CALICE MERAVIGLIA

"When tasting a wine, it is important to be able to capture the emotions of the season, time and energy of the terroir in which it is embedded." D.L.

The Meraviglia and Pi-Greco glasses have been designed and shaped to fully appreciate the characteristics of the wines. Starting from the study of precise geometries, calculated on the volatility of the molecules that express the bouquet; on their movement in the head space between the surface of the wine and the lip of the glass; and on their tendency to escape or remain in the glass itself, two innovative and visually appealing glasses with an original design were then modelled.

What happens to wine when it is poured into the glass?

 

I have long wondered about this unknown factor. I needed answers to assure me of the certainty of the authenticity of the flavours. I needed a reliable tool that would accompany me in the tasting.

In the glass, the colour of the wine represents the first element of immediate attraction, but the most interesting thing that happens inside the glass, and that you cannot see, is the movement of the aromas released by the wine itself.

Starting from these considerations, I examined what science defines as certain and irrefutable. The aromas express the molecules contained in the wine and linked to the vine, the terroir and the vintage. Based on the different molecular weight, the wine compounds display a different predisposition to volatility

 

We know that in the esters, among the main and most volatile compounds of wine, we find the fragrant notes of the fruits.

Benzenoids, on the other hand, express aromas ranging from spicy to floral rose and notes of red fruit, by interaction with other wine molecules.

Floral and citrus scents predominate among the terpenes, with marked differences according to the variety.

Finally, norisoprenoids represent the molecules of greatest interest in long-aging wines, such as Barolo, Brunello and Riesling. The molecules with a high impact on the scent of a wine are those with a low olfactory threshold, such as b-damascenone, b-ionone, TDN and acetal Riesling, and are best expressed in large volume glasses.

Putting all this information together, I tried to understand what happened in the "head space" of the glass, that is, in that space between the free surface of the liquid and the lip of the glass.

 

Using a series of stratagems, including the gas chromatograph connected to adsorbing fibres, I followed the movement of the fragrant molecules according to their "ability to fly", realizing how many turns and somersaults they did, before escaping from the edge of the glass, creating a playful balance between the surface of the wine and the intermediate space above it.

The most important aromas, which are also the least volatile and which are found in wines aged over time, are those that try to dominate the interior of the glass itself.

During two years of curious and interesting tests, together with the Enosis staff, I managed to draw the diagram of their movements so as to reproduce them in wine glasses with different geometric shapes.

 

And so was born The Wonder Chalice/ La Calice Meraviglia which with its sinuous shape, accompanies the movements of the molecules in a pattern of fascinating beauty. Blown and worked by hand, I wished it to capture the brightness of the colour, to enhance the olfactory sensations and, thanks to the ring of Saturn above a cup of applied geometry, to moderately oxygenate the wine during its swirling in the glass.

The Wonder Glass holds 600 ml, but the ideal quantity for pouring must not exceed 130-140 ml of wine.

After 20 seconds from pouring, the bouquet achieves balance in the headspace, stratifying according to their molecular weight: the esters (the scent of the flowers) rise high, the benzenoids (red fruit) are positioned just below, the terpenes (citrus) even lower and, near the free surface of the liquid, as they are heavier, the norisoprenoids find space.

The slightly closed edge serves to retain the fragrance that tends upwards – the geometric profile of the glass allows the wine to be easily swirled and, in this way, contact between the wine and the interior of the glass is increased.

With this movement a greater expression of the bouquet is obtained due to a slight oxygenation, which allows the evaporation of that thin film of wine, held tightly to the interior structure of the glass by capillary force. The ring of Saturn favours, in the flow of fragrances and scents, a back current that guides the strongly scented molecules to the centre of the glass, with an easy olfactory flow.

The shape of the cup ensures moderate oxygenation and maintains a soft flavour, avoiding the sensation of dryness.

In short this is Calice Meraviglia: the innovative, state of the art original design solution that I created for wine tasting.

 

Donato Lanati
 

1-Reduced diameter in order to retain the most volatile parts of the wine’s bouquet.
 

2-Saturn ring that conveys the flow of medium and low volatility coefficients towards the centre of the headspace (the most important aspect of the bouquet in sophisticated wines).
 

3-After 20 seconds from the pouring, the bouquet and scents become stratified.  After a slight swirling and after about 20 seconds, 30% more is obtained in the centre of the headspace.

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