Gabriel Glas Gold Crystal Wine Glass: The KnowWines Review

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There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to crystal wine glasses, and it can be overwhelming for wine enthusiasts who are concerned with having “the right” glassware. A common problem is having no specific strategy for purchasing glassware and thus ending up with a mismatched, motley collection.

The Gabriel Glas Gold crystal wine glass did not exist when we started purchasing crystal glassware at KnowWines, but we wish it had.! The Gabriel Glas Gold is our go-to wine glass when enjoying fine wine. If you are looking for one universal wine glass, the Gabriel Glas Gold universal wine glass may be the one for you.  

Things to consider before buying Gabriel Glas Gold

Here’s something to consider: purchasing many different sets of fine glassware to fill perceived niches, like “varietal specific glassware,” for example, is generally a waste of money.  At the other end of the spectrum, cheap glassware can be disappointing when trying to enjoy a fine wine.

The ideal customer for the Gabriel Glas Gold is someone interested in a universal fine wine crystal glassware with the primary purpose of enjoying a fine wine as a solo enthusiast, as a couple, or with a few key fellow wine lovers. Before buying fine crystal glassware, consider how much you want to spend, aesthetics of the glass, the balance of the glass in your hand, and finally, its construction.

The Gabriel Glas Gold

The Gabriel Glas Gold is mouth-blown crystal stemware.  Unlike other fine wine glassware on the market, the Gabriel Glas Gold is constructed of a single piece of mouth-blown glass and is not molded.

The promise of Gabriel Glas is that it is the only wine glass you will need for unbelievable wine enjoyment and for use with any grape varietal. Compared to the market leaders, Gabriel Glas Gold is more decadent and lighter weight.  

The product is for

  • People looking for a universal crystal wine glass for fine wine drinking

  • People looking for a fine wine glass that is hand blown and not molded - eliminating stress points found on much other glassware

  • People looking for a fine wine glass that feels like the extension of one’s own hand

The product is not for

  • People (or their guests) who break glassware easily

  • People looking for variety-specific glassware

  • People looking for cheap glassware for entertaining

Gabriel Glas Gold Features & Benefits

This wine glass is also good for people who want one of the lightest, most delicate feeling wine glasses.

When considering fine crystal glassware, consider pleasurability, construction, cost, shape, universality, durability, and ease of cleaning (and make sure it is lead free!).

What’s the pleasure quotient for Gabriel Glas Gold?

We remember the exact moment when we first experienced the Gabriel Glas Gold. It was in a wine shop cellar in St. Emilion, France.  We were part of a wine tour, and we stayed behind to continue tasting at ETS Wine Shop.

The shape of the glass caught our eye.  We’ve seen a lot of wine glasses, but this one looked particularly sexy and appealing.  When we asked to hold the glass, we could not believe how light it was. Then, the wine shop employee had us taste a white Burgundy wine (at the 20 Euro price point) from two well-known and widely-distributed brands of wine glasses, as well as the Gabriel Glas Gold.  The Gabriel Glas Gold greatly enhanced the aromas of the wine and the delicate feel of the glass enhanced the overall experience. We felt that the wine, in a Gabriel Glas Gold glass, tasted much finer than a 20 Euro white Burgundy. The glasses were so lightweight, in fact, that they seemed to have a little flex to them. Needless to say, everyone who participated in that little tasting went home with boxes of Gabriel Glas Gold wine glasses.  

Why does the shape of the Gabriel Glas Gold matter?

The shape of this wine glass is optimized for inserting your nose into the glass (unlike some glassware, which causes you to contort your neck for this purpose). Getting your nose in the glass is important to appreciate the aromas collecting in the bowl.

In addition to the opening of the bowl, the next thing to pay attention to is the lip.  Wine tasting is often a more pleasant experience with a thin lip because there is less interference between the wine and your mouth.

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Crystal glassware is also preferred when it comes to wine tasting as it has the clearest transparency with which to admire the wine in the glass.  With some molded glassware, you can see where the glassware was sitting in the mold.  

