Eisch Breathable Wine Glass
Eisch Breathable Glass ™ is a wine glass that claims to aerate wine for better enjoyment. There are many heated arguments from the actual effectiveness and the claims of the glass. However from my personal “sniff test” with 2003 Columbia Valley Shiraz, it appears that both Riedel and Eisch Breathable Glass provide much better nose on the wine than standard wine glass. .
Eisch glass is made from crystal and lead-free.
A wine poured into Eisch glass for just two to four minutes will show signs of aeration equivalent to the same wine that has been decanted and aerated for 1 to 2 hours.
First presentation of the Breathable Glass to the public at the 25th Anniversary of the Robert Parker Wine Advocate Festival at the Culinary Institute of America, California.
A wine poured into a Breathable Glass for just 2 to 4 minutes will show signs of aeration equivalent to the same wine that has been decanted and aerated for 1 to 2 hours. This fully natural process takes place within the wine itself, just in minutes. The original character and structure of the wine are preserved, yet the wine’s aroma and palate impression become more open and generous, just as they would with an hour or more of aeration. In addition to wine, Breathable Glasses can also lead to improvements with spirits, fruit juices, and mineral water.
I am not a wine educator, but I play one on TV…. I performed my own highly unscientific test comparing a similarly shaped £3 ‘Bordeaux’ Spiegelgau with a £13 ‘Breathable’ Eisch. I used a 2006 Chilean Pinot Noir, a 2006 Australian Shiraz and a 2006 Beaujolais, at 5,10,15 and 20 minute intervals. I could discern no difference in the nose or the taste in minutes 5,10 and 15, but by minute 20, not having spit out any of the wine I feel asleep. I believe both the Spiegelgau and the Eisch played equal parts in the massive headache I had afterwards.
I have tried and tested the glasses and done comparisons with winemakers, in excess of 500 wine drinkers, and some wine journalists. All sorts of different beverages, not just wine (white and red) have been tasted. The range of consumers can be classified as some with educated palates and others not, those that have completed wine courses and others not. Most notably a local distributor for the most noted brand with a very educated nose and palate has tried the glasses and found them to make a difference! The general consensus is that approximately 90% of people who have tried the glasses prefer the breathable glass to the non-breathable alternative. Based on this skewed very basic non scientific approach to the collection of data and the results, there must be a difference!
As a winemaker of considerable experience I was asked by an acquaintance (who sells kitchen equipment) to test the validity of claims being made by a glass company (Eisch, as it happens) with regards to their glasses allowing wines to “breathe” better than standard ones. I approached the exercise with total scepticism and expected the claims to be another case of “snake oil” – I was only doing the exercise as a favour for a friend. I arranged for a number of blind tastings to be presented to me in glasses from Eisch and ones from Spiegelau of similar dimensions. I was blown away by the results – in every case there was a perceivable difference between the two glasses and in every case my preferred wine was from the Eisch glasses. The only downside to this exercise was that I already had a full complement of Spiegelau glasses and could not justify purchasing any of the Eisch product. I would be interested to know though if the Eisch treatment has a limited life or if it is good for the life of the glasses.
I am am a sommelier. I taste wines for a living. My first introduction to the breathable was a sample that I left at work for months. I had my first tasting with three or four other sommeliers ( one of which was my boss). We tasted several wines that night including a 1986 Chateau Lafite. There was a distinct difference in every wine we tasted (about six).
I find the wines that benefit the most are the ones that are not quite showing as they should or wines that are in a bit of a dumb stage. Definitely, wines that need to be decanted will drink better sooner with the “breathables”:. The breathable decanter that we soon bought for the restaurant was not as impressive. I will say that I tested these glasses as quite the skeptick…And I close in saying that they are not for every type of wine, as I have used them at home ever since..
Like others who have responded, I have conducted totally non-scientific experiments among friends and family using the Eisch glassware. I certainly cannot explain how it works, nor can I quantify any measurable difference. However, consistently those of us who do not have highly trained pallets can notice a discernable difference. Even if there is no scientific basis, what harm is done in allowing us to enjoy the wines that we drink in a glass we prefer? Shouldn’t personal preference play a part in this debate?
Yesterday I went to buy some more Eisch glassware and my normal supplier was out. Perhaps the lawsuit by Riedel is having the opposite effect…people are buying more Eisch glassware because of the lawsuit. As for me and my family, we will stick with the Eisch because we like it, and it works for us.
My sister and I are restaurant owners and retailers. We are not scientists nor professional tasters but we know what tastes good when we try it. We were first approached by our wine rep with the Eisch glasses and we did the taste tests, non scientific. We were so excited about the difference we immediately purchased the stemware. We then proceeded to give anyone who came in and ordered wine the opportunity to see for themselves how much better the wine tasted in Eisch glasses. There was not one person who thought otherwise. We must have sold 10 cases the first weekend just from people tasting on their own. We even had the ultimate tasters, winemakers tasting their own wines, do the taste test. One winemaker said the difference was so significant that he always wanted his wines to be poured in Eisch as they were clearly the better. We have no stake in either company. We are not salespeople but we can sell a boatload of these glasses because we believe in them. We use Reidel as well as Eisch in our restaurant. If I had to say a negative thing about Eisch is they are so good that people take them. They are also a little more fragile than Reidel.