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Delhi Wine Club
Launch: Schott of Wine in the Zwiesel

Posted: Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:01

Launch: Schott of Wine in the Zwiesel

Oct 26: The well-known German Schott Zwiesel wine glasses and other accessories were launched at a media lunch organised at the newly opened Le Cirque Restaurant at the Leela Delhi where the Chairman of the Board Mr. Andreas Buske shared the company philosophy and stress it places on modern technology to manufacture wine glasses and other products, writes Subhash Arora

Photos By:: Adil Arora

When I was invited to the media launch for Schott Zwiesel range of glasswork for the hospitality industry at the newly-opened Hotel Leela New Delhi, I was foxed. Was it a media launch or a lunch? And what was being launched? I was told that it was a launch of the complete range- I had thought that the Schott Zwiesel glasses had been available through a Goa distributor Oscar Fernandez almost a decade ago and I have been seeing these glasses in several hotels and restaurants.

The invite said that the launch would be followed by lunch at Le Cirque, the latest chic restaurant in town, which people love to hate and hate to love. Whether it is the exclusivity, an uber chic food quality and service or the cuisine which is fine Italian with shades of French, the opulent décor, or the pedigree (it is based in New York and Bellagio in Las Vegas) or simply the pastime of rich Delhi socialites that makes them storm any newly opened talk-of-the-town restaurant and become instant food critics, was not clear to me. But, as an ardent  fan of Riedel -till they brought out the ‘O’ series, I was also curious to see which range of wine glasses they would use at  lunch (I would have imagined the equivalent of Sommelier Series from Riedel, no less) , so I decided to check out the restaurant once again.

The launch was perhaps also to clarify that the parent company has been renamed as Zwiesel Kristallglas Company. It owns three brands –Schott Zwiesel which has been making the popular wine glasses seen at restaurants and homes of many wine connoisseurs throughout the world, Swiezel 1872 ( makes one  wonder if the 130 year-old company was in fact founded in 1872!) the lifestyle brand, Jenaer Glas which makes heat-resistant glassware.
Mr. Buske clarified that they had opened an India Liaison India office at Colaba in Mumbai and were already selling to on-trade directly with no master distributor in toe and were now planning to target the retail market also for their product range. He claimed that Zwiesel was the first glass company to discontinue the use of lead crystal in the nineties, a continuous use of which can be toxic. The special international patented technology ‘Tritan’ is environment friendly and supposedly keeps the glass break and scratch- resistant, dishwater safe and retains the brilliant look for years.

The red and white wine glasses used at the light 3-course lunch that followed, were no match to the Riedel ‘Vinum’ series or similar glasses- at least in terms of size or shape and general ‘handling’ for swirling, sniffing and sipping the 125-150 mL normally poured in a wine glass. As a tasting glass they were perfect- they might also solve the problem of buying and storing two different types of glasses for red and white wine; the red wine glass ought to suffice for universal use.

Launch Lunch
The Schott Zwiesel Champagne glass was brilliant and shaped perfectly, perhaps even added to the flavour of Moet et Chandon. One felt privileged that the ‘dinner- only’ restaurant had agreed to host the special lunch only for 14 persons.  The food quality and service were impeccable. Caesars salad had an extra dimension with a sunny-side up egg captured in a breaded ring and the anchovies giving a different twist.

Wines et al
Unfortunately, Banfi Fontanelle Chardonnay IGT Toscana served with salad was so oaky that wood was the most predominant component of the dish. Similarly Morel Risotto I ordered was delicious with the morels giving it a royal touch. It is another matter that the Barbera d’Asti from Pio Cesare, otherwise with a good pedigree from Alba in Piemonte, was also a bit too tannic for the dish. I felt that the champagne would have been an excellent wine throughout the meal.

Peasantry Pumpkin Soup
Before I ordered the dessert, I requested for a small portion of pumpkin (and vanilla) soup which has become my favourite dish after tasting scores of them in Italy where I find it ravishing wherever I have ordered it; even in Spain and Germany. I have marveled at how they make a prince out of a peasant. Today it turned out to be a big mistake. The soup was green coloured, sweet, with pumpkin crying out its basic sweet-vegetal and peasantry flavours on my face; it tasted like sugar had been added to it, (think chaptalisation! think Liebfraumilch!) though the manager insisted this sweet taste was from the pumpkin itself. It was certainly the most pedestrian pumpkin soup I have ever tasted. I was even more shocked to be told by the restaurant that this was a favourite of their customers who really loved it.

Well, I could perhaps suggest the perfect wine to go with their pumpkin soup- a Blue Nun Liebfraumilch, in a Schott Zwiesel Audience or a Viña series glass that the company recommends for light Beaujolais or even the ‘Party’ range which is a dancing tumbler- a tilted glass designed primarily for water and juices, and perhaps inspired by the ‘O’ series from Riedel that still remains a riddle for me.
Schott Swiezel has a great potential to compete with its German rival Spiegelau which has been bought over by the king of wine glasses-Riedel which will certainly feel the heat once the distribution network of Zwiesel is in place and the demand for fine wine glasses picks up.
For more info, contact

Subhash Arora



Sidd Banerji Says:

Another great learning session.Another salvo of brilliant lessons,this time on wines and wine glasses.Congrats!!Subhash.

Posted @ November 11, 2011 11:24


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