The importance of glass: A professional choice
If there’s anyone who understands the importance of glass, it’s Alex Kirkwood.
Head sommelier at Aria Sydney, Alex and his team serve hundreds of glasses of wine a day. And, as one of the Australia’s fine dining icons located at Australia’s most iconic destination, the expectations are sky high.
Aria is at the pointy end when it comes to wine experiences and with every cork popped, bottle opened, and glass poured, Aria’s guests expect nothing less than perfection. This expectation exists for good reason – Aria’s wine list is one of the most awarded in the country and features some of the world’s most celebrated and coveted wines.
So when it comes to wine service, Alex and his team take the decisions they make about glassware very seriously. “There’s nowhere to hide, everything has to be perfect, always, and glassware is everything,” says Alex.
A critical choice
Wine is a living thing, constantly evolving until its peak and like art, completely open to interpretation, but of all the things that have a profound effect on your wine experience, glass is one of the most important. The glass you choose: its shape, its size plays a critical role in the things that matter most when you swirl, sniff and taste.
If you think of wine as music through a stereo system, the glass is the equalizer controlling the mixture of bass and treble, which can be adjusted to enhance the components, and adjust the overall balance of the wine to your liking.
“You really need a glass to help portray how the winemaker wants that wine to be seen,” Alex says. “We need a glass that gets a wine to the peak of its drinkability quickly, but we also need one that looks incredible, feels incredible and really showcases what’s in the glass.
Alex and his team have chosen Schott Zwiesel across the board at Aria, with the majority of glasses from one range.
“We now use the Air range,” Alex explains. “It’s versatile, it’s got a bit of durability, it can handle wear and tear, which is great for a busy restaurant, but it’s really pure and elegant.”
The Air range was borne of a collaboration between Prince Carl Phillip of Sweden and Schott Zwiesel. Used by sommeliers around the world, the Air range features the thinnest, most durable glass in the world, constructed from Schott’s lightest Tritan® glass. Shatter-resistant and reinforced with titanium, Tritan® offers double the protection against breaking stems as compared to conventional glass.
So when you next choose a glass that is going to make the most of every drinking experience, fine dining or not, trust the expertise of the professionals.