In Part 1 of Sally Hillman’s Glassware Archives, we wrote in depth about the science behind the shape of a wine glass and the multifactorial and multisensory influences that affect our perception of flavour. As wine tasting is universally appreciated as a highly subjective and idiosyncratic activity inextricably linked to personal experience, emotion and culture, we encouraged all fellow lovers of the vinous table to venture forth and experiment with glassware to find what best suits your palate and preference. It’s exactly what we have done for the past five years, and we’d love to share our experience with you.
So, in Part 2 of our series on the art and science of glassware and wine tasting, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of artisanal French glassware brand Lehmann Glass (our tried-and-trusted favourite!) and provide glassware recommendations for specific types of beverages.
Who is Lehmann Glass?
Since its launch in 2012, Lehmann Glass has become synonymous with oenological excellence and is globally recognised as ‘The Wine Lover’s Label’. Created by Gérard Lehmann, renowned glass designer with over 30 years of experience, and Gérard Basset, sommelier extraordinaire, the French artisanal glassware brand unites expertise, passion and innovation for a transformative tasting experience that rouses a sensuous symphony.
Designed and crafted in Reims, the heartland of Champagne, Lehmann Glass is the official glassware of the tasting rooms and cellars of many Champagne Houses. Their unwavering intention? To emphasise the vision and cuvées of great winemakers, as well as the specialties of craft brewers and beverage experts. To achieve this, Lehmann Glass collaborates exclusively with leading professionals and luminaries (such as sommeliers, cellarmasters, chefs and master glassmakers) to create its entire glassware range—most notably, the visionary Signature Collections.
In 2021, after two years of research and development, Lehmann Glass released its Ultralight glassware to widespread acclaim. The much-admired and sought-after Ultralight range brings together exceptional refinement and extraordinary lightness to deliver the highest of gastronomies and experiences for the world’s finest beverages. A revolutionary design that is as much high art as it is functional, the Ultralight range is available in both mouth-blown and machine-blown options across all Signature Collections.
Apart from the beautiful stories behind each meticulously crafted glass, a key part of our love for Lehmann Glass is their ongoing commitment to sustainability.
Glasses are made exclusively of lead-free crystal, a next-generation material that is environmentally friendly with unique qualities in brilliance and sound. Additionally, the packaging is FSC certified, sourced from forests that are sustainably and responsibly managed, and production emphasises waste reduction and recovery.
Working with master glassmakers chosen for their expertise and ethical standards, Lehmann Glass also works tirelessly with its in-house department to research new materials and develop innovative solutions for sustainable production.
A common thread throughout all Lehmann glassware is their transparency, thinness and smooth finish.
They each have the ability to engage and enhance our senses, offering clean and elegant curves to admire and caress; capturing the exciting, rhythmic sounds of the first pour; illuminating the colourful hues and gradients of beverages and, in the case of champagne, its joyful effervescence; and guiding the smooth delivery to the palate from an ultra-thin, barely-there rim that is immensely pleasurable to hold against the lip.
For over a decade, Lehmann Glass has delivered excellence and exception in service of tasting and the memorable moments that are captured in each glass. A marvel to behold, each curve and angle of Lehmann crystal glassware is precisely sculpted to reflect the brand’s respect for glassmaking tradition and technology, and the advanced scientific discoveries of the 21st century, that contribute to a profound tasting experience.
Rather than assigning a specific glass to a specific grape varietal, Lehmann Glass offers a navigable and demystified glassware range to suit a variety of wine styles. Each glass is painstakingly crafted to maximise tasting potential and respect aesthetic preferences.
Find below our general tips for selecting the best glassware for different wine types, along with our tried-and-trusted Lehmann glassware recommendations.
Red wines fall into three categories defined by their aroma and structure, which conveniently caters to three different styles of glassware.
Full-bodied red wines with high tannins, such as Bordeaux-style red blends and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Structurally, these wines tend to have high alcohol content (≥ 14%). We now know that alcohol vapours rise and surround the rim of the wine glass, which means a broad bowl and wide opening, as well as a considerable distance between the wine and our nose, will allow the harsh gaseous ethanol of these wines to dissipate more effectively, giving us an opportunity to identify the wine’s aromas more distinctly when we sniff from the centre of the glass. A wider opening will also allow for a smooth, even delivery to the palate, which further contributes to the sensation of body.
Medium- to full-bodied red wines with savoury or spicy notes, such as Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Sangiovese.
These wines call for ‘standard’ red wine glasses that are slightly smaller in bowl size and rim opening than the ‘Bordeaux’ glasses described above. A narrower opening permits a gradual flow of savoury and spicy flavours to the palate, which helps to soften the wine’s impact.
Light-bodied red wines with floral notes, such as Burgundy, Pinot noir, Gamay and Nebbiolo.
These wines are delicate with ethereal aromas, which means the glass must have a relatively fuller and wider bowl than both ‘Bordeaux’ and ‘standard’ red wine glasses. A wider bowl enhances aeration to develop the lighter aromas, allowing them to collect at the gently inward sloping rim. The body of the glass should also be relatively shorter than both the ‘Bordeaux’ and ‘standard’ red wine glasses to allow for the detection of more subtle, fragrant aromas due to the nose’s proximity to the wine.
White wines, orange wines (skin-contact white wines) and rosé wines are generally served in smaller glassware than red wines as these glasses reduce the wine’s exposure to air, preserving its naturally crisp profile. Additionally, the stem of white wine glasses is often longer than those of red wine glasses in order to prevent heat transfer. This is important as white, orange and rosé wines are often (best) served colder than red wines.
Full-bodied white wines, such as oaked Chardonnay, Viognier, Rhône blends and orange wines.
Full-bodied white wines typically have a higher alcohol content (≥ 13.5%) than light- to medium-bodied white wines. Therefore, the ideal glassware should have a large bowl and wide rim to help dissipate the alcohol vapours. A wider opening will also allow for a smooth, even delivery to the palate, which further contributes to the sensation of body.
Light- to medium-bodied white wines, such as Sauvignon blanc, Riesling and most rosés.
A smaller bowl and narrower opening will help to preserve the wine’s crisp profile, maintain cooler serving temperatures and retain delicate, floral aromas at the rim. A tall stem will also allow the glass to be held further from the bowl, preventing heat transfer.
For those who prefer keeping just a few sets of glassware which offer value, versatility, high performance and quality, universal glassware is for you! These glasses are classically shaped with a mid-size bowl and tapered lip to precisely reveal the complexities and nuances of all wine styles and varietals, including champagne. They are designed to suit all usages—robust and durable for hospitality and home entertaining, or perfectly light and balanced for special tasting experiences.
Lehmann Glass pairing: F. Sommier Hadrien 45cl or P. Jamesse Synergie 52cl, both machine-made; G. Basset Hommage 45cl or F. Sommier Psyché 56cl, both Ultralight machine-made; or P. Jamesse Synergie 60cl, Ultralight handmade
Whether it is dessert wine, fortified wine, cocktails, spirits or sake, the focus of bar and lounge glassware is on the serving size, aroma, clarity and colour of the beverage, as well as its garnishes. The high alcohol content of these drinks, along with the high sugar levels in dessert wines, naturally calls for smaller serving sizes. Ideal glassware should be small with a narrow opening as this allows the beverage to be presented in its proper serving size while reducing alcohol evaporation from the glass, avoiding the harsh ‘burn’ of alcohol vapours.
When it comes to craft beer, the glassware must also focus on showing off the drink’s frothy head of foam.
Below, we’ve listed the ‘little diversions’ of Lehmann Glass, featuring beautiful Bar & Lounge glassware befitting of any well-rounded home bar or fine-dining establishment.
