The future is light for Austrian glassware manufacturer

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Sophienwald, a stemware producer based in Austria, is switching up its range of wine glasses to include lightweight and well balanced glassware.

Sophienwald CEO and founder Gerhard Illek believes that in addition to fashionable engraved drinking glasses, there is a market for functional and fluid glassware products. Illek told that people like elegant, slim and light glasses. He believes it will be part of a trend over the next one to two decades, noting the recent favourability of light glassware among a growing number of sommeliers and Michelin-starred establishments.

Illek said that a well-crafted stem can be judged not only by its design but by its weight, balance and elasticity. He pointed to his company’s ‘Phoenix’ design as an example of a product specifically made to improve the drinking of red wine. With its dramatic curve towards the base of the bowl, the Phoenix is aimed at giving a greater concentration to a wine’s aromas and increase the surface’s contact with oxygen.

However, Illek says that the Phoenix glass does not help improve the taste of a poor wine. He added:

“It is really to show how the wine producers want it to be presented… I don’t understand why people are buying expensive wine and drinking it in bad glasses.”

Sophienwald also believes it is important not to complicate the experience of choosing and drinking wine by creating a different design for every type of wine and grape variety.

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