We’re really partly joking. Wine in a plastic cup on a holiday nearly always tastes amazing, and the tumblers at our much loved Italian place are just superb with that large carafe of rustic red wine. It’s also true, though, that a classy, comfortable and well-designed glass tends to make the experience of wine very much more enjoyable. And there’s great news here: There has practically never been a wider choice of good stemware available at economical prices.
For nearly a decade now, our everyday glass has been Spiegelau “Vino Grande” Burgundy, which is so comfortable to use that it seems like an old shoe. Almost everyone needs new shoes once in a while, though, so we determined it was time to perform a broad search to identify a new everyday glass. We shopped in person and online.
While there are a few different sorts of glasses for numerous different kinds of wine — flutes for sparklers, small glasses for dessert wine several boast that they can deliver specific wines best for specific taste buds and so on — everyone needs a good, solid, everyday glass to use for both reds and whites without considering it. You understand the kind of stemware you just reflexively pick up when you come home after a long day. That’s exactly what we were in search of in this tasting.
I noticed that Penley Estate’s “Phoenix” Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 has been getting some good press as a great value for money red with a little cellaring potential in its back pocket. Armed with this information I picked up a bottle to review at the thrifty price of $17. Very drinkable for a young cabernet, showing aromas.