The balance of the glassware in your hand also matters. Heavier glassware can feel tired in your hand.  It is also sexy to hold a glass of wine and feel like you are just holding the wine in your hands, not a heavy container.  This decadent feeling in the hand makes it easier to swirl wines in the glass.  The bowl of the Gabriel Glas Gold glass is a generous 95 mm wide at the widest point.   

Is the Gabriel Glas Gold a Good Value?

For full disclosure, we have to admit that, in the crystal wine glass world, this is a premium glass, especially since it is handmade and imported from Austria.  Like any other luxury purchase, you should consider how often you will be using the item. If this will be your go-to wine glass for years, it’s a great investment when looking at per use cost. That cheap glass sitting in the back of the cabinet is not a good value if it is not getting used!

What are the benefits of mouth-blown glassware?

Handblown glassware differs from molded glassware in that it is almost always constructed of one piece of glass. 

Much commercial glassware is comprised of three parts - the bowl, the stem, and the base.  Three-part construction can be problematic in that stress points are created at the connection between the glass bowl and stem, and again where the stem meets the base.  If you have ever had a wine glass break off at the junction of the bowl and the stem - or at the junction of the stem and the base - then it was likely a molded construction. The Gabriel Glas Gold glass is also lead-free.  

How does one clean Gariel Glas Gold glassware?

The maker says that Gabriel Glas can be washed in the dishwasher.  While we’ve never washed this glassware in the dishwasher we would not be afraid to.

Typically, though, we wash the glassware in the sink using hot water, a thin washcloth, and fragrance-free dish detergent.  Upon removing the glass from the sink, we quickly rinse the glass and then dry it off with a microfiber cloth and polish it.

We store our Gabriel Glas in our closed cabinet (alongside the other lonely glassware that doesn’t get as much use as it once did!).  

If we forget to clean the glass and need to remove any difficult to remove wine deposit, we first use dental appliance cleaner and then clean normally.

How Durable is the Gabriel Glas?

We’ve used this glassware for two years at least weekly, and we’ve yet to have a single glass break or chip.  We’ve even placed the Gabriel Glas wine glass inside its original box and taken the box to the beach to enjoy the glassware and special wines with friends.   

Gabriel Glas Social Proof

We did a fair amount of online research after two years of pain-free glassware enjoyment. We found that many users shared the same sentiments.  

Other users mention that the glassware is pricy but also one of the best wine drinking experiences.  An increasing number of sommeliers at fine restaurants are spokespeople for the Gabriel Glas.

Some users report breaking a glass shortly after use.  We’ve seen no complaints online regarding quality, only user clumsiness.  For those who are afraid to handwash, dishwashing is recommended.  

Gabriel Glas Gold Alternatives

Not ready to splurge on the Gabriel Glas Gold?  There are a few other glasses available that provide similar experiences with a little difference.  

StandArt by Gabriel Glas

So, you’ve read this review and checked out other online reviews that rave about the Gabriel Glas Gold. However, the price is a little steep.  Gabriel does offer a molded glass called the StandArt with the same shape but a slightly heavier feel (145 grams per glass compared to 95 grams per glass).

Zalto DenkArt

Several other online reviewers mention the Zalto glassware as a close second to the Gabriel Glas Gold, with a lower price point. We also own this glassware and enjoy it with heavier red wines if the Gabriel Glas Gold is dirty or occupied with another wine. Also, some might feel less less likely to break this glass when washing. If you like your glassware lead-free, dishwasher safe, but want a more widely distributed glass, the Zalto may be for you.  

 
 

Bella Vino

Still want a lead-free, mouth-blown wine glass that’s made in Europe (this time Switzerland)? Another alternative is the Bella Vino crystal wine glass. In addition to a lower price point, this glass also comes with a limited warranty.  We recommend this one in case you are very clumsy with glassware, or have particularly clumsy guests (hey, accidents happen!).

Gabriel Glas Gold Conclusions

Clearly, we are quite partial to our Gabriel Glas Gold glassware.  It is the sexiest universal crystal wineglass on the market, in our opinion.  

This wine glass is a good option for those enjoying fine wines, as many other crystal glasses on the market are heavier and their weight distracts from the wine drinking experience.  

These wine glasses are good for gift giving as any style of wine can be enjoyed.  There are different set sizes available (1, 2, 6). We also like the story behind the brand and the fact that they are made in Austria by artisans.  

The Gabriel Glas has been durable in the past two years of use.  It is easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. We’re surprised that we haven’t broken one! We’ve received many positive comments on the Gabriel Glas when tasting with friends. It’s not going to look like every other piece of glassware on the market.

Check out this wineglass if you are seeking to upgrade your glassware, replace a collection of mismatched glassware, or are seeking a fine wine glass for that special wedding, anniversary, or promotion present. (And for other great wine gifts, check out our ultimate guide to gifts for wine lovers!).

Cheers!   

The Best Corkscrews and Wine Openers for Wine Lovers

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When it comes to opening a bottle of wine, there are a lot of products out there that can do the job.  Clever kitchen stores and gift shops market all types of wine openers to wine enthusiasts, either for our own use or as gifts.  Don’t fall prey to all those wine keys marketed to the home wine consumer.  

When selecting a wine opener, consider the intended application to select the best wine opener:

  • Will you be traveling with the corkscrew?

  • Do you want to give the best wine key to a sommelier friend achieving her latest certification? 

  • Are you simply looking for a perfect wine opener, one that won’t fail three months from now

  • Are you wanting a double hinged wine key that will fit in your sister’s small hand? 

  • Have you fallen for older wines (with their troublesome older corks!) and so need a traditional Ah So style cork puller?

Start with these questions before selecting a wine opener or corkscrew.

Opening a bottle of wine

Since the invention of the wine bottle and cork in the late 17th century, mankind has been designing and patenting tools for getting corks out of bottles.  

Fast forward to today, where in the United States, about 80% of wine is purchased for home consumption.  That means a lot of wine openers in American homes and a proliferation of different types of wine openers and names for these wine-freeing devices.

Corkscrew innovations are a lot like other kitchen innovations, over-engineered with cheap parts to appeal to the gadget junkie. They often end up collecting dust in the kitchen drawer.  Alternatively, many corkscrews in the grocery store or hotel room are cheap knock-offs meant to be disposable.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite wine corkscrews for all wine consumers. These wine openers will appeal to casual users as well as serious enthusiasts and sommeliers.  

And in case you need an opener for older bottles with fragile corks, we share with you our recommendation for a cork puller. 

Last, we review one electronic wine opener for those with limited hand mobility or weak hands and or wrists.  

Wine Opener Terminology

Hugger Waiter Corkscrew

Hugger Waiter Corkscrew

What is a Waiter’s friend?  Wine Key? Sommelier’s Knife?  Butler’s Friend? Waiter’s Corkscrew?

Don’t be intimidated.  These are all the same thing!

Based upon a German innovation dating back to the late 1880s, this device of many names has been a true friend to sommeliers, waiters, butlers, serious enthusiasts, and casual wine consumers alike.  The design of a sommelier’s knife has not diversified too much since its inception.

We continue to return to this kitchen multi-tool as it is reliable, takes up limited space, and fees robust enough to stand up to the task of liberating that great liquid from the bottle. 

The components of the wine key are the worm (metal helix), the handle, the boot-lever, the foil cutter, and optional bottle cap remover to remove the caps off of sodas or beer.

How To Use a Wine Key

Many wine opening devices on the market aim at simplifying the wine opening process.  In practice, however, it is quite simple to use a wine key to open a bottle of wine. Most of us simply have not been trained on how to open a bottle of wine.  

For an introduction (or refresher!) on wine service, including use of the wine key to open the bottle, check out this video.  

