My favorite thing to write about is new businesses that emerge throughout the city centre. Often behind the glossy veil is the story of someone who took a risk, jumping headfirst into the unknown, yet was willing to try because they believed heavily in their innovation and themselves. It can be filled with struggles, financial woes and naysayers, but they remain determined, consistent and true to their vision. It’s beautiful to witness them flourish from the fruits of their labor.
When I sat down with Silvia Tettamanti, the CEO of First Glass, she explained that they were no exception to such struggles. “Italians are traditionalists and rooted in our culture, so it’s hard to bring innovation and change, but I believe that we have always made our choices in a very balanced way, respecting the wine culture, but also appealing to today’s market.” Silvia continued, “We also began at a historic moment with shortages of raw material and price surges. Our first suppliers told us we were doing this at the worst possible time, but we proceeded anyway.”
When you walk into the crisp and straightforward storefront, you are greeted with friendly faces excited to introduce you to their specialty curated wines with a no-snob sommelier vibe. This revolutionary concept allows you the option to explore wines you otherwise would shy away from: single-serve wine for the non-committal or those who fancy just one glass. Silvia mentions that “other beverage industries, such as the cocktail world, have already started to capitalize on this. For example, NIO Cocktails (Needs Ice Only) has had great success with its ready-to-drink mixes and has already expanded to the United States. It’s a trend that responds to a need and a problem in the market, so we decided it was time to go for it.”
Three Italian women with different entrepreneurial skills bonded through their mutual passion for wine and First Glass was born. Their flagship store at lungarno Guicciardini 11R opened in July and the trio of ladies hopes to expand throughout the city with their new and improved version of an enoteca. First Glass is currently working with hotels to provide their beautiful boxes as a welcome gift to top suite guests and for purchase in the minibar and room service, where wine offering tends to be limited. Silvia adds: “It’s perfect for corporate gifting for clients and employees with an option to customize with the company name.”
Before you turn your nose up at the Stelvin cap, Silvia noted, “It’s proven that it maintains aromatic quality more than a cork”. Expect quality selections from local winemakers like Tenuta Montiani’s 2017 Terra Greta, which usually comes with a hefty price tag of upwards of 100 euro, while customers of First Glass can enjoy a taste for a much more desirable price.
Packaged in minimalist navy or burnt orange boxes debossed with a signature monogram, customers can select three or five different wines. The creative sets are a stylish hostess gift that will surely make you the talk of the next dinner party. Cleverly considered, each bottle is travel-friendly at 100ml, 100% Italian-made, recyclable and zero plastic, as well as FSC certified. “We know the words ‘single serve’ don’t go hand in hand with sustainability, but our main commitment is to reuse the bottles in our production cycle. Soon we will be releasing accessories such as spray caps for balsamic and grinders for salt to give a second life to the bottle.”