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The Wine Glass That Stands Out by Focusing on What’s Inside
In a world of identical stemware, the MARKTHOMAS Allround is light, sturdy, and gaining ground among sommeliers in the know.
Since Austrian designer Thomas Zichtl founded MARKTHOMAS in 2012, elite dining destinations have adopted the company’s wine glasses, including Michelin three-starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Spain and Minneapolis’s cozy Bachelor Farmer. The sides of the handblown Allround are only about a half-millimeter thick, making the glass lighter than most. Gently beveled curves near the base of the bowl aren’t merely cosmetic; the design creates a larger surface area to aerate the wine and highlight its flavors.
At $70 per glass, the MARKTHOMAS Allround is within range of the top-shelf options from Riedel and Zalto, two other Austrian names that dominate the market. (Spiegelau, another well-known glassmaker, was acquired by Riedel in 2004.) Riedel specializes in specific varietal glasses and has become a wedding registry staple, but its Sommeliers series includes glasses for rare whites and reds that cost three figures. Zalto, like Riedel, has been around for decades. Lately, its $59 Denk’Art Universal glasses have become a status symbol at wine-focused restaurants such as New York’s Charlie Bird and Le Bernardin.
The glass’s eye-catching design doubles as a functional feature: If you’re a purist, the lower bend marks a precise 6-ounce pour. Despite its lightweight feel, holding one is an easy balancing act; the bigger-than-average base gives you a sense of stability when you set it down. The glass is also lead-free, so it’s dishwasher-safe and won’t cloud with multiple washings. Best of all, the thin walls and maximized surface area give the nose a boost, making the glass ideal for medium-bodied wines, whether French pinot noirs or California chenin blancs.
Bloomberg Pursuits online
The Glass: MARKTHOMAS Double Bend Allround
Two distinct bends in these handblown crystal glasses created by Austrian designer Thomas Zichtl set them apart from the rest. $70 at Kneen & Co.
1. Always Be Swirling
The second bend in the glass denotes a full pour, and the rounded bottom helps the wine “move more harmoniously in a conical shape” as you swirl to better aerate it, says Zichtl.
2. Embrace Curves
The first bend marks a perfect tasting portion, but Caleb Ganzer, sommelier at Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in New York, also loves that it exposes more wine to air, “making it pop more in the glass.”
3. Invest in Stems
Austin Bridges, the sommelier behind Enoteca Nostrana in Portland, Oregon, considers the stem a pedestal for your wine. “Think about smelling and examining a flower without a stem,” he says. The long stem also gives you more control when sipping from the glass.
Associate Restaurant Editor
FOOD & WINE online
Last month, the managing partner and wine director of La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, arguably the hottest industry hangout in NYC, hosted an invite-only launch party.
It wasn’t for a new wine import. It was to celebrate a line of glassware from an under-the-radar Austrian label, MARKTHOMAS. Attendees were greeted at the door with a glass of Krug “Grand Cuvée,” and encouraged to bring their own bottles to try out MARKTHOMAS ’s Double Bend glassware series, sans corkage fee.
“I have zero stake in these glasses or this business,” La Compagnie’s Caleb Ganzer wrote in his email invitation. “I just think they’re sick stems.”
Most people, myself included, would balk at the idea of a $70 wine glass. But when I saw these new Double Bend crystal glasses from Austrian maker MARKTHOMAS, they were so beautiful, so thin and lightweight, that I began to think they might be worth the price for their “wow” factor alone. It turns out there’s a lot more to recommend them.
Because they’re made of lead-free crystal, these glasses can go through unlimited dishwasher cycles without clouding up. (I was surprised to learn they were dishwasher-safe at all!) They’re also slightly shorter than comparable glasses and have a slightly larger base, both of which add to their stability (good for somewhat clumsy people like me). And if they do fall, they have a chance of surviving, because the mouth-blown crystal literally bends a bit to the touch, making the glasses less likely to break.
As for the two bends in the bowl, they’re not meant as simple design flourishes. They mark the perfect tasting pour (1.5 oz.) and the perfect serving pour (6 oz.). That’s definitely more useful to restaurateurs than to the rest of us, but the bend at the serving level also marks the widest point in the bowl, so if you stop pouring there, you get the maximum surface exposure, helping to aerate the wine more quickly.
