At Liscío we have pushed the limits of glassmaking technology to create what we believe to be an extraordinary new wine glass.
There is a profusion of quality wine glasses on the UK market, many offering to be suited to a particular style or even PDO of wine.
While there is no doubt that wine expresses itself differently from differently shaped glasses, we felt that the classic tulip shape comes closer than any other to being the perfect multipurpose wine glass, witnessed by the ubiquity of the ISO glass.
Furthermore we felt that by thoughtful design and by a combination of modern glass-making techniques and artisanal skill we could create a glass to enhance the wine drinker's pleasure.
The fulcrum of the glass is at the meeting point of stem and bowl. This means the glass (unlike most) is not top heavy and it is this balance which makes for an elegant, effortless and comfortable swirl.
For a large glass the Liscío is disarmingly light.
As it is handmade there is variation from glass to glass, but the range of weights in pre-production glasses has been 89-99 grams. A glass of similar size retailing around three times the price weighs in at 165g. Professor Charles Spence et al (2013) state that "expensive glassware…which can actually be surprisingly light, purportedly delivers the best taste".
Wine professionals choose light glasses, less experienced tasters may take weight of glass as "a proxy for quality" (Spence et al, 2013).
"While many less experienced wine drinkers may well be subconsciously impressed by heavier drinking vessels, this is less likely to be true of seasoned wine drinkers. If anything it is likely to have the opposite effect on their perception of the wine, since they would regard a finer, lighter glass as more suitable." (Spence 2011, writing in The World of Fine Wine)
The lightness of the glass is made possible by the diet of metals used in this crystal Liscío glass. (link to technical) The bowl, stem and foot of the glass have been pared of weight giving the glass a feeling of silky lightness.
Counter-intuitively though, this does not make the glass flimsy.
Indeed hundreds of Liscío glasses have survived tumbles which heavier glasses would not. One Liscío glass fell from a 4 foot high stand onto a cork tiled floor and survived.
The glasses are of course breakable and tipping them over is recommended only if the owner enjoys the frisson of danger. Treated with care the Liscío glass may be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Their silky feel also enhances the enjoyment of the wine.
Krishna and Morrin (2008) suggest that the "haptic" quality of a drinking vessel, that is its touch and feel will affect the hedonic appraisal of the drink.
Liscío glasses are made from crystal glass (sometimes known as 'Crystalline').
Crystal glass has less than 10% Zinc or Barium or Lead oxides in its make up where lead crystal may contain 24%-30%+ lead oxide. This makes crystal glass less impacting on the environment while still having a high refractivity index and brilliance.
The EU research agency states “Lead crystal glass is a quality European export but the very fact that it contains lead means workers may be at risk from metal-laden fumes and makes waste disposal difficult. Multidisciplinary teams worked successfully together in a CRAFT project to show that proposed alternatives have low potential toxicity and can be disposed of safely in ordinary landfill sites. The alternative metals were used to make glass crystal that even experienced experts find difficult to tell apart from lead crystal. There is now pressure from some sectors of the industry to redefine crystal glass, thus allowing safe and environmentally friendly crystal to be made using these alternative metals." Click here for more information.
Liscío glasses are individually made by one of a team of 8 glass blowers at a production unit east of Bratislava, Slovakia.
These men (and they are all men) are apprenticed into glass blowing and in time acquire the skill and dexterity required to make these glasses. Liscío glasses are blown from a single piece of molten glass rather than lesser glasses which have stems and feet made separately and fused to the bowl. The glasses are tissue wrapped, put in a drawstring microfiber slipcase and tubed on site.
Liscío glasses are robust to knocks on the bowl, meaning that they will frequently survive a tumble.
They are, however, breakable and fragile. Most common breakage points are where the stem breaks or the bowl is broken under pressure from fingers or brushes within. Most of these breakage events are during hand cleaning, therefore the most hazardous part of the glasses life.
Liscío glasses may be machine washed - care must be taken to ensure they are not at risk from being knocked.
If hand washing use hot soapy water, rinse and dry on a rack. Gently polish with a soft non-grippy micro fibre cloth before service, holding the bowl rather than the stem or the foot.
Proprietory round headed washing up brushes like Eddingtons Bottle and Glass Brush Cleaner are recommended.
Liscío glassware does not accept liability for any glass breakage unless the breakage has occurred in the original packaging. In the unlikely event that the glass is broken in transit please do not unwrap the packaging as this may present the danger of cuts and will invalidate the claim. Leave the packaging unwrapped and retain the tube for inspection: contact us for a replacement.
“These beautifully made glasses enhance the tasting experience with their ultra-light weight and poise …. rival (or beat) their more well-known competitors….perfect for swirling in the glass….Hand-blown, very fine and light, these glasses allow for all the subtle nuances in the wine to shine through” A.H. Master of Wine
“Visually it's less 'traditional' looking - more modern…even thinner stem is great! I liked the delicate feel of the glass and it's been enhanced….Love the weight.…handles very well” S.T.
“I have now tested the glass with a number of guests... my parents, the in-laws-to-be and a few of my friends... so, some feedback as promised. I would say the overwhelming majority (80%) were a big fan of it. They cite the following points as being very positive:
“Have just tried a 2010 Chablis in your special light-weight, well-balanced and highly swirlable glass - comparing it in parallel with an similar-sized high quality glass. Initial nose: in your glass, the fruit showed through with a purer varietal expression initially; in the other glass more smoky aroma notes were evident ( those that I associate with Chardonnay as it develops). After a few more swirls in the glass, the smoky aroma went from my glass and the fruit became more evident in the bowl. Thereafter a (post-malo?) butyric note became fully evident in my glass (to a much greater extent than in your glass). This butyric element showed through as a sweet note too in my glass, with your glass continuing to show the purer pear and apple notes observed initially.
On the palate the differences were a little more muted, but were still interesting. There was an apparent freshness to the wine in your glass which was much less obvious in mine. The lemon-like acidity gave the wine more life in your glass and showed the wine in a slightly more balanced style.
We have just tried the wine again but also including the smaller high quality Chianti glass in the trial - and again your glass was ultimately preferred overall.
The Chablis nose in your glass is clean and pure and the classic steely acidity comes through well but still allowing the subtlety of the fruit to show itself fully.
The delicate thinness of the glass also enhances the overall organoleptic enjoyment and pleasure of the drinking experience.” P.M. Winemaker