ŒNOLOGY is a series introduced by Baccarat in 1997, signifying the art of winemaking. Developed in collaboration with oenologists and sommeliers, the series is distinguished by its functionality in bringing out the profound allure of beverages to the fullest. Among these, GRANDS BLANCS is a glass designed for white wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux. Its crystal-clear, egg-shaped form beautifully reflects vibrant hues, vividly showcasing distinctions in grape varieties, aging periods, and origins. The generously sized glass with elegant weight enhances the extraction of delicate and intricate aromas, while its narrowed rim concentrates the bouquet without dispersing its essence.
This glass, admired for its charm, has been specially reissued at the request of ARTS & SCIENCE. The base bears the engravings of both “Baccarat” and “ARTS & SCIENCE.”
Baccarat ŒNOLOGY GRANDS BLANCS with Masanobu Egami
Based in Okazaki, Kyoto, Caviste Masanobu Egami of “ethelvine” communicates the charm of wines that express the land and grapes. Mr. Egami, who is known for enjoying wine at home, shares his thoughts on the relationship between glasses and wine, focusing on the Baccarat “ŒNOLOGY” series’ GRANDS BLANCS.
Glasses serve as a medium that can alter the way we perceive wine. Occasionally, discussions about glasses arise with colleagues and friends, with the fundamental premise being that “the wine itself doesn’t change.” It would seem obvious that pouring wine into a particular glass doesn’t enhance the quality of the wine itself, and vice versa. However, it’s essential to recognize that the medium of the glass indeed has the power to influence how we experience the wine.
True to its name, the Baccarat GRANDS BLANCS glass was crafted specifically for white wines, but I find myself using it for sparkling wines like Champagne and, at times, red wines with gentle tannins. This time, prompted by this discussion, I decided to pour the same white wine into both the GRANDS BLANCS and another handmade glass to compare the experience. Freshly poured, the wine in the other glass was overwhelmingly alluring. On the other hand, GRANDS BLANCS, with its slightly understated impression, gradually reveals its full character as time passes. It’s not a bold unveiling but a refined unfolding, different from a robust explosion of aroma. This is purely my assessment based on my cranial structure (laughs).
I highly recommend having a collection of glasses you love at home, as it greatly enriches your daily life. The reasons and criteria for choosing glasses are not limited to the taste of the wine alone. Even with the same wine, whether you’re drinking alone or with friends can make a difference. Interestingly, I use GRANDS BLANCS for sweet potato shochu as well. I feel that the liquid contains the terroir of the sweet potato plant and the land along the sea in the western part of Kagoshima where the brewery is located. It’s the only shochu introduced at ethelvine, and when sipping it straight, this glass pairs exceptionally well. I used to think that Baccarat was too noble for me, but now I enjoy these glasses in my everyday life.
Photos by Makoto Ito / Text by Kei Sasaki
Founded in 1764, Baccarat has, over centuries, seen artisans akin to alchemists utilizing their talents in the factory located in Baccarat village, France. Currently, 13 artisans holding the title of “M.O.F. (Meilleur Ouvrier de France)”—the highest French craftsmen award—are part of the team. These craftsmen, blending traditional techniques with a modern essence, consistently showcase the pinnacle of craftsmanship, producing new masterpieces day by day.
Born in Osaka in 1974. After working for a wine trading company in Osaka, he returned to Kyoto, where he spent his university years, in 1999. After working at a wine shop, he started ethelvine in 2006. In 2018, he opened the restaurant DUPREE near the shop.