napa cab and NZ Bordeaux blend). The Grassl’s absolutely dominated–a clean sweep, a shutout, a rout.[truce.gif] Consider me enlightened. Bye-bye S-Z’s, it’s been real. Honestly, we will be buying and drinking more sauv blanc and riesling–which, we already love both–simply because of the Mineralite. The last thing my trip down this wine rabbit hole needed was any kind of accelerant.

My notes for the nose on the Grassl’s include “more focused, detailed, complete, & expressive”; “well-integrated”; “no heat”; “very present & defined”; “rounder & less opaque”; “immediate & in ‘higher relief’”; “floral and fruit elements of the aromatics are emphasized”; “smoother, cleaner, brighter, sweeter” (in the textural as opposed to sugary aromatic context). For the palate, they included “concise, holds the elements together better”; “sets the acid as the ‘spine’”; “rounder & smoother”; “not as angular/edgy”; “silky, lifted, more transparent”; “better depth & clarity”; “more revealing of both the best and worst aspects of the wines”; “silkier, cleaner, longer finish”. My notes for the S-Z’s were all more or less variations of “these suck, in comparison.”

As for comparing the Grassl’s to others in the same tier, I also tried the Liberte, 1855, Zalto Universal, and Glasvin Universal (and the lowly, now-exiled S-Z cab glass) in a tasting of 7 syrahs (a mix of N.Rhone, CA, and Aussie). The Liberte just edged out the Zalto as my preferred choice. The 1855 was solid, but the nose was more diffuse and the aromas didn’t quite leap from the glass as compared to the Liberte or Zalto. On the palate, the wines also showed a bit softer and rounder out of the 1855. I found the Glasvin to be more focused on the nose and the palate than the 1855, but it emphasized the darker, earthier, low-register notes, as opposed to the higher tones of fruit and the silkiness and floral aspects that I got from the Grassl’s and Zalto. For the record, I could easily see how one might prefer the Zalto, Glasvin, or 1855 to the Liberte, though, and wouldn’t argue the choice at all. (As for the wines, my fave 2 were the 2015 Domaine Pichat Cotes de Verenay Coll.Rhod. and the 2016 Skylark Roger’s Creek.)

I also did a Liberte vs 1855 comparison using rioja & rhone blends and cab & bordeaux blend. As with the syrahs, I thought the riojas and rhones showed better in the Liberte, for the same reasons cited above. But I again could easily understand how one might prefer the 1855. For the cab/bordeaux blend, it was 1855 all the way.

I had zero problems hand washing all the Grassl’s using a soft sponge and sponge/foam cleaning brush, and hand-drying with microfiber towel. I’ve always hand-washed our glasses, because our dishwasher is cheap, old, and generally sucks. So the adjustment for the Grassl’s was just to use a gentler more cautious touch. Probably a good thing to cultivate, considering our 1st kid is on the way.

Cheers to Chris on developing a wonderful line of stemware, and big shout out for providing excellent customer service!


Personal opinion: the glass makes no difference re: taste because you taste the wine once it’s in your mouth, not when it’s in the glass. Glassware makes a difference with respect to aromatics.

I agree with you: Grassl glasses are awesome. [cheers.gif]

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I resemble your comment!

I’ve read that something like 80 or 90 percent of what we perceive as taste comes from smell. So I would say anything that improves aromatics must have a drastic effect on taste.

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…now you need to do yourself a favor and snag some Gabriel Glass Golds [cheers.gif]

Schott Zweisel are still my go to everyday glass and what I will bring out at parties. They are bulletproof and go into the dishwasher and are way better than cheap stems… Are there better glasses for special wines? Of course but I wouldn’t get rid of the Schott Zweisel glasses.

I just know that sophienwald glasses are out of this world good. I did buy 2 Bordx glasses from Glassl on Berserker Day and a Decanter that should be coming in May!

It’s a sickness, not sure why it isn’t in the DSM-5.

That would be retronasal olfaction, which has nothing to do with the glass.

Not sure if you meant Glassvin or Grassl; regardless, thank you for reminding me that I have two Glassvin decanters on the way eventually — I had completely forgotten! hitsfan [highfive.gif]

I forget as well I will need to check ha. I meant Glassvin BDX glasses and I’m waiting on the Glassvin decanter as well!

That’s constantly repeated by people who don’t understand basic anatomy. Sniffing the glass is NOT taste. The aromas can prep your mind, just like the smell of bacon can and just like Pavlov’s dogs were prepped by the bell, but it is not itself taste. What you perceive as taste comes from inside your mouth, not from outside through your nostrils. Humans are not dogs. Our olfactory system is very different from theirs.

So Brian is correct. The glass has nothing to do with what you taste once it’s in your mouth.


I have been a long-time loyal Zalto user but have recently switched to Josephine Hutte which was started by one of the Zalto family members.

I just bought more and they offered a 10% discount.

Not sure if the Josephine discount is a unique link, but here’s mine paying it forward: Get 10% off using my discount code

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I agree although I’m not sure abut the %. Before and when we taste our olfactory senses are also enacted. Our olfactory senses report to a different part of the brain than the other senses and as such have a significant influence on taste as well as recall. Think of childhood express to odors, smells that you can still remember and associate with current exposures to aromas and fragrances.

honestly thee shape of these glasses just trigger me.

I use zaltos for fancy drinking, gabriel standart for normal stuff.

GGG are nice all arounders and enjoyable with champagne.
Zalto uni is a good solid glass.
Zalto Bordeaux is an excellent glass and one I greatly preferred for almost every wine to GGG and Zalto
Grassl 1855 and Cru are excellent. Love them both and transitioned my stemware to those.
Grassl mineralite is a good glass, and one I use for whites and champagnes at times, though drink chards out of cru or 1855 and now champagne out of Grassl champagne

Dishwash the Grassl.

Ditto. I know it sounds ridiculous, but they honestly disgust me.

be interesting to try one, and i can see the argument similra to how zaltos are great, BUT I’d never have them at home.

It sure is weird then how the same wine can taste different from different glasses. But thanks for the insult. Speaking of anatomy…