Not too bad, huh?  

How To Open a Bottle of Wine with a Fragile Cork

Perhaps you have an older bottle and the cork just doesn’t look like it will hold together if you apply the force of the wine key worm to it. Or, perhaps you’ve used the waiter’s friend and $#*@!, the cork broke in half and now you are wondering how you are going to get the rest of the remaining cork out.

This is where the cork extractor or cork puller (also colloquially referred to as the Ah So cork puller) comes in handy.

Check out this video on removing fragile corks from older wine bottles or retrieving the lodged piece of a broken cork.

When To Use An Electric Wine Opener

While we recommend the waiter’s friend for most wine opening experiences, we understand that they might not be easy to use for all wine enthusiasts.  

We are all differently abled when it comes to manual dexterity.  If you find removing the foil on the bottle, opening or closing the corkscrew, manipulating the worm and/or levering the cork out of the bottle painful or impossible, you may want to consider using an electric wine opener.

For our recommendation on the best electric opener, keep reading!

Our Wine Opener Recommendations

Best Waiter’s Friends

Hugger Waiter ABS Handle Corkscrew with Serrated Blade

Our favorite classic black corkscrew is this Franmara Hugger from Italy.  The worm is nickel-plated with an etched line running down the spiral. The stainless steel serrated knife cuts through foil easily. The ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) handle is solid.  ABS plastic is quite similar to the strong and smooth three-polymer plastic used in LEGO building blocks and computer keyboards.  

 The corkscrew also features a two-step boot lever. The wine opener is built like a tank, and fits in the hand like a comfortable knife.  

This type of wine key is common in restaurants, wineries, and at catered events so home wine enthusiasts can rest assured that it will last a long time and can be replaced easily if lost. The black matte finish of the handle gives it a classic look.  

Pros: 

  • The wine key’s larger size fits well in large hands

  • The serrated knife is large and can double for opening boxes

Cons:

  • Plastic handle might feel industrial to home users

  • The wine key’s larger size might feel too big in smaller hands


Pulltap's Genuine Classic 500 Double-Hinged Lever Waiters Wine Corkscrew Bottle Opener

Next up is Pulltap’s wine corkscrew from Barcelona, Spain.  This one’s strong reputation for durability makes it one of the most replicated corkscrews, so beware of imitations with names similar to Pulltap!

The Pulltap has a solid body and a strong nickel-plated double-hinged lever. This body/handle has a smooth, ergonomic feel to it. The worm is teflon coated, which makes it great for both natural and synthetic corks.  

Pros:

  • Ergonomic handle great for opening a lot of wines at a time

  • Retractable teflon coated worm good for natural and synthetic corks

  • This corkscrew is available in multiple colors including classic and trending colors

Cons:

  • Smaller sized handle not ideal for large or extra-large hands

  • The stainless steel foil cutter blade is a little on the small side


Laguiole en Aubrac Wine Opener with Juniper Handle

If you (or a lucky recipient) wants a handmade corkscrew from France, Laguiole wine openers come with a wide array of handles including bone, stone, and specialty woods. The metal components are forged in France in mills near Thiels.  The craftsmen making these knives typically apprentice between one and three years. 

Each individual knife is handmade by artisans from southern France and each is truly a piece of art.  Laguiole is not a brand name, rather it is a generic name for a knife originating from Laguiole village. There are several markings on these knives that are of interest: a fly (la mouche) engraved on the springhead; a cross (Shepherd's cross) used by shepherds for prayer; and signature engraving on the spine of the knife - unique to the knife-maker.  

Pros:

  • Hand crafted in France by skilled artisans

  • Corkscrew and foil cutter forged from Sandvik brushed stainless steel

Con:

  • Can be a little “stiff” to use when new, making it difficult to use at first if you are opening a lot of bottles in an evening

  • Single pull corkscrew (some people prefer double-stage corkscrew)


Best Key Chain Bottle Opener

Munkees 3-in-1 Mini Keychain Corkscrew & Bottle Opener Tool with Knife

If you are looking for a well made corkscrew to keep on your keychain (ideal for outdoor pursuits), the Munkees Mini Corkscrew might be the best wine key for camping.  With this easy to carry 3-inch mini corkscrew, you will never have to research again “How to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.”

