This is the first of a serie of article/reviews about Zalto glasses. It has been a few weeks since I started testing these glasses, comparing them with others and testing different wines… This will reflect my general impression and later I will post on each glass from the Denk’Art serie.
Zalto is somehow a newcomer in the world of wine glasses. The company has been created in 2006. The first time I have encountered these glasses was in Austria in 2012. Then I met them again in Germany in 2013. Meanwhile I have been reading a lot of positive reviews and a positive buzz about Zalto. Eventually, I was very interested to test these wineglasses and it appeared that I was right to be curious!
Zalto glasses first characteristic is their pretty high price tag. Around 30€ for a glass. They are, however, very easy to find and Zalto can ship them to you all over Europe (at a decent fee and well packed) through their online shop, that I recommend highly. It would be foolish, though to consider them only through a too simple price analysis because they are truly outstanding glasses.
One fact almost explains everything. These are not machine made glasses (as opposed to Vinum by Riedel). They are hand made. Hand blown in one single piece. Therefore, you don’t see any glued part nor any irregularity. If you look for the same kind of glasses in Riedel collection, you must buy the Sommelier serie… But if you check in the same price range, you will find the Vinum, which are machine blown: definitely not the same, not at all!
This specific process bring the glass to a level of perfection that I have rarely encountered. Aesthetically, they are absolutely fabulous.
– First, the lightness is stunning. They weight almost nothing. Compared to the other wine glasses I had, they are almost twice lighter. My usual wineglass is the Schott Zwiesel Fortissimo White Wine. This glass weights 160g for 404ml. The Zalto equivalent weights 100g /400 ml. This is impressive… but if you consider the huge Burgundy glass: its weight is 120g but for a stunning volume of 960ml (over a bottle of wine!). This is really unbelievable. Considering the size of the glass, you simply feels that you hold nothing in you hand. Consequently, the confort of use, during a tasting or a dinner, is splendid… absolute perfection!
– The quality of the cristal is flawless. Most noticeable for those who are used to machine blown glasses, there is absolutely no trace on the glass stem. The lightness of the glass partly comes from this process: hand blown cristal is thiner and lighter.
– Shapes and design are well conceived. Each of the main wineglasses has been precisely developed in order to suit a certain type of wine. Besides, the glasses are not too tall (each measures between 20 to 24cm). This makes it easier to store them and less risky to clean.
– Eventually, the glass selection is simple. Only one serie made of 6 wineglasses : Burgundy, Bordeaux, Universal, White Wine, Sweet Wine and Champagne.
I have tested the following models: Denk’art, White Wine (ref: 11.400), Universal (ref: 11.300), Bordeaux (ref: 11.200) and Burgundy (ref: 11.100).
If I would sum up quickly the results, I would underline a few important characteristics. First, these are very specialised glasses. Each is suited for a specific kind of wine unlike my usual Zwiesel Fortissimo. You need to pick the right one to enjoy a great tasting experience. None of the Zalto Denk’art can be considered as universal. However, the range is very homogene. The progression between the models is clear. They stress on the structure of the wine rather than the fruitiness. They are not boosting the wine. The result is really delicate and subtle. In terms of confort, they are just perfect. Simply, clearly, perfect. I have only had such an experience with Riedel Sommeliers… but the latter costs between 70 and 100€ per unit.
In all respects Zalto Denk’Art glasses are exceptional. And therefore, they are actually a bargain. Of course, in term of strict value for money, it is disputable that Zwiesel which cost a fraction of the price will not suit you better. However, if you cannot get them at the German price (5 to 8€)… you’ll have to think twice. If I have to chose between a Zwiesel at 15€ and a Zalto at 30€, I will pick Zalto, no question. As a conclusion Zalto Denk’art are simply great wineglasses. In terms of comfort and design, they are perfect. In terms of tasting they are outstanding, even if I feel that one glass is missing in the range (but I will come back on this issue later). Even considering the price, they are a bargain considering that they are hand blown. By far, it is the best range of glasses that I have ever tested.
The Internet site of Zalto : HERE (in English and in German)
Online Store : THERE (in German)