Quality Glass Makes Difference In Taste

Premier Cru Collection Times Record John Lovett 12 08 2015

Online Article by John Lovett, TIMES RECORD


By John Lovett • Times Record • jlovett@swtimes.com

Paul LaRussa’s Premier Cru Collection stemware won’t be easily found in a casual Internet search for the finest wine glasses on earth, but they should be.

The California designer calls them a “monument to fine wine” and has dedicated his life to “elevating that experience” of wine drinking with his collection of four sleek and modern glasses made from lead-free crystal by Old World artisans.

“The influence for the collection is about having things that are special,” LaRussa said in a phone interview earlier this year. “These are meant to elevate fine wine with the human experience and integrate that reality.”

LaRussa professes an “obsession with authenticity and quality” in his construction of both wine cellars for clients and wine accessories, like the $950 fossilized mammoth bone corkscrew wine opener with diamond, ruby and topaz accents. There’s also a massive $1,250 pure Peruvian silver corkscrew wine opener from LaRussa, but it is now out of stock.

The stemware is less expensive in comparison, at $320 for a set of four Premier Cru Collection glasses made in a 200-year-old glass-working factory at Weisswasser, Germany. Competitively priced with other fine wine glasses, LaRussa’s stemware range from $95 for the voluptuous Burgundy to $65 for the graceful, yet edgy Champagne glass. Each are inconspicuously etched at the base with “Premier Cru Collection.

”The Riedel Sommeliers Bordeaux Grand Cru glass, in comparison, goes for $125 and just looks like a normal wine glass.

Also in LaRussa’s princely collection are stemware meant for Bordeaux and white wines, at $85 and $75 respectively. The Premier Cru Collection white wine glasses, however, are currently only available in the stemware set, the website states.

Although they may look delicate, and feel light to the touch, the glasses are sturdy. LaRussa said he has even seen one survive being knocked over on a granite counter top. The Burgundy glass weighs about 6 ounces. The Bordeaux, white wine and Champagne glasses are just slightly lighter at 5 and 4 ounces each.

In a same-wine taste test against what many consider to be the finest wine glass maker, Riedel, the Premier Cru Collection stood shoulders above in both avant-garde appearance and aromatic function.


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