FT wine critic Jancis Robinson has spent more than 40 years sampling the world’s finest wines, championing new finds and, more recently, advising the Queen on her cellar. Yet the ideal wine glass has always eluded her. So Robinson took matters into her own hands, joining forces with London-based tableware designer Richard Brendon to create the perfect glass to pair with any wine. “It seems sensible to have one single wine glass for all three colours of wine,” she says.
Robinson poured all her experience into the design of the vessel, which she named 1 Wine Glass. “The glass had to be gossamer-thin, so those drinking from it are in as direct contact as possible with the wine itself. The stem, meanwhile, needed to be tall enough to allow both men and women to swirl the wine comfortably without affecting its temperature. I wanted a harmonious curvature that would maximise the wine’s surface area when the glass was filled with a typical 125ml pour, yet leave room above so the all-important aroma would collect, and the opening had to be big enough for the biggest of noses, yet considerably smaller than the maximum circumference of the bowl.”
Brendon, whose tableware meets the exacting standards of brands such as Fortnum & Mason, The Four Seasons and Harrods, created the vessel in collaboration with expert glassblowers in eastern Europe, but says even these skilled artisans found the brief challenging. “They initially struggled to get the weight of the glass as light as we required it to be,” Brendon says. “They had never made a collection this fine before – we went through many rounds of prototypes.”
As well as achieving the perfect hand-blown glass (£70 for a pair), Brendon and Robinson have created other vessels for the 1 Collection – adding a water glass (£50 for a pair), a young wine decanter (£100), an old wine decanter (£125) and a water carafe (£95) to the essential selection. The entire range is available exclusively at Harrods in the UK and online from the Richard Brendon website.