We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
I never thought stemware could make a difference in my wine drinking experience. Then, I started to see how shape and size can affect both the nose and the taste. I also realized other design features could either hold back or improve a wine, such as the rim. This made me eager to try something new. When I got the chance to try out the Spirale by Vacanti wine glasses, I jumped at the chance.
The premise for the glasses is simple: they remove sediment. The designers, Margarita and Patrick Vacanti, noticed that the sediment that collects in a glass of red wine can negatively affect the taste. They worked at a way to capture the sediment in the glass and keep it separate from the rest of the wine. They came up with a solution: a spiral.
The bowl of the Spirale glass ends with a small spiral that reaches down into the upper stem. The sediment, due to its weight, sinks to the bottom and into the spiral. Once in the spiral, it is effectively trapped. Getting in the spiral is easy, getting out, not so much. So, every sip of the wine remains sediment free, even the last one.
The glass does live up to its promise. The sediment stays nestled in the spiral. Each glass ends as smoothly as the first. This does come in handy, even for those that use a good decanter or aerator. The glass traps the finer particles they may miss. This design does positively affect the wine. For those who do not like sediment, this product will definitely improve the drinking experience.
Thankfully, this design does not have any negative impact on the nose or taste of the wine. I tested the glass up against my Riedel glasses. The nose had only the subtlest difference; in the wines I chose, the aroma was a bit more concentrated in the Spirale.
The same goes for the taste, a slight difference. The wine from the Spirale was far more fruit forward, while the wine from the Riedel emphasized earth notes. I attribute this to the rim. The Riedel rim allows the wine to slide out directly on to the tongue. The Spirale, on the other hand, hit my tongue more towards the middle and rested there a bit. But again, this is subtle. I looked closely for these differences, and I barely found them.
The Vacanti Spirale has a few other neat perks and bonuses. First, they are handcrafted. Though two glasses will never be 100% alike, there is the guarantee that the glasses will be carefully made. These glasses stand up well. In fact, they can be run through the dishwasher. However, for those Texas drinkers with hard water, this route does leave a film. You will need to rinse them again and hand dry them.
They do have their drawbacks. First, Vacanti recommends rinsing the glass quickly after each use. This rinse helps to remove the sediment from the glass. And it is necessary. The longer between the rinse and the last glass, the harder it is to remove the sediment.
I also found removing the sediment to be a bit of a task. I prefer to hand wash my glasses, which I did the first time. I ended up rinsing with high pressure water right into the spiral. I did this multiple times to fully remove the sediment in one glass, but I did not do so well with the other. For those that plan on handwashing, invest in a very small spiral brush; it should remove the sediment. This issue is where being dishwasher safe helps. The dishwasher had no problem: it washed out the sediment completely.
Unfortunately, Spirale glasses are not available in stores, so they must be ordered online (in sets of two). Though some online retailers offer the glasses, it is best to purchase straight through Vacanti. The packaging they use keeps the glasses safe. The outer box mine shipped in showed up a bit damaged. However, the internal box had no defects (in this way, they are equal to Riedel). Also, they offer discounts for purchases of a 12-pack. And for orders of at least 6 glasses, U.S. shipping is free.
Would I buy them for myself? Probably not. I actually enjoy a bit of sediment, so their main purpose does not add anything for me. Have I used them since? Yes. I do like sturdy glasses, and these do beat out Riedel in that category. I have two rambunctious cats, so a glass that can tip and not break is always welcome in my home.
If sediment is an issue, these glasses work beautifully. For those who dislike it, and especially for those that drink some of the big hearty Texas reds, these glasses will make for a more pleasant glass of wine. Just be prepared to take a quick and active role in cleaning them. Thankfully, the set of two glasses are strong, so they should hold up well to lots of cleaning.
You can find out more about Spirale by Vacanti Wine Glasses and order them at their website.