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Fusion Classic Wine Glass Leads to “Con” Fusion

Elegant European Stemware Comes With Impressive Guarantee…But

Around this wine writer’s house, wine glasses have a limited life span. High quality glasses enhance the beauty and flavor of wine but they’re more delicate than a bride’s emotions on her wedding day. Both must be treated tenderly or they’ll get hurt.

But a quality vessel is so important to enhancing the wine drinking experience one should be willing to buy and set aside a few special glasses. Think it doesn’t make a difference? Try sipping your next fine wine out of two different vessels; a crystal glass and a fruit juice glass. Then draw your own conclusion. Like all products, quality makes a difference.

And so it was that for several months I eyed an ad in the Wine Enthusiast catalog for a glass called the Fusion Classic. It came in six different models depending on the type of wine you intended to use it for. I elected to purchase the Chardonnay glass because I think it’s useful as an all-purpose vessel…whites and reds look and taste great in it. I paid $49.95 for four, including free shipping.

Equally important, the glass was touted as break-resistant. Specifically, the ad read: “European crystal is fused with super-strong magnesium to form a durable, lightweight, graceful wine glass. Science meets sophistication, and the result is shatterproof.” Hmmmm.

But I couldn’t lose with the purchase since the stemware comes with a 10-year replacement policy. Ten years. Break a Fusion glass and get a replacement at no cost. So I placed my order and waited eagerly for the UPS truck to come lumbering up my driveway.

Fast forward two months after my original purchase. I have now broken four of the glasses. I cannot say they are the original four since I was being sent replacements almost as fast as I was breaking them. And how did they meet their demise?

 Glass #1 was pulled from my overhead glass rack with a piece missing. I have no idea how it broke.

 Number #2 was tipped over as I reached for a piece of cheese on our deck dining table. It was no violent lunge. My hand simply grazed the glass, it tipped over and I was back on the phone talking with my growing number of friends at Wine Enthusiast.

 Glass #3 was being withdrawn from the dishwasher when an adjoining plate bumped it. Krack!

 The fourth casualty occurred as I gently hand washed the inside of the victim with a sponge. Pop! “Hello, customer service?”

The most amazing thing about this experience is the folks at Wine Enthusiast could not have been more helpful and responsive in sending me a replacement glass. No questions. No challenges. No arguments. Simply, “Is the mailing address the same as the original order?”

At the moment, I am waiting for the arrival of my fourth replacement. I hope it comes quickly. I’d love to have all four of the glasses in my house at one time.

Before I posted this blog, I contacted Wine Enthusiast and advised them I was going to write on my experience. Here’s the response I received back the same day:

Dear Mr. Hagarty,

We apologize that you are not happy with your Fusion glasses. We rarely hear of so much breakage from one customer, and more often than not we hear how happy customers are with these glasses. Although the glasses are break resistant, they ARE still glass, so they still must be handled with care indicative of glass, not polycarbonate glasses. These glasses are covered under warranty, so if you would like replacements to be sent to you please feel free to call 800 648 6058 and someone will be happy to assist you.

Thank you,

/s/ a customer service manager

Impressive, eh? I certainly will continue to do business with the firm in the future.

But, if we happen to meet in the year 2021, ask me how many Fusion glasses I have gone through. By my rough calculation I could be on my 160th replacement by then. Yet again, my treatment of the stemware is getting gentler each day.

FOR MORE TALES FROM THE VINE TO THE WINE VISIT HAGARTY-ON-WINE.COM

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Fusion Classic Wine Glass Leads to Con Fusion

Elegant European Stemware Comes With Impressive Guarantee…But

Around this wine writers house, wine glasses have a limited life span. High quality glasses enhance the beauty and flavor of wine but theyre more delicate than a brides emotions on her wedding day. Both must be treated tenderly or theyll get hurt.

But a quality vessel is so important to enhancing the wine drinking experience one should be willing to buy and set aside a few special glasses. Think it doesnt make a difference? Try sipping your next fine wine out of two different vessels; a crystal glass and a fruit juice glass. Then draw your own conclusion. Like all products, quality makes a difference.

And so it was that for several months I eyed an ad in the Wine Enthusiast catalog for a glass called the Fusion Classic. It came in six different models depending on the type of wine you intended to use it for. I elected to purchase the Chardonnay glass because I think its useful as an all-purpose vessel…whites and reds look and taste great in it. I paid $49.95 for four, including free shipping.

Equally important, the glass was touted as break-resistant. Specifically, the ad read: European crystal is fused with super-strong magnesium to form a durable, lightweight, graceful wine glass. Science meets sophistication, and the result is shatterproof. Hmmmm.

But I couldnt lose with the purchase since the stemware comes with a 10-year replacement policy. Ten years. Break a Fusion glass and get a replacement at no cost. So I placed my order and waited eagerly for the UPS truck to come lumbering up my driveway.

Fast forward two months after my original purchase. I have now broken four of the glasses. I cannot say they are the original four since I was being sent replacements almost as fast as I was breaking them. And how did they meet their demise?

Glass #1 was pulled from my overhead glass rack with a piece missing. I have no idea how it broke.

Number #2 was tipped over as I reached for a piece of cheese on our deck dining table. It was no violent lunge. My hand simply grazed the glass, it tipped over and I was back on the phone talking with my growing number of friends at Wine Enthusiast.

Glass #3 was being withdrawn from the dishwasher when an adjoining plate bumped it. Krack!

The fourth casualty occurred as I gently hand washed the inside of the victim with a sponge. Pop! Hello, customer service?

The most amazing thing about this experience is the folks at Wine Enthusiast could not have been more helpful and responsive in sending me a replacement glass. No questions. No challenges. No arguments. Simply, Is the mailing address the same as the original order?

At the moment, I am waiting for the arrival of my fourth replacement. I hope it comes quickly. Id love to have all four of the glasses in my house at one time.

Before I posted this blog, I contacted Wine Enthusiast and advised them I was going to write on my experience. Heres the response I received back the same day:

Dear Mr. Hagarty,

We apologize that you are not happy with your Fusion glasses. We rarely hear of so much breakage from one customer, and more often than not we hear how happy customers are with these glasses. Although the glasses are break resistant, they ARE still glass, so they still must be handled with care indicative of glass, not polycarbonate glasses. These glasses are covered under warranty, so if you would like replacements to be sent to you please feel free to call 800 648 6058 and someone will be happy to assist you.

Thank you,

/s/ a customer service manager

Impressive, eh? I certainly will continue to do business with the firm in the future.

But, if we happen to meet in the year 2021, ask me how many Fusion glasses I have gone through. By my rough calculation I could be on my 160th replacement by then. Yet again, my treatment of the stemware is getting gentler each day.

FOR MORE TALES FROM THE VINE TO THE WINE VISIT HAGARTY-ON-WINE.COM

I have Schott Zweisel Tritans ("Diva" (Claret Burgundy and Bordeaux the latter of which is approximately the same size as a Reidel Sommelier but not quite as thin; the former is a fishbowl sized glass) and now have approximately three years of experience with these glasses. I use at least one glass every day with most days averaging more, whether from sharing with neighbors and friends, dinner or a special event. I also WASH THEM EVERY NIGHT IN OUR DISHWASHER.

One breaks every six months.

I cannot rave about these glasses enough. Some of mine I bought in Munich, some I bought from the Wine Enthusiast. I love this glass. While it is not quite on the level of a Reidel Sommelier, I prefer it to the Fusion glasses and every other wine glass I have found including Reidel Vinum and the former Vinum Extremes. As an everyday glass it is without peer. They are approximately $15 a glass whether from the Wine Enthusiast or Amazon.com or elsewhere.

I personally don't like the appearance of the Fusion glasses. I've no experience with them other than having used them in several restaurants. Still, I cannot rave about the Schott Zweisel Tritan glasses enough.

I should also note that I have something of a collection of decanters and glasses including Moser, Topazio, Meissen Bleikristall and Baccarat among others. The ones I am most proud of are the Meissen Bleikristall which arguably are the finest engraved glasses in the world. I've also met the woman who did them in East Germany.

They are frighteningly expensive. I would never consider washing one in a dishwasher and when handling one, am almost petrified of breaking it. Still, I use them-very carefully. If I did break one I cannot imagine contacting Moser et al and asking for a replacement.

I would just be more careful. In the meantime I would consider buying Tritans.

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I have Schott Zweisel Tritans ("Diva" (Claret Burgundy and Bordeaux the latter of which is approximately the same size as a Reidel Sommelier but not quite as thin; the former is a fishbowl sized glass) and now have approximately three years of experience with these glasses. I use at least one glass every day with most days averaging more, whether from sharing with neighbors and friends, dinner or a special event. I also WASH THEM EVERY NIGHT IN OUR DISHWASHER.

One breaks every six months.

I'm very glad to read this. I became tired of breaking our glasses, so I bought a dozen of the Tritans at Fortessa's warehouse sale a couple of months ago. I haven't used them yet because I was waiting for the last of the old glasses to be broken, but hearing that they can go through the dishwasher makes me think I should just pack up the old ones, take them to Goodwill, and bring out the Tritans.

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I'm very glad to read this. I became tired of breaking our glasses, so I bought a dozen of the Tritans at Fortessa's warehouse sale a couple of months ago. I haven't used them yet because I was waiting for the last of the old glasses to be broken, but hearing that they can go through the dishwasher makes me think I should just pack up the old ones, take them to Goodwill, and bring out the Tritans.

You can also buy a little box like tubular rubber frame which the glasses hang from in the dishwasher. Using this I have NEVER had a glass break because they simply don't come in contact with any other glass or a dish. But I wash them both with the frame and without-you just have to be careful. Fortessa is great for these because they cut so much off of their price.

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My wine glass selection display looks like the "seconds" shelf at a crystal outlet store. At dinner parties, the stemware makes the table look kitschy-cool "who needs to be all matchy-matchy?".

My glass breakage is equal to my consumption rate. After the second b ottle, even drinking out of Mason jars would not help.

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The sell Schott-Zweisel glasses at Paul's in Friendship Heights (on Wisconsin next door to Sur la Table). When they haven't had the size I wanted, they have ordered them for me. Cheaper than the per-glass price that Joe H. lists above. My Reidels are no longer being replaced when they break. The S-Zs almost never break and I also put them in the dishwasher. They are terrific.

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I haven't used them yet because I was waiting for the last of the old glasses to be broken, but hearing that they can go through the dishwasher makes me think I should just pack up the old ones, take them to Goodwill, and bring out the Tritans.

Or perhaps pass them off to a fellow DR'er who might need them? Although, the down side is there is no tax break...

(I have been thinking of a freecycle/DR swap at the picnic, though...)

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The sell Schott-Zweisel glasses at Paul's in Friendship Heights (on Wisconsin next door to Sur la Table). When they haven't had the size I wanted, they have ordered them for me. Cheaper than the per-glass price that Joe H. lists above. My Reidels are no longer being replaced when they break. The S-Zs almost never break and I also put them in the dishwasher. They are terrific.

Zora, you Jonathan, Carol and I should investigate the durability of some of these glasses. I'll put up the wine if you'll put up the dishwasher!

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I've also been using the S-Z Tritans for years. I go through a set of six every three years and buy them online. They go in the dishwasher, as I never get anything for the kitchen that requires kid gloves and I drink far too much wine to have it any other way in what JC referred to as a servant-less household. They are durable, retain their clarity well (though this is more a question of your water hardness, dishwasher type, and detergent) and are available in the right sizes. I really wouldn't think of buying anything else.

ETA: correct breakage rate.

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Heads-up on a sale. If you subscribe to Fortessa's emails and are looking for some Tritan stemware, there was a coupon this morning for a set of 24 Ivento glasses. Six each of the red, white, Champagne and Bordeaux for $130, which is amazingly inexpensive at about five and a half bucks a glass. If they move as they usually do, the coupon will show up on Facebook and their website later today.

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