Jancis Robinson Collection wine glasses

The Jancis Robinson collection of glasses and carafes will soon be available in New Zealand. (Photo: Supplied by David Nash)

It seems unnecessary to introduce Jancis Robinson MW, wine columnist for the Financial Times, wine critic and distinguished author, who is better known than Robert Parker Jnr, at least outside the US. If you’ve been living in a cave for the past 30 years and want to know more go to her website.

The glass was great to use – more silk pyjamas than business suit.

Some time ago, Jancis teamed up with high-flying UK designer Richard Brendon to design a one-size-fits-all wine glass. The glass had to:

  • Maximise the enjoyment of all wines
  • Be dishwasher safe
  • Be lead-free fine crystal
  • Be hand-blown

I first heard of the Jancis Robinson Collection (includes a stemmed wine glass, stemless glass, decanter for young wine, a decanter for old wine and a water carafe (which is the old wine decanter without its lid) around six months ago when I had dinner with Jancis, her husband Nick and other guests, including Huon Hooke, at their new house in Earl’s Court.

I was able to test-drive what may have been a prototype glass with a couple of German pinot noirs, two delicious burgundies and a pair of delicious Austrian trockenbeerenauslesen. I thought the glass looked classy and felt good to use. It was incredibly thin and light – almost scarily delicate. How did it perform? Hard to say without comparing it to another glass.

You will shortly be able to buy the Jancis Robinson collection of glasses and carafes in New Zealand. Atelier Nash has the exclusive distribution rights in this country. Principal David Nash kindly supplied a pair of glasses so that I could conduct comparative tastings with other glasses from Riedel, Spiegelau and Zalto. I tasted riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah and a vin jaune Côtes du Jura, but not port, sherry or sparkling wines.

I was impressed.

The glass was great to use – more silk pyjamas than business suit. Wine in the Jancis Robinson glass tasted as good or better than the range of wines tasted in alternative glasses, although my judgement may have been influenced by the glasses’ lightness and almost sensual delicacy.

I plan to buy a few more, but at NZD $85 a stem they will be dusted off for ceremonial occasions only. I liked the stemless alternative but have plenty of water glasses. Ditto the carafes, although I’m keen to see how both perform. Any chance of a short-term loan David?

Glengarry Wines prices as follows:

  • The One Glass – NZD $85.00 each (NZD $170 2-pack)
  • The Water Glass – NZD $129 (2-pack)
  • Young Wine Decanter – NZD $269
  • The Old Wine Decanter – NZD $299
  • The Water Carafe – NZD $249

Postscript

Delicacy comes at a price. I broke one of the Jancis Robinson glasses after hand-washing it and while drying it with a tea towel. I consulted the manual which stated, “Not only is the Jancis Robinson collection dishwasher safe, we actually recommend that you wash the wine and water glass in this way.” Good advice.

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