In tasting rooms and at dinner tables across Bordeaux in April, we couldn’t help but notice some elegant new glasses in town. They were fine and very light, with classically rounded bowl shapes and the logo ‘Sy’ etched discreetly onto the foot. We paid attention; with the production problems and supply issues at Zalto there has been a gap on our glassware shelf for some time now (sorry, Zalto customers). Sydonios glasses have been a massive hit in Bordeaux, where they are now used at over half of the 1855 cru classé estates.
Sydonius is the brainchild of one Antoine Schvartz, a native of Reims who’d been working in Bordeaux. Antoine had to do a lot of tasting in his job, but he’d never been quite satisfied with the glassware on offer. He wanted a glass that offered ‘no intermediary between the wine and the taster’. He was bothered by the duopoly Riedel and Zalto had over Bordeaux tasting rooms. The idea of creating his own glass nagged at him. Eventually, he gave in.
He is at pains to point out how science-led his approach to glassmaking was. He read every learned paper he could on the subject. He got Bordeaux University involved. Seven prototype glasses were tested by over 100 wine professionals. Eventually, the data showed that only two shapes made a significant difference to the way we perceive red wines, so Sydonios have a relatively narrow offering. There is a white glass, a glass for heavy, tannic reds, and a larger, rounder glass for lighter, more perfumed reds. These glasses come in two separate lines, with the Terroir range being bigger. The Racine glasses are perhaps a more comfortable size for most people’s dinner tables. (We saw more Racine than Terroir in Bordeaux). They are all hand-blown and lead-free. There are also some very smart decanters. They’re all on display in our Copthall store, so come along and see for yourself how comfortable these all are to hold. /NT