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These Iconic French Bistro Glasses Are the Swiss Army Knives of Glassware

A staple of Parisian bistro tables since 1945, Duralex’s Gigogne tumblers are perfect for wine, OJ, mixing sauces, and everything else in your pantry.
Duralex gigogne glassware on a blue and red background
Photo by Author

Everyone reaches a slowing point in the curation of their home goods—and that’s not a bad thing! It means they’re settled, and they finally got matching silverware, saved-up for a sectional couch, and accumulated enough glassware for all of their friends to not have to drink out of a mug come aperitivo time. That’s where I’m at, and it feels so good after years of being an apartment grifter hopper in Europe with nothing but a fanny pack filled with ecstasy multivitamins and string cheese to my name. 


As someone who’s trying to buy less, and buy smarter, there’s one specific set of glassware that I know is worthy of being brought into the rotation to my new-ish, established home. I’ve been in my Brooklyn apartment for a little over a year, and while the mismatched drinking glasses have been just fine, they’re not Ina Garten-level cohesive. My four Virgo placements are probably slapping each other in shame right now, while my heart calls out to the iconic Duralex Gigogne bistro glasses that I fell in love with over in [coughs up an unsmoked pack of Gauloises] France. So imagine my joy when I found out they were available in the States:

$22.50$15.77 at Amazon

$22.50$15.77 at Amazon

Look familiar? You probably know Duralex, even if you don’t think you do. The French glassware brand is based out of La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin, which sounds like a Simlish city but is a totally real, picturesque UNESCO heritage site by Orléans. Since its founding in 1945, Duralex has become the go-to glassware for Parisian bistros, with the Picardie and Gigogne glasses becoming the two most iconic styles. They’re stackable, grippable, and almost impossible to break. They’re ideal for a glass of Malbec, orange juice, milk, iced coffee, or whatever else you need. They’re the workhorse of all-purpose glassware, so I smashed that order button to see how they’d fare in a domestic setting, and to bring a wee bit of Paris into my own Bushwick home.


What was rad 

These suckers appear compact, but don’t be fooled: The Gigogne model can accommodate 5.63 ounces of liquid per glass, and holds a solid cup of wine when filled generously. I use mine for OJ, milk, and Chex Party Mix; wine, whiskey, and iced coffee; I use them for storing my errant bobby pins, propagating my plants, and making sauces (Kewpie mayonnaise + sriracha) and vinegary salad dressings. They clean easily, are dishwasher safe, and stack up like good little soldiers in my cabinet on the rare occasion when they’re not being used.  

What was tricky

The reason Duralex’s wares are so strong is because they’re made by heating up the glassware to 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit and then instantly cooled. This gives the glassware twice the impact resistance of regular glass, and made me think I could pour piping hot coffee into it and not feel a thing. While Duralex can take the heat of sudden temperature change (​​from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 212 degrees Fahrenheit) and not shatter, you may want to be careful with SUPER hot liquids as they’ll still get that glass pretty toasty. 


Are you sick of having only mismatched mugs and glassware? Have you accumulated a random surplus of drinking glasses over time that look cool, but clog up your cabinets? It’s not your fault. Hoarding personality glassware is a beautiful and universal addiction, and our Victorian ancestors would be proud to see us sipping pretty from a Shrek mug. But they would also love to see us find the kind of glassware that can serve juice, wine, snacks, sauces, and whatever else your heart desires like a pro. There’s a reason you see Duralex Gigogne glasses at every European brasserie, and it’s because they absolutely do not quit. 

We all have that one Stress Shelf in the kitchen that’s filled with seldom-used cups and dishes, and if you’re looking to downsize your glassware collection by investing in the kind of four-in-one (juice, wine, water, MILK) drinking cups that you can keep until your bones are dust, Duralex is the only way to go. It’s the Swiss Army knife of glassware, and it won’t let you—or your newly spartan cabinets—forget it.   

The Duralex Gigogne drinking glasses are available for purchase on Amazon.

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