I get that, but I’m not sure I get the claims that the bottom bend and the particular design of the bowl where it meets the stem work together to “lift” the aromatics of the wine. I generally have a hard time believing that glass shape changes a wine’s taste, or maybe I’m just not enough of a connoisseur.
Sommelier Ryan Arnold, of the Paris Club Bistro & Bar in Chicago, who has been testing the Double Bend glass, is a believer. “When I tried wine out of the glass—and I often taste the same wine out of four or five glasses—what I noticed was how focused the aromatics were, especially when tasting more delicate varietals,” he says.
Whether or not that’s the case doesn’t really matter to me. I love the lines and the near weightlessness of these glasses, and showing them off to my guests will provide a pleasure of its own."
"These days the remarkable low prices for wine and other glasses has made it irrational not to buy good quality for everyday use. But I cannot imagine [anyone] not feeling giddy if given these MARKTHOMAS hand-blown, lead-free crystal glasses [imported from Austria] of such beauty and lightness... But they are also quite sturdy, even to being put into a home dishwasher.
They are designed so that wine, Champagne, or beer appeals to the nose, eye, touch, and feel, while maximizing aroma and taste. The unique double-bend design outlines the measurement for a perfect pour: the first bend indicates the ideal amount for a wine tasting, the second bend ideal for the average pour size for restaurants and wine connoisseurs.
I loved the wine glasses but, even more, I found the beer glass so convincing, so elegant and such a perfect fit to my hand that I doubt I shall ever drink a brew from anything else in the future.
The glasses are not inexpensive -- they rank with some of the top-of-the-line Riedel -- but the MARKTHOMAS series offers more in terms of design and utility."
Chief Editor - Mariani´s Virtual Gourmet Newsletter
Journalist, Food & Wine Critic, Travel Correspondent
Huffington Post, Bloomberg News, Esquire Magazine
Newsletter: June 14, 2015
"Have you ever longed for a wine glass that would serve ALL of your wine drinking needs? Or, at least most of them? I know I have. And, I know a lot of bar managers, sommeliers, and restaurateurs who'd sure like to have one glass for many purposes...
So, I was intrigued when I learned that an Austrian glassware manufacturer called MARKTHOMAS had produced a one-size-fits-all "universal" wine glass. Maybe this would finally resolve my wine-sipping needs. So, I jumped at the opportunity to preview this unique piece of stemware.
The MARKTHOMAS glass is called the Double Bend (DB) Allround glass, which is hand-blown in Austria. The Double Bend refers to the shape of the glass, which has, well, two "bends" in it. The bends help to instantly aerate the wine being poured into the glass. The base of the bowl is cone-shaped, which would allow small pours and wine tastings or flights to be enjoyed. In addition to aeration, the double bend in the glass also focuses the wine's aromas.
Well, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. And I must say, I'm impressed by this glass. It's 500 ml capacity leaves lots of room for swishing. The Double Bend glass is really beautiful to look at - form follows function. And, it's ultra-thin and very light, delicate and well-balanced... MARKTHOMAS glasses are said to be dishwasher safe and frequent washing won't cloud the glass thanks to "the exclusion of lead oxide in each manufacturing step," according to the manufacturers...
[F]or most of the still wine we drink - both red and white - and, even for Champagne, this wine glass is a wonder. It's a truly versatile glass that mostly lives up to its bold claims of being 'universal.' "
Editor - DEVOUR Magazine
Salt Lake City Weekly
Looking to enhance your wine experience? It may be as simple as choosing a better glass to enjoy it from. The MARKTHOMAS Double Bend series has specially molded wine glasses with lead-free crystal to enhance the aeration of wine, allowing for a bold and rich taste. The hand-blown design is simple, yet deliberate and is meant to appeal to the senses—both visually and with each lingering sip...
The Double Bend Allround is the universal wine glass, perfectly showcasing your favorite reds and whites.
"It's All in the Glass"
Sheridan Road Magazine
Designed by Austrian glass company MARKTHOMAS, the super-thin crystal Double Bend Beer Glass has, yep, two bends: pour to the first one for a tasting., the second for a healthy serving. The cool shape balloons all of your beer´s beautiful aromatics directly to your nose.