In addition to being a corkscrew on a chain, the device has a bottle cap opener and a sharp knife.  The tip of the corkscrew is secured and covered by the bottle cap opener.   

Pros:

  • Small size 

  • Can carry on keychain

  • 30-day free return

Cons:

  • Does not have double-action or single-action lever - will need to use brute force to pull the cork out with the T-handle.


Best Cork Puller

Monopol Westmark Germany Steel Two-Prong Cork Puller with Cover

This cork puller is great when you need to uncork old vintage wine.  These two-prong cork pullers go by many names, including Ah-So cork puller, Butler’s Thief, Butler’s Friend, or Ah-So style Waiter’s Friend.  

To use one of these cork extractors, simply use a knife or foil cutter to remove the foil from the top of the wine bottle.  Hold the neck of the bottle firmly and insert the longest prong onto one side of the cork between the cork and the inside neck of the bottle, followed by the shortest prong.  Wiggle the extractor prongs while pushing downwards on the hand. Once the cork puller prongs are firmly tweezing the cork, slowly turn the cork puller while holding the bottle to extract the cork.  Check out our video here:  


This particular cork puller is made in Germany and comes in an esthetically pleasing little black box with plush interior, making it a great gift.  The steel prongs and die cast metal ergonomic handle and cover means it will likely outlast all of us! It comes with a five-year warranty.  

Pros:

  • Cork is not damaged during extraction, reducing the chances that little bits of cork crumbs fall into the bottle

  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Requires a little wiggling and pulling, which might be difficult for some with carpal tunnel or other wrist dexterity challenges


Best electric wine opener

Electric Wine Opener Rechargeable Automatic Corkscrew Wine Bottle Opener with Foil Cutter & USB Charging Cable Stainless Steel by Flasnake

While at KnowWines we prefer the classic styles of the waiter’s friend and cork extractors, we know that some wine consumers want or need an electric wine opener.  If you suffer from carpal tunnel, wrist pain, a broken arm, or have use of only one hand, classic wine openers won’t suffice.

In an electric wine opener, we looked for ease of use, sleek design aesthetics, noise level, and warranty.

This wine opener is very easy to use.  One simply needs to cut the foil using the included (free!) foil cutter, then use the down and up arrows on the electric wine opener to first insert the screw then retract the cork from the bottle.  We also liked the energy efficiency of the device - one can open up to 80 bottles on one full charge!

Pros:

  • Attractive beige box - great for gift-giving

  • Quiet

  • Contemporary stainless steel housing

  • Pretty blue and red lights light up during operation

  • Takes 100 - 240 V


The Wine Bottle Opener Round-Up

For almost all bottle opening applications, the classic Waiter’s Friend corkscrew will suffice.  

When selecting the best bottle opener, consider the user and the situation(s) in which bottles will be opened.

In the wine bar and restaurant community, you’ll find our first two picks for good reasons. The Hugger has the feel of a good multi-purpose chef’s knife, while the Pulltap feels like a great paring knife.  They are a good balance of cost and quality - if you lose one, it isn’t the end of the world.

For those looking for a gift for a serious wine collector or a sommelier achieving his/her most recent wine award, the Laguiole wine opener is a lifetime investment and celebration of enduring craftsmanship.  

Outdoor enthusiasts and college students will find the Monkees corkscrew and bottle combination with keychain a practical tool.

And for those who love the ease of use of an electronic wine opener, who may be suffering from carpal tunnel or arthritis, the Flasnake Electronic Wine Opener is a great choice.

We hope this blog helps you choose just the right corkscrew for yourself or a friend. For more great wine gift ideas, check out our ultimate guide to gifts for wine lovers.

Cheers!