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17.03.2022 “I definitely had preconceptions”

Porcelain and wine – can you do that? Sommelier Mathias Brandweiner tests and evaluates the wine and digestif tumblers from Sieger by Fürstenberg

Sommeliers know their trade – their senses are highly tuned, and they are always on the lookout for the latest treat – in short: they have made joie de vivre their life’s work. Just like Mathias Brandweiner. The “Host of the Year, 2019” has already worked with a number of Michelin-starred chefs, most recently as restaurant manager and sommelier at the Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. The Austrian gained international experience in London, for example, where he poured the right wine for the likes of model Naomi Campbell, singer Fergie and Prince William. Recently named one of the top-50 sommeliers at the Rolling Pin Awards, the 27-year-old has been managing his own restaurant, the Hafenküche in Berlin, since the beginning of 2022.

PRESS RELEASE 17.03.2022 “I definitely had preconceptions”

Porcelain and wine – can you do that? Sommelier Mathias Brandweiner tests and evaluates the wine and digestif tumblers from Sieger by Fürstenberg

Sommeliers know their trade – their senses are highly tuned, and they are always on the lookout for the latest treat – in short: they have made joie de vivre their life’s work. Just like Mathias Brandweiner. The “Host of the Year, 2019” has already worked with a number of Michelin-starred chefs, most recently as restaurant manager and sommelier at the Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. The Austrian gained international experience in London, for example, where he poured the right wine for the likes of model Naomi Campbell, singer Fergie and Prince William. Recently named one of the top-50 sommeliers at the Rolling Pin Awards, the 27-year-old has been managing his own restaurant, the Hafenküche in Berlin, since the beginning of 2022.

The seasoned expert has now tested the Grand Cru Gold wine and digestif tumblers from Sieger by Fürstenberg. “A drink’s presentation is incredibly significant,” he explains. The question remains: porcelain and wine – can you do that? And if so, what works best in the tumblers?

Material and shape “outside the box”
The Grand Cru Gold tumblers are manufactured in three sizes from thin-walled porcelain and 24-carat gold. Thanks to a slightly curved base, they rock gently back and forth during pouring and when touched, only to regain their upright position once again. This gets things moving on the table. “I always find it cool when people think outside the box, which is why I was immediately determined to try them out,” says Mathias. So as to be able to precisely assess the tumblers and identify distinctions, the expert compared them with various glasses for white wine, red wine and Burgundy – and, of course, tested them with a large selection of wines – 25, in fact. What counts, he emphasises, is that you are open to new things. Only in this way can it be an enriching experience. “This is especially true for committed wine drinkers,” he adds with a wink.

Fine tertiary aromas
“Really intriguing and different. A sophisticated and charming alternative to a glass – with advantages and disadvantages,” says Mathias to sum up his initial judgement. Even if the tumblers work as all-rounders, there is a clear bias from the sommelier’s perspective: “I think that the tumblers are particularly suited to uncomplicated, fun wines. The ones where you open the bottle, drink a glass and then you want to drink the whole bottle because it’s good and straightforward. I also think this really suits the product because it has something playful about it, something pleasurable.” Among other things, the expert was particularly impressed with the fact that the tertiary aromas, as they are known in wine jargon, were especially refined. “The young, fresh, fragrant white wines that always jump sumptuously out of the glass, for example, were slightly more delicate in the porcelain, slightly more refined, slightly more balanced. I found that really quite charming.”

 

With all the senses
Mathias also found the mouthfeel and haptics especially noteworthy. The tumblers are available with a glazed or matt satin surface. The sommelier is particularly enthusiastic about the matt finish. “It makes a huge difference to the drink because you have the three dimensions of aroma, taste and feel. The senses make you much more present in the moment.” And this suits the pure, unadulterated enjoyment of wine, after all; taste is not the only thing to play a pivotal role. “When it comes to the senses, 80% goes via the nose,” explains Mathias.
But the expert does also find disadvantages when compared to a glass. “The filling capacity is tricky.” The opaque, golden interior of the tumblers presents less of a challenge at home than in the restaurant trade. The staff are very well trained and have a feel for it, but the guest will always want to know precisely how much they have in their glass or tumbler. Nevertheless, it is also an opportunity for restaurateurs to tease the guest out of their comfort zone. You have something new, something to talk about. “This kind of meal out is all about experiences and emotions,” says Mathias. He also sees an additional benefit to the classic glass: even if the walls of the porcelain tumblers are “astonishingly thin”, high-quality stemmed glasses are lighter and more elegant when swirled. If the tumbler is not placed back down in between and is held in the hand for longer, the beverage warms. “But this can also be seen as a positive thing,” suggests Mathias, “because the fact that it warms more quickly may lead to aromas being perceived that would not have been tasted otherwise.”

Won over by the digestifs
The sommelier was especially impressed by the digestif tumblers. “Absolutely fantastic,” he says, referring in particular to the virtues of the shape. The tumblers taper conically upwards and narrow significantly here. “This means that the alcohol doesn’t hit your nose immediately,” he explains. Unlike the shape of many other shot glasses, this makes it possible to discern the aromas better.

In conclusion
From Mathias’ point of view, the tumblers are a sophisticated addition and worthwhile alternative for all those who enjoy discovering new things. As with much in our everyday lives, it is all about diversity here. “No two days are the same. One day I’ll drink from a glass and the next from porcelain. It’s the same at home. And I think that’s the great thing about it: always having something new and not lapsing into monotony.”