Anyone who has been travelling with me around the wineries will know that I am a glassware fiend, as can be attested by my friends last month in the Hunter. I just love glassware and I have never been as excited (by glass accoutrements) as I was when I discovered that I could combine my passions for Champagne, Christmas decorations & glassware all in one superb Waterford ’12 Days of Christmas’ package (Thanks Robyn!). While I have not quite reached that heavenly realm at this point, I am almost there.
I first noticed Plumm when I was tasting at cellar door at Yarra Yering in the Yarra Valley earlier this year. The wine was as stunning as ever, but the tasting glasses were just plain sexy. Although, I am a great fan of Riedel, this Plumm tasting glass has a shorter stem and a longer bowl almost like a larger version of the standard tasting glass used by the industry. The larger bowl means that the wine gets plenty of air and the extra length helps lift the aromas, but is also just perfect for those big swirls which often land over my shirt, or even worse, some poor unsuspecting & undeserving sot beside me. Ever wonder why I wear BLACK all the time! The shorter stem also means that I feel less likely to knock it over too, which is a bonus as I have been known to do this on tasting panels around Australia. So, finding a glass with that solved my clumsy problems with such panache immediately caught my attention.
Being given the opportunity to meet the team behind Plumm and see the rest of the range was not one I was likely to turn down.
And so … the 5 other glass styles designed by the team from the Australian owned Plumm, have a more feminine elegance & grace to them than the tasting glass I first saw (which is in fact called the ‘RED or WHITE’). The team’s message is that ‘Five wine glasses are all you need’ & they have found the best two shapes for whites & reds with one for fizz. After 18 months of global research, they did expect to have a range with more shapes but as their research progressed they discovered that these glasses were coming up, well, plum, each time.
To keep it simple, they even have named the glass styles ‘WHITEa’, ‘WHITEb’, ‘REDa’ … etc. Those glasses to be used for lighter styled, often aromatic, wines have narrower apertures with the glass used for the lighter reds resembling a poppy seed pod shape with it’s rim curling back out. The glasses for the fuller bodied wines have the wider opening making the wines seem more balanced as they roll around the palate.
Of course, in keeping with current fashion there is also a stemless selection that can do great spinning tricks on the table without tipping over (until they met me that was!). However, very cleverly Plumm also offer unbreakable polycarbonate replicas of most of their styles including stemless in the Plumm Outdoor range. While you cannot disguise that they are not fine crystal, they serve their purpose with style. And just for those who are after that touch of luxury of fine crystal there is the Plumm Handblown Vintage crystal versions which are taller and lighter.
There is no denying that Riedel are the global market leaders with their wide range of purposeful shapes and I love the fact that I can get a glass specifically for drinking my Fino. Of course, there is always room in the market for more wine glasses designed by wine people to get the best out of wine. The Plumm story is one that will capture our interest, while the understated elegance will capture our hearts.
They are gaining distribution into major outlets now, but are still available via their website www.plumm.com.