After a long break from the site but also a long period of test, I come back with a review on one of the Zalto glasses: the Zalto Universal.
This glass is not as obviously outstanding as the Burgundy glass. You need a little adaptation period. That is why I have not written about it right-away. But in the end, it really is quite exceptional.
Like all the other glasses from Zalto, it is incredibly pleasant to use. The cristal is delicate, perfectly shaped and incredibly light.
However, to begin with, the glass seems to be less intense on the nose, nothing like the aromatic bomb that is the Schott Zwiesel Fortissimo White Wine for instance. There is nothing but physical logic behind that because the shape of the glass dictates the behaviour of the glass. Therefore the time to adapt. However, once you are used to it, the quality of the glass becomes obvious, especially in the mouth. One of the main reasons for its greatness is the volume. It is around 530ml big, and that is not a common size for wine glasses. Often you jump from 400ml to 600ml and in the case of the Schott Zwiesel Fortissimo, this step is too big. You switch from a universal glass to a very specialised one, that doesn’t match a lot of wines. And it is a pity because in many cases, it would be good to have a bit more space to enjoy some wines. Same problem with the Vinum Syrah by Riedel, which actually doesn’t match a lot of Syrah, only the most powerful wines can face the size of the glass.
In this Zalto Universal, however, you can pour around 530ml. This is an ideal volume when you want something a bit bigger than your usual 400ml. Its shapes appears to be quite perfect after some time of use: it is very neutral and yet it provides enough support for the wine. Its size is ideal to let more powerful wine express themselves correctly and with subtlety. In terms of comfort, this glass has become in a very natural way, my default pick from the closet. Not by decision, but simply because it is the one that shows the most from the wine. It is elegant, light and it often transcends the wine.
The fact is that the Zalto Universal allows the wine to have enough space. The tannins are never too much, the alcohol feel is smoothened. Even with the most intense and concentrated wine, the result is highly drinkable. Actually, the strongest side of this glass is the mouth. The nose is not the most intense (if you like an intense nose, Zwiesel or Spigelau or Stölzle have better glasses) but the mouth is always extremely balanced and round. It is not as flexible as some other “universal” glasses but it is great with a wide range of wine, including white, like Chardonnay and Rhône valley wines. It is also efficient with entry level Pinot Noir and structured Gamays. In fact, it is a glass that reveals itself perfect to use… its only real limit is that it is big and a bit large on top, some delicate wines will suffer from that. I am thinking to sparkling or wines like Pinot Gris… in that case a Zwiesel Fortissimo will be a better choice.
Everything considered, it is probably the best universal red wine dedicated glass on the market.
Fabrication quality: 5/5
Tasting properties: 5/5
Price: Around 30€ (available throughout Europe on Zalto internet site)
Value for Money: Very Good
This post is also available in: French