Snake Oil

eischglasses.jpgIn front of me are three glasses each containing 1999 Barolo Villero, Giuseppe e Figlio Mascarello, which is a hell of a wine. However, each glass is very different, yet they have all just been poured from the same bottle. There can only be one reason for the clear differences and that is the glasses themselves. The glasses are:


  1. Riedel Vinum Burgundy
  2. Stölzle Burgundy
  3. Eisch “Breathable Glass” Burgundy

What’s that? Breathable glass? I thought it sounded a bit like a snake oil salesman or the huckster at the county fair. In their brochure, Eisch claims that four minutes in their “breathable” glasses opens a wine up like an hour or two in a decanter. What do they take me for, a fool?

But, believe it or not - it actually seems to work.

The Barolo in the Riedel glass was focused and precise. Clean and tight just like you would expect. In the  Stölzle the wine seemed less precise and the bouquet more defuse. In the Eisch after just a few minutes this lovely Barolo was clearly more floral and softer on the palate. No, I can’t explain how this happens even after reading their literature, but you can’t argue with the glasses in front of your nose.

The end result of this is that I have purchased a set of Eisch Burgundy and Bordeaux glasses because the reality of the situation is on a day-to-day basis I (like everybody else) drinks wines that are too young. As always, nothing can replace slowly letting a wine develop with time, but when you pull a cork on a wine that is too young these Eisch glasses are a crystal clear alternative.