Create. Reveal. Evolve.

Flavor First Intuitive Line of Wine Glassware Released in US Market

5 January, 2021

Contact: Kimberly Noëlle Charles
Charles Communications Associates
415.730.0064 |
Flavor First™ Intuitive Line of Wine Glassware Released in US Market
Designed by lauded wine expert and author Karen MacNeil in collaboration with
Anchor Hocking a division of  The Oneida Group  and Senior Vice President of  Design,  Paul Gebhardt

St. Helena, California,  January 5, 2021 For the first time ever, a line of glassware designed around the flavor of wine has been released to trade and consumers in the United States. The set of three glasses corresponds to three key  flavor/styles found in wine: Crisp & Fresh™, Creamy & Silky™ and Bold & Powerful™, intuitively putting the power of glass selection in the hands of  wine consumers and gatekeeper trade professionals.  

Liberating and simple in premise, the Flavor First™ line of glassware was meticulously designed over three years by wine expert and lauded author Karen MacNeil in collaboration with Senior Vice President of  Design & Creative Director , Paul Gebhardt of Anchor Hocking a division of  The Oneida Group, the long-trusted producer of fine table and kitchenware to homes and restaurants worldwide since 1880.  

Their idea was simple—design wine glasses around wine flavor, not around wine regions or wine varietals. Taking into consideration the architecture of the glass, the nature of the human palate, and the desire of consumers and food service professionals to simplify this complex subject, MacNeil and Gebhardt  had an “aha” moment together at a wine training Karen conducted for The Oneida Group. Why, they asked,  wasn’t there a stem that took the overthinking out of  glassware? Why not focus on the fundamental pleasure and flavor of wine itself?    

Trials, tastings, iterations over time and the testing of 40 different design options yielded a stunningly simple solution. MacNeil stated, “As a writer and wine teacher who’s taught thousands of people how to taste and evaluate wine, I listen carefully to how people talk about wine and the words they use.  Most people are non-technical and use words such as bold reds’ or creamy Chardonnays’ to describe what they like. In other words, they use flavor words.” 

Always academic and thoughtful in her approach to her endeavors, Karen looked at 35 major grape varieties and realized that the most important variable in wine flavor  had to do with  where the widest part of the glass was.  As she states, “Oxygen has a profound effect on wine. For each of our three glasses, the  widest part of the glass is at a different position.”

Gebhardt, said of the collaboration, “Karen and her team are amazing, and together we made the idea a reality. Along with flavor as a driver of form, I wanted to create a line that had as many back-of-the-house operational advantages as possible. The design needed to be easy to live with at home, as well as  in a commercial operation, both of which are key audiences for our company.”  

Importantly, the vessels were designed to withstand the daily use for operators and as such are dishwasher safe. While each glass is endowed with a precision bowl shape and a thin rim typically reserved for glassware three times the price, the sturdy construction and the carefully calibrated pulled stem ensure that the glasses will endure throughout service. All three stems are the same height, making a seamless presentation for a wine tasting or meal with different pairings, ease of storage and streamlined ware washing.  The glasses are American designed and  made in Germany from lead-free crystal.  

The Flavor First™  collection has 3 distinct glasses to maximize bold & powerful, crisp & fresh and creamy & silky flavors, while reducing your glassware inventory:

Crisp & Fresh™ for Champagne, prosecco, sparkling wine, sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot grigio plus light rosés and all wines with a fresh, bright quality

Creamy & Silky™ for  chardonnay, chenin blanc, pinot gris plus richer rosé wines and pinot noir, Chianti, shiraz and all wines with a round and/or silky texture

Bold & Powerful™ for  very full-bodied oaky chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, merlot, Bordeaux, zinfandel, malbec, Barolo, syrah and all wines that feature a bold texture and firm structural backbone   

Petite Stem:  Designed for more casual settings, a next generation version of the stemless glass but importantly, with a foot to allow for swirling and easier handling of the glass.  Also great for beer, iced tea, select cocktails such as a classic Gin & Tonic or even as a water goblet   

Karen MacNeil Flavor First™  is available for Foodservice customers in case packs of 24 under Anchor Hocking’s new Premium Brand called SAPORUS.  Anchor Hocking’s SAPORUS products are launching nationally through all major foodservice distributors.

About Karen MacNeil
Noted writer, author, and educator Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English language. These include the James Beard award for Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year, the Louis Roederer award for Best Consumer Wine Writing, and the International Wine and Spirits award as the Global Wine Communicator of the Year.  In a full-page profile on her, TIME Magazine called Karen “America’s Missionary of the Vine.” In 2018, Karen was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Wine.”  Karen’s firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized corporate events and wine tours around the world for companies and individual groups. Among Karen’s corporate clients are Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Disney, General Electric, UBS, and Singapore Airlines, as well as numerous law and biotech firms.
Karen is the co-creator and Chairman Emerita of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, which has been called “the Harvard of wine education.” More information about Karen can be found at

About The Oneida Group & Anchor Hocking Foodservice

Founded in 1905, Anchor Hocking is a leading designer, marketer and manufacturer of a comprehensive portfolio of quality drinkware, barware, jars, storage containers, serveware and more. With a focus on innovation and quality, the Anchor Hocking foodservice portfolio boasts products that are functional, yet beautiful. The glass is made tough to last in the foodservice industry, but also aesthetically pleasing to enhance the dining experience for guests. Anchor Hocking manufactures substantially all of its products at the company’s facilities in the United States. 

Flavor First™ is the first in the line for the brand SAPORUS, The Oneida Group’s Anchor Hocking Foodservice new premium brand devoted to  the appreciation of flavor. Partnering with Karen MacNeil, wine expert and author of The Wine Bible,  the Flavor First™  collection is the first to be designed based on what matters most—a wine’s FLAVOR.  With guests, sommeliers, and operators in mind: SAPORUS is redesigning the wine experience.

The Oneida Group is a leading global marketer of tabletop and food preparation products for the consumer and foodservice markets. With a comprehensive line of tabletop and food preparation products  globally under a broad range of consumer brands.   Karen MacNeil’s range of stemware falls under both the consumer facing Oneida and the trade focused Anchor Hocking SAPORUS division of foodservice.  Customers range from Fortune 500 companies to medium and small-sized companies in the consumer, foodservice, business-to-business, and E-commerce channels. The company operates two glass manufacturing plants in the U.S. and sources a variety of proprietary designed tableware products. Visit for more information.

For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles at Charles Communications Associates at or 415.730.0064.