This week I fell in love. I’m not about to run off with another man. Or woman. My new love is not even a wine. Or a book. Or a work of art. Well, in a way it is. It’s not a pet, a place, a film. That obscure object of my desire is a glass. It walked into my life, via the postman, individually packaged, elegant and bright. So bright. And I was smitten. Love at first sight. Love may be blind but it heightens every other one of the senses and the Liscío glass does that in spades. It is a thing of beauty and it stole my heart.
It reminds me of the time, many years ago now, when I fell in love with a then new addition to our household, a brand new Brabantia bin. (Stay with me.) To understand this you have to know that I am half Scottish and to fork out £75 for a bin ( a bin! 75 quid!) goes against my nature but I did and my metal paramour still gratifyingly graces my kitchen and continues to give pleasure. First and foremost though, of course, it is fit for purpose. As is my lovely new wine glass. (Did I say it was a glass for wine? I assumed you would have assumed it was.) The bin is well-designed and looks good. Ditto the glass. A deft touch to open the lid and a gentle push to shut it again. Ok, my glass doesn’t do that but both show that someone has thought very carefully about how to make their product the best it could be.
Matthew Hudson, a key member of Plumpton College staff, has spent 10 years of his life researching and designing the perfect glass, to suit any style of still wine and to enhance wine-drinking pleasure. To my mind he has done just that with his Liscío glass. When put to the taste test, the wine’s aroma seems very pure and the taste intensified as well as just, well, more pleasurable. The Liscío glass is crystal and hand-blown by one of 8 expert glassblowers in Slovakia. You can find all the dimension detail and techie stuff on the website but what you won’t be able to glean until you actually hold one in your hand is the weight of the glass. Talk about the unbearable lightness of being! This is as light as a feather- I’m not sure why it being so heightens the pleasure in using it but it does. And despite it seeming so delicate it is, I’m told, pretty robust. For the not so faint-hearted, there is the tippy test (tip it over to see that it won’t break) but I’m not prepared to do it. I can’t have my glass, and therefore my heart, broken quite so early in our relationship and even if it/we survived, I might lose some of the wine in the glass. I just won’t do it. I’m happy to take their word for it and watch the video instead. Apparently, it’s also dishwasher proof, by the way.
The video also shows how wonderfully the wine swirls. It’s difficult not to want to hold your glass and swirl the wine when it’s sat there in front of you. It’s crying out to be picked up, to be held and to admire the wine within. I usually put little or no store by legs or teardrops in glasses when wine-tasting, but they are difficult to ignore in the Liscío glass as they drop in beautiful uniformity.
When we got married, my husband and I were given lovely Stuart cut-crystal glasses (a set of red, white, champagne, water, G&Ts, titchy ones which I really can’t think what they might have been for) and then I joined the wine trade. As a good WSET student I purchased my first set of ISO glasses and they still serve me well from time to time. I was then introduced to Riedel and was astonished by the impact a glass can make to how a wine smells and tastes. I’ve never been convinced that Zalto glasses were any better than Riedel and prefer the round shape of Riedel glassware, but everyone has their own preference. And now there’s Liscío.
My glass cupboard is beginning to resemble my wardrobe – a mish-mash of the functional, the trendy, the beautiful, the out-of-date but too lovely to chuck and the doesn’t fit but can’t quite bring myself to relegate to the bin. Even a Brabantia bin. What’s different though is despite the Liscío being the silky, floaty elegant gown of the glass cupboard, it will be used daily with hedonistic relish and delight.
These glasses are new on the market and come at a price. But you should equate that price to years of drinking pleasure. Treat yourself. Put it on your Christmas list. Get one. Try it. Fall in love.
Available at £35 each from: