As awesome as these glasses are to enjoy wine out of, we took things a step further and created an old-school wine harp and created a video record of our achievement. As the footage shows, cats love the golden tones created by the wine harp, but only for short periods of time.
If you have a stockpile of “The One” or other crystal stemware handy and want to build your own ultra harp, beware that tuning this beast takes patience and perseverance. Much thanks to Hunter for being my partner in crime on this one.
From the Mutineer Interview with Andrea Immer Robinson in the May/June 2011 issue of Mutineer Magazine:
Andrea Immer Robinson: “Stemware is a labor of love for me, and it’s something I’m really passionate about because I’ve always stood for simplifying a topic that’s otherwise complicated. What I think has been a great thing about the last 20 years in the stemware world is that it’s become quite engrained that the glass makes a difference. So it’s great that people get it that a glass is important, and you’re seeing that at the mass-market chains. They all have fancy-ish wine stems relative to what they used to. But then it became completely over the top in terms of how complicated it got with needing a different glass with every grape. You needed a pinot Burgundy glass, and now you need an Oregon pinot glass. It’s like “What? are you freaking kidding me?”
Also, I don’t get the whole logic around where the wine is delivered on your tongue. I don’t believe in that at all. Your tongue is sweet, sour, bitter and salt, temperature and texture. Those are all valuable and important in tasting wine, but they do not give you the detail at all. They do not give you the fruit, the aroma and the true flavor, because the flavor has to have the sense of smell involved. So for me, that made no sense. It was also way too expensive, way too complicated.
The hope was to see if it was possible to come up with a single shape that would optimize all wines. If it wasn’t, then obviously I wasn’t going to do anything with that idea. My husband John and I went through the exercise of assessing all the best glasses out there and seeing which characteristics seemed to be associated with the best performance. Then we created a sketch on a piece of graph paper and had prototypes made with a partner we thought we’d be able to work with from France. We spent the next two years testing them again and again with every kind of wine out there; cheap, expensive, every appellation, every grape, old, young and everything in between. We had more time to develop even more conviction and also to make a tweak to the red wine design because the first pass wasn’t quite what we wanted it to be. Then we did a bunch of east and west coast master sommelier and master
of wine tastings with our prototypes versus other commercial stems that people had held in high regard, and they did really well.
The combination of the break-resistance, lead-free, dishwasher safe, superior clarity and pulled stem technology really made them a great partner. All of their glasses are wonderful quality, and they were extremely good about working with us and getting the shapes right. For the consumer, this is something that people can get their heads around and then they can make it fit into their practical everyday lives. I have three kids, and hand washing crystal wine glasses every night, especially with the amount we dirty up on a regular day, is just not gonna happen.”
For a world class wine harp performance, check this out: