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Bottega del Vino Crystal

Made from hand blown crystal without lead, the glassware is light yet durable, and enhances the taste of wines.

By Simone Zarmati Diament

A couple of months ago, actually a few days before the first VINITALY MIAMI Tour 2008, in February, as I was preparing to travel to Italy for the VINITALY Fair in Verona, I met Severino Barzan, or just Severino as everyone calls him. The owner of the restaurant Bottega del Vino, the oldest restaurant in Verona dating back to the Middle Ages - famous not only for its food and for its clientele but for its selection of wines - and in New York, was having lunch and tasting wines at Cefalo’s in Coconut Grove.

In a gesture of grandeur typically Italian I was invited to try Veronese specialties and pair them with wines and his own brand of wine glasses: Bottega del Vino Crystal. “How come,” I asked, “you aren’t using Riedel glasses?” Bottega del Vino had been using them, like every other self-respecting wine destination, but “the problem,” said Severino, “was that the large, thin rimmed glasses made from lead crystal were extremely fragile and this created an economic hardship on Bottega del Vino, which is open almost 24 hours a day, so we decided to make our own.”

Back in 1996, he created hand blown glassware from crystal without lead, stems light yet durable, which intensify and enhance the taste of wines. “And they don’t break?” I enquired admiring the simple, elegant, tall-stemmed hand-made wine glasses. “That’s what we use at Bottega and we wash them in the dish washer,” Severino replied.

The reason they won’t break easily is that they are blown by hand from a single piece of thus the stem is not separated from the bulb. To see how they actually make them, log on to:

A variety of shapes and sizes is available in the United States. For more information, log on to or call Robert Hall at 312-829-6750.

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