The best producers of champagnes and sparkling wines, such as Veuve Clicquot, Laurent-Perrier, Billecart-Salmon and Champagne Mumm, have made Italesse their trusted provider for their signature promotional products for years given the quality and innovation that the Trieste company has brought to the market. Up until the last decade, the majority of champagne glasses on the market could only be produced manually (using mouth-blown glass), due to the special features that champagne flutes require. Tasting stemware, wine tasting glassware by Italesse
Champagne flutes must have a pointed shape, or picure, that encourages constant perlage (chains of tiny bubbles), synonymous in oenology with a product’s vivacity and freshness - something champagne manufacturers are eager to transmit in the presentation of their wines. Furthermore Italesse flutes have added a perlage point, a small mark on the surface of the picure, that promotes the perlage effect. In fact Italesse was the first to successfully introduce a laser technique into the industry of glass manufacturing that achieved a previously unattainable result - recreating this point inside champagne glasses mechanically, whereas previously these imperceptible marks were made by hand.
This innovation ensured that the cost of the wine tasting glassware was significantly reduced, and made them much more resistant and therefore ideal for use in the frenzied moment of the aperitif and at parties. Continuing their commitment to research and technological innovation, Italesse developed tasting stemware that can be easily decorated. Their glasses have a delicate rim, ensuring greater contact of wine with the lips and carefully designed capacities to cater to professional needs.
As a result of Italesse’s advanced research into automatic production of blown glass Italesse devised Xtreme® technology and thus addressed the problem of breakage. Xtreme® molten glass is not only more chemically resistant, but tasting stemware made from this type of glass are also physically stronger given that the stem is fused with the foot plate only after it has been pulled. In Italesse’s philosophy, wine tasting glassware must be versatile, accommodating to the requirements of a vast variety of wines – given that a wine glass is defined as a glass with a stem, a glass is one with a flat base and a flute is a champagne glass with a slender shape and tapered tip, which encourages perlage.
Furthermore, Italesse gives the glass a distinctive style and professional quality that heightens the experience enjoying wine, whatever the moment. Whether it is still or sparkling, red or white, young or aged, Italesse tasting stemware accentuate the intrinsic qualities of the wine itself and have a unique appeal in its design and forms. The parisons (glasses) that we offer, for example, have an edge at the base of the glass to allow the product to rotate internally with no risk of leakage. The shape towards the upper edge of the glasses slant inwards, concentrating and channelling the wine’s aromas towards the nose, and a dip has been added to the base of the glass that also allows for the enjoyment of sparkling wines or champagnes.
All these elements make our wine tasting glassware highly multifunctional. In addition to meeting the requirements of the professional world, Italesse is also sensitive to environmental issues and has, for some time now, followed the path of not producing glasses in ‘crystal’. Glasses classified as ‘crystal’ must contain at least 24% lead oxide, a component that enriches the glass with properties such as lustre, refraction, transparency and sound. That material is rejected in professional use by countries such as Japan and the USA which prefer to work with glasses made from glass materials that do not contain lead.
Italesse has for some time used a variety of molten glass enriched by only 10% of other heavy metal oxides (excluding lead) that has obtained safe, outstanding results in terms of lustre and shine. Together with other stemware manufacturers, Italesse has taken on this cause and created a range made from lead-free crystalline glass in respect of the environment and the regulations that protect it. When speaking of crystal and crystalline glasses, one cannot overlook the technical aspects of its chemical composition as well as its production methods Common glass is known as soda-lime (from which, for example, bottles are made), and is made up of silicone (sand) soda + lime; Crystalline is soda-lime glass with the addition of at least 11% heavy metal oxides (lead, barium etc. also in a blend); Crystal, on the other hand, is soda-lime glass with at least 24% lead oxide. In relation to processing techniques, the glass can be blown by mouth or produced automatically.
There are circumstances in which this glass, though “extremely” resistant, can be considered nevertheless somewhat unsafe given the context in which they are used (as for example in large outdoor shows, in bars frequented by thousands of people such as nightclubs, stadiums, sports arenas and water fun parks etc.) - the use of unbreakable materials crucial.
Premium plastic materials such as Policrystal® (polycarbonate*), polypropylene, acrylic and SAN have all proven to be highly adapted for the serving of wine, a cocktail, a beer or a long drink with high design or decorative aspects, especially where the use of glass wine glasses or tumblers is otherwise prohibited. Policrystal® has been selected by Italesse from the finest blends of raw polycarbonate.
The structure and design of Italesse’s wine tasting glassware has been conceived with the particular qualities of this material in mind, a material which is unbreakable, transparent, colourless, dishwasher-safe and possesses high resistance to extremely low and high temperatures. Italesse now offers a wide range of polycarbonate tasting stemware and tumblers for home and professional use with an attractive design and a variety of colours in addition to transparent, such as: blue, red, purple, black, frosted and fluorescent yellow. Polycarbonate is also used in tableware, has optical applications (lenses for spectacles and the like), in the automotive industry (for accessories and helmets), in the medical field and finally in the childcare sector (baby bottles), precisely because of its very special properties.
Now, hotels and large luxury hotel chains decorate their tables with Italesse wine tasting glassware. In the most recognised national and international food and wine shows, it is Italesse tasting stemware that are used; even sommeliers and industry professionals prefer to use our wine tasting glassware because they are considered technically impeccable; and – for some years – end consumers have also begun to appreciate and bring Italesse glasses into their own homes for their elegance, versatility, excellent quality/price ratio and their unmistakeable style. A bright and vivacious colour palette and elegant patterns (Liquid patterns) inspired by liquids in nature, are further characteristics of the Italesse wine tasting glassware and tumblers that can be positioned in different market segments (lower middle, upper middle, high) to meet every taste and requirement. *Worthy of particular note is a current issue on polycarbonate and one of its components, bisphenol A – which recently affected many EU states and, previously, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Here, we must note that the issue is linked solely and exclusively to the manufacture of baby bottles containing bisphenol A, and which has been prohibited in 27 EU states from 1 March 2011 (its marketing and importation prohibited since 1 June 2011). It was actually proven that above certain temperatures, polycarbonate releases quantities of bisphenol A – of which the level of toxicity is unclear – possibly dangerous to an infant’s health from 0 to 3 years.
The issue, however, is limited to baby bottle containers and clearly does not affect the polycarbonate products offered by Italesse, such as glasses, jugs, trays or bowls, which, if used correctly (following the recommended primary use), are not prohibited by the Government and are not harmful. In addition to Policrystal®, however, Italesse also manufacturers wine tasting glassware and glasses in SAN, acrylic and polypropylene (and could also produce polycarbonate without bisphenol, which would, however, cost 40% more than at present).