When Jancis Robinson asked CellarHand to be the Australian importer of her new glassware range, we didn’t hesitate. Why would we? Here was the world’s most eloquent and authoritative wine lover – owner of arguably its most astute and experienced palate – offering something beautiful that elevates the art of sharing wine to its rightful place: Somewhere close to perfection.
The Jancis Robinson Collection is in fact a cross-disciplinary collaboration with celebrated London-based product designer Richard Brendon, who pairs a love of heritage crafts with an eye for modern design. Before teaming up with Jancis he’d made a name for himself creating collections for the likes of Four Seasons, Gleneagles, Corinthia Hotel London, Fortnum & Mason, Lane Crawford and Harrods.
“I was looking for the perfect wine glass,” says Jancis. “I love white wine as much as red and have never understood why white wine glasses are routinely smaller than those designed for red wine. White wines can be just as complex, and just as deserving of what you might call aroma enhancement as reds.”
At the heart of the collection is the aptly named Wine Glass, which has been specifically designed to offer the best tasting experience for every wine, whatever its style or strength – from Kabinett to TBA, Champagne to sherry, Pinot, port and beyond. This is complemented by a stemless sibling ideal for water, wine or whatever takes your fancy. There are also two decanters, one for loosening up a tight young wine (and, handily, with a bowl big enough to fit a magnum) and the other for breathing an aged bottle without losing its delicate perfume.
All of these are mouth-blown by master craftspeople in Europe using beautifully bright, lead-free glass. As well as being functionally perfect, the Jancis Robinson Collection has been meticulously designed to look and feel refined, elegant and timeless. The curves from the wine glass run throughout the collection to ensure all the pieces fit perfectly together, while the ultra-fine – but remarkably strong – mouth-blown crystal puts you in intimate contact with the wine, maximising the joy in every sip.
Jancis says Richard’s design flair and perfectionism has made the glasses a work of art, while she provided what she modestly calls “practical input”. Almost gossamer-thin glass was called for, along with a stem long enough for any hand to swirl plus an opening wide enough for the biggest of noses – yet considerably smaller than the maximum circumference of the bowl, to allow precious aromas to gather and linger. And a “harmonious curvature” that would maximise the wine’s surface area when the glass is filled with a typical 125ml pour, while leaving room above in which the all-important aroma would collect.
So here it is, the definitive glassware ensemble from the ultimate wine professional. It’s as user-friendly as it is easy on the eye, and will take your enjoyment of wonderful wine to a whole new level.
The Stemless Glass
Gift Twin-Pack RRP $99
Gift Six-Pack RRP $297
This as versatile as it gets. As a water glass, it fits perfectly with the wine glass to create a beautiful table setting. The shape of the bowl mimics the exact curvature of the wine glass, meaning this stemless version may be used as a wine glass if desired, retaining all the tasting benefits of the generous tulip shape. And then again, it’s the elegant solution for your G&T, Negroni, straight whiskey or whatever floats your boat. Dimensions: 9cm diameter; height 11.5cm.
The Wine Glass
Gift Twin-Pack RRP $130
Gift Six-Pack RRP $366
Precision-engineered to be the only stemmed glass you need to enjoy every wine at its best. Use this glass for every wine, whatever its colour, including sparkling wine, port, sherry, sweet wines and anything else you want to savour and enjoy to the fullest. This shape has been specially designed to maximise your enjoyment of all wines’ aromas, flavours and textures in the most practical way possible. Dimensions: 9cm diameter; height 22.4cm.
The Young Wine/Magnum Decanter RRP $185
This is a generous and bold decanter for young wines needing aeration and maximum surface area for the wine. The long neck allows for a strong grip that will allow you to swirl the wine energetically, allowing oxygen to encourage and hasten a young wine’s evolution and mellow the flavours. As an important bonus, the bowl is also large enough to accommodate a magnum. Dimensions: 17cm diameter; height 23cm.
The Aged Wine Decanter RRP $230
This bottle-shaped decanter allows you to decant a mature wine off its sediment whilst ensuring that it is not exposed to too much harmful oxygen. The refined shape follows the form of the Wine Glass and the beautiful mouth-blown stopper adds an element of contemporary design to your table. Dimensions: 9cm diameter; height 27.2cm.