Kitchen

Picardie 12 oz Clear Tumbler

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The original French tumbler, made by the company that invented tempered glass

Duralex is a French manufacturer of glassware, tableware and cookware. Picardie is one of the lines of of glassware they sell, and it is actually somewhat famous on their own, for good reason. I have had sets of the 3 3/4 oz. and the 12 oz. glasses for about 12 years.

The good:

  • They are made from tempered glass, like car windshields, so they are tough and resistant to breaking and chipping. They will survive most falls from table-height, even onto stone or tile floors. In fact I have yet to break one, and I have gone through perhaps six wine glasses in the same time. When they do break, they break into little squarish pebbles rather than sharp shards. (But that is not unique to Duralex.)
  • They come in nine different sizes, from little 3 oz. Old-Fashioned glasses to 16 oz. tumblers.
  • They are relatively thin and light, their strength notwithstanding.
  • They nest and stack nicely.
  • The faceted, swelling design makes the glasses easy to hold, even for small hands, and even when wet.
  • They have an absolutely classic design. They might be the only glasses that people will actually recognize. I saw something very like them in a painting by van Gogh.

The bad:

  • There are no bads as such. They might only be the second toughest glasses there are (the first might be the Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar line, which resembles the Picardie line, but doesn’t have exactly the same familiar design. Especially, the lip is thicker, which makes them subtly less comfortable to drink from.) The Libbey Gibraltar glasses are similar but made of thicker glass, which makes them heavier. Some people might like that, especially for sipping whiskey. But they don’t stack.

In sum, Duralex Picardie glasses are a design classic that look as good in a 18th century Provence kitchen as a sleek London flat. They are also durable, light, comfortable, and cheap. They don’t have any real flaws.

-- Karl Chwe 06/17/16