Enjoying wine encompasses not only the bottle of wine chosen but also the company you are with, the cuisine you are pairing with the wine, and the type of glass that the wine is served. The glass can make or break the occasion. Recently at a dinner at Ysabel, I had the opportunity to meet with Paul LaRussa, Premier Cru Collection, and experience first hand his exquisite crystal stemware.
The stemware is sleek, modern, and light, as it elegantly shows off the wine within your glass. Handcrafted in Germany, this crystal stemware is handblown, lead-free, and quite durable. The wine glasses come in four different styles: Champagne, White wine, Bordeaux, and Burgundy.
Paul LaRussa’s background is in constructing and of late designing custom wine cellars. In 2012 the idea of unique stemware blossomed because he wanted to find accessories to accompany his handcrafted Premier Cru Wine Cellars. Looking at the wine glasses currently available, he saw a demand for stemware that was upscale, exclusive, and easy to handle, allowing it to be utilized both for special occasions and everyday use.
His appreciation for the craftsman era and finding something handmade spurred his quest to seek out a glass design that he hoped people would have both an emotional connection and also see the stemware as an artistic expression and a form of art.
Dinner at Ysabel
Our dinner at Ysabel was a four-course meal that utilized all four types of wine glasses. What I immediately noticed was how light the stemware was. You actually could feel the weight of the wine, not the glass. I also observed how much easier it was to assess the aromatic expression of each wine, especially the Pinot Noir. So often, I have difficulty identify the fragrances and aromas, but with the Premier Cru Collection, it was effortless.
What was even more interesting is that Ysabel has taken the next step in fine dining by promoting the use of the Premier Cru Collection at their restaurant. In speaking with Ysabel manager Alex LaPratt, he emphasized the following; He wants his wine list to be different, more unique, and not something you can purchase in a local store, thereby elevating your dining experience to a totally special level.
In addition, he felt wines ten years plus, and higher-end pricier wines merited superior quality stemware. Alex says, “the wine and its presentation should be impressive and a large part of the dining experience, therefore we typically decant the wine and serve wine in the Premier Cru Collection stemware.” Alex went on to say, “the glasses are stronger than regular crystal.”
Our meal at Ysabel began with Blue Fin Tuna Thai basil oil & Serrano chile. It paired with a Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Reserve. The Premier Cru Collection Champagne glass, with its sleek lines, enhanced the virtues of this marvelous Champagne and brought out the golden colors.
White Wine Glass
The second course was Grilled Zucchini Fava Beans & green chili broth. This dish was the epitome of a farm to table meal. With this course, we were served the 2012 Domaine Cheveau Pouilly-Fuissé in the white wine glass from the Premier Cru Collection. The art form of this collection is not just the glass but the complete visual image created of the crystal glass with the pale yellow color of the wine within.
Our third course was a Cavatelli Bolognese, only without the pasta. During this course, we enjoyed Domaine Jean-Marc Moret Santenay. Here is where I found the beauty of this stemware in terms of the aromatics. The beautiful florals of this Pinot Noir flourished in this burgundy glass. Not only did it reveal how powerful the aromas emanated, but I also noticed the weight of the wine in my glass. I had never observed this before, or perhaps we just take that for granted. Either way, it was noticeably apparent with this crystal stemware.
We finished our meal with a Duck Breast Lambrusco & golden beets, which paired with a 2011 Château Larruau Margaux served in the last of the Premier Cru Collection, the Bordeaux Glass.
This dinner escape will be a meal to remember. The cuisine was marvelous, the wine superb and the Premier Cru Collection stemware was the extra touch that you might say rounded out the evening.
Although Ysabel does not use the stemware all the time, they will accept your request, so if you would like to experience the Premier Cru Collection when dining at this restaurant, do request that your server brings your wine in these extraordinary glasses.
Hopefully, more restaurants in the future will follow this trend making your dining experience a well deserving one.
For more information:
Premier Cru Collection
Premier Cru Collection Stemware is showcased:
K & L Wine Merchants
1400 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
945 N.Fairfax Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323)(323) 366 – 2940