Sep 02 2008

A sigh of relief for breathable glass

Published by at 8:20 PM under Savvy Sip Tips,Wine Accessories

How often do you plan far enough in advance to bring your wine to its proper temperature and decant to let it oxidize for maximum flavor and aroma?

If you’re like me, almost never. Lately, I’ve not even been patient enough for chilling. At the end of a very, very long day, just before bed, I’ve been known to grab a bottle from the rack, pop, pour and drink on the spot while checking the mail. If I put the bottle into the refrigerator right then, sometimes the second glass will be approximately the right temperature. Or not. Usually, it’s fine.

But it could be great, I think, if I had some breathable glasses. Eisch makes such a thing. They are lead-free crystal, undergoing a special oxygenation process that allows the wine to “open up” in two to four minutes as if it were decanted for an hour. Chemistry was not my thing, so I’m not sure I can claim to understand the glass-making process. Anything that speeds a glass of wine to my lips at day’s end, however, is genius.

One of the great pleasures of drinking wine is savoring its aroma. With a little time and the right-shaped glass, the scents that drift from your drink can be much more complex and intense. (Think of a green banana in its peel vs. a ripe banana as you unpeel, for instance.) The flavor changes as well, perhaps mellowing or revealing its spice. These differences are what give wines their distinctive character and make one Merlot stand out from another.

I’m still learning to identify grapes by taste. I’m still learning patience. And I’m always curious. Eisch’s glasses just may be the breath of fresh air I’m looking for when I pour myself a nice late-night sigh of relief.

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