Form Meets Function in Zalto Denk’Art Wine Glasses

If you spend ridiculous amounts of money on wine, why wouldn’t you drink it out of the very best wine glasses?

Riedel has been the standard bearer for exceptional quality glassware and decanters for decades, and the company’s reputation is well deserved. Zalto, established in 2006, is a relative newcomer. Its stemware is handcrafted and mouth-blown by highly skilled glass blowers in Austria. Hans Denk has studied wine for decades and is one of Austria’s most respected wine experts. The brand, Zalto Denk’Art, pays homage to him as inspiration for these glasses.

The design is very contemporary, with an impossibly thin rim and a bowl teetering on a “stilleto” stem, both of which make drinking wine a more pleasurable, even sensual, experience.

I particularly favor them because despite their apparent delicacy and feather-like weight, they’re surprisingly break-resistant and can be washed in an ordinary home dishwasher. The glasses are also resistant to clouding and they contain no lead oxide.

Noted sommeliers and wine connoisseurs worldwide have attested to the superiority of these glasses so you don’t have to rely on my recommendation. Noted Michelin 3-star chefs, Claude Koeberle and Thomas Keller have chosen them for use at the French Laundry in the Napa Valley and Per Se in New York. Even Robert Parker, Jr., has given them his unofficial endorsement.

The assortment includes stems for Burgundy ($63), Bordeaux ($61), white wine ($57), sweet wine ($57), Champagne ($60), digestif ($55) and “universal” ($59). Water and beer glasses, and decanters and carafes are also available. Burgundy, Bordeaux and universal Zalto glasses are currently sold in the United States at www.WineEnthusiast.com (can be personalized) and www.winemonger.com. Wally’s Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles, at www.wallyswine.com, offers the entire line. You could also fly to Austria and save about $12 a glass.

My advice is to buy a Zalto universal glass if you mainly drink still wine or buy a Zalto Champagne glass if you like sparkling, then see how the glasses perform for you. I would be curious to hear your feedback.