Craft 44cl, machine-made [ coming soon to Le Shop ]
Born from a collaboration between Lehmann Glass and a team of talented brewers, the Craft glass features a tall, sturdy stem to hold while savouring the many pleasures of a perfectly chilled beer. A wide, angular bowl allows aromas to aerate and magnify under a pleasing crown of frothy foam as the lip curves outwards to deliver an impeccable sip to the back of the palate. Enjoy the full potential of the world’s finest beers and ciders—and even the sublime tastes of pastis and absinthe—with the Craft glass!
A modernized coupe that is aesthetically beautiful yet deceptively generous, Montréal has a lavish bowl that flaunts spirit-forward cocktails and their garnishes with silky weightlessness and confidence. Enjoy a Martini and its infinite variations or a Manhattan, Brandy Alexander, Cosmopolitan and many more!
With its wide, flowing rim and elegant, textured curves, Londres is a classic coupe with a modern twist, designed to inspire creativity, capture imagination and enrich all cocktail experiences. Durable in use and ethereal to hold, present elaborate cocktails on its dreamy, sky-high pedestal, garnish with flair and serve to delight. When it comes to entertaining, Londres is also the perfect coupe for serving delicious degustation desserts, such as chocolate mousse, berry parfait, affogato, fruit trifle, Eton mess and many more!
Sweetly voluptuous, the Grand Réserve gracefully enrobes small yet decadent drinks. Its charming shape is crafted for the finest digestifs, such as Ratafia de Champagne, Armagnac, Calvados, Cognac and Eau de vie. Similarly, this glass is perfectly sized for dessert wines, such as Sauternes, or for colourful, petite cocktails, its statuesque frame and robust design delivering the ultimate vertical visual aesthetic.
Tokyo’s lightweight and stemless silhouette is ideal for fine sake and spirits. A distinctive divot peeks out like an island at the bottom of the bowl to provide an aesthetic balancing point as well as added functionality, allowing complex aromas and flavours to gather as the drink warms slowly in hand.
Combining the confident curves and luxurious physique of the P. Jamesse Signature Collection with handmade Ultralight finesse, the Synergie Saké glass boasts a gently out-turned lip and luxurious physique for naturally aerating fine spirits and sake. Enjoy the delicacies and intricacies of Japanese sake, peated Islay whiskey, premium Oaxaca mezcal, as well as the finest French Armagnac, Calvados, Cognac, Eau de vie and, of course, Ratafia de Champagne.
Delicately weightless and durable, the No 7 complements all table settings at all hours of the day, slipping comfortably around a drink and hugging it tight. This versatile and stylish Ultralight tumbler is the ideal host for water, with or without gas, and aperitif cocktails, such as an afternoon Gin & Tonic or Negroni. Demonstrating great functionality and sophistication, the No 7 will also delight all stemless wine glass devotees.
This tumbler is made for everyday use, giving any beverage a refreshing and inviting appeal. Demonstrating great versatility and sophistication, the Excellence tumbler is ideal for serving water (with or without gas), soft drinks, spirits on the rocks (with or without mixers), and aperitif cocktails, such as an afternoon Gin & Tonic or Negroni. An elegantly flared hip allows for an aromatic and visual appreciation of all drinks, while the rounded, subtly weighted base adds stability and style.
At Sally Hillman, we are proud to offer Australia’s most comprehensive online range of Lehmann Reims ⋅ France glassware, including the revolutionary Ultralight range and Signature Collections, elegant Bar & Lounge pieces, as well as every day, robust and universal glassware for home entertaining and hospitality.
Complimentary with every Lehmann Glass set of 6 is Sally Hillman’s signature microfibre polishing cloth, designed to boost brilliance for that final touch of stemware perfection and to elevate each and every tasting experience.
We are delighted to ship Lehmann glassware to anywhere in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the USA.
Discover the immaculate craftsmanship of Lehmann Glass today.
We’ve saved the best for last. Stay tuned for Part 3 of Sally Hillman’s Glassware Archives, exploring the universe of champagne glassware!
To read about the art and science of glassware and wine tasting, please read Part 1 of our Glassware Archives.