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I don’t know about you, but I hate washing up after a dinner party. The thing that gets to me the most is having to hand-wash the wine glasses, two per guest (because my friends are that annoying). And I particularly dislike drying them after. So, imagine my joy when I was shown a wine glass you can thoughtlessly throw into the dishwasher. It’s not a graceless glob, either. It’s a perfectly dainty glass—with bones of steel.
To know Jancis Robinson, wine expert and author of the book on wine, is to not just love her way with words, but to madly respect her opinion. So, when she says that the glass she’s holding does all of that—adding, “I haven’t broken one in two years, and I’m clumsy”—you nod vigorously (as opposed to say, grabbing it and throwing it against a wall to test the theory).
If this glass did just that, it’d be a lifesaver. But then Robinson adds that this is also the only glass you’ll ever need to own. For any kind of wine. Red, wine, sherry, port, or Champagne. Same. Glass.
Okay, wait, so does this mean we’ve been lied to all along? That all those wine glasses (I have three kinds in four sets) jostling for space in my tiny kitchen need never have made their way in at all? “There’s absolutely no logic to have white wine in a smaller glass than red—it can be just as complex,” says Robinson. So, by the same argument, those vintage Champagne flutes I once spent rent on? Nice to own, but not entirely necessary. “Having a wide brim when you’re drinking Champagne actually makes you enjoy the aromas that much more,” she explains.
Robinson would know. After 44 years of tasting wine, she got pretty tired of switching out glasses for every wine she drank. So she set about to create the perfect wine glass together with tableware designer Richard Brendon. Their camaraderie and shared passion bore fruit: An elegant, handblown glass with the thinnest of stems (there is a stemless option, too) that’s a pleasure to hold and drink from—and sophisticated enough that only four glassworks in Europe have the capability of making them, according to Brendon.
While we had Jancis around, we decided to ask her to continue busting other myths around wine drinking, after all, she’s made it her passion to crack open an often-fusty world of wine to make it more approachable (cue her book The 24-Hour Wine Expert).
In a Food52-exclusive video, she gets right to it, reminding us that wine is for enjoying and not being overwhelmed by. “People make far, far too much fuss over food and wine pairings. If you want to drink red wine with a lovely fish, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.” Then she proceeds to quickly dispense with the notion that red and white wine must be served as vastly different temperatures: “There’s less separating the ideal serving temperatures than we realize.”
There’s more where that came from (you’ll have to watch the video), but I’m going to leave you with this clincher: Robinson says this glass makes any wine taste better. “The nicest email I ever got came from my oldest friend who drinks a glass of cheap Pinot Noir every night or so. And she said: ‘I can’t believe how great my wine tastes in your glass!’” She explains that the secret lies in its shape—the thinness of the glass coupled with the perfect width of an opening, for aromas to get to the nose. Or maybe it’s knowing that you can toss these glasses in the dishwasher later. Now that would make any wine all the more enjoyable for me.
This article was originally published in December 2019. It was updated in May 2023 to reflect current prices, links, and inventory.
What’s your favorite wine glass? Let us know below!