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Glassware


pariah_kerry
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I have a set of Riedel Bordeaux glasses. The lip is extremely thin, the bowl itself formidable, and makes a pleasant "ping" when struck. Anyone else have a fetish for nice glassware? Any thoughts on the 'proper wine glass' enhancing the wine?

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You bet! I have four sets of wine glasses, one with colored stems that match the ring on one set of dishes. I recently bought the Speiglau wine glasses that were on special through Amazon. One set for Bordeaux have large bowls and small openings, and one set of white wine glasses. They are shaped beautifully and feel very good in your hand. One set of Lalique glasses I put out only when there are sure handed people eating with us. :biggrin: They have a lovely shape and the stem has a small frosted sculpture of nude women (one of Lalique's trademark designs).

I am looking for a good set of champagne flutes. Most of them hold too little. I am using a set of small pilsner glasses that work pretty well.

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Personally I refuse to buy anything you can't put in a dishwasher so very expensive glassware is out for me. The quality of the actual glass makes no difference whatsoever to the flavour of the wine. This is not to say that wine doesn't look and feel a lot better in high quality glasses.

The shape of the glass can be important for red wines-a deep bowl with enough space between the wine and the top of the glass to let you get your nose in. Flutes hold the fizz for sparkling wines for longer but personally I don't like them as I prefer the fizz to subside.

I believe the sahpe of the glass makes little or no difference to the flavour of white wines or fortified wines.

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Personally I refuse to buy anything you can't put in a dishwasher so very expensive glassware is out for me.

But glasses of any quality end up going cloudy if put in the dishwasher, so you must get through them more quickly, no?

Like Tony, I don't have expensive glasses. But this is mainly because I break them on a regular basis.

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FG, at the rate I break wine glasses, yes.

edit: this isn't a profound conviction. When I'm feeling flush I may well start buying nicer wine glasses. But at the moment it's not high up my list. I still haven't found my fuzzy logic rice cooker yet.

Edited by Kikujiro (log)
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I would define Spiegelau as not expensive as compared to Riedel. Especially if you can pick them up on sale. A set of 6 Burgandy glasses for $44.95 (Spiegelau) vs $94.95 for 6 of the Riedel. I enjoy drinking and tasting wine, though drinking out of the expensive glasses is nice and "makes you feel good", I think you can get the same enjoyment out of the lower costing glass.

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I don't own fine glassware, but I wish I did. When I'm in a restaurant with good glasses, I often spend ages tipping my glass back and forth, marvelling at the perfect balance and staring at the splendidly thin rim. To me, it does make a bit of a difference to the whole wine-drinking experience if not to the taste itself. Not as big a difference as there is between drinking wine from a cheap coffee mug and from a normal wine glass though!

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You don't have to get the handmade Reidels. There are also machine made glasses that are much cheaper, but still have all the benefits: large bowl, no bead of glass on the lip, proper shape to accentuate the particular wine or variety of grape. The machine one are just not 24% lead crytsal and are not made by hand.

However, I have found that they break just as easily. :blink:

If you are serious about wine, then I think it only makes sense to use proper stemware.

Edited by ron johnson (log)
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As much as I hated to give in to the Reidel rage years ago when it became the 'thing' - I was soon convinced. Great glasses do make a difference - and the Reidel shapes do have an impact. I am happy to wash them for the additional sensations they deliver.

I think the best way to look at this is like buying great stereo system and then buying cheap speakers. In the case of great wines the glasses are the speakers.

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As a novice wine drinker I do not have extensive experience for reference but proper shape and most importantly no bead at the lip do make a difference for me. The rest of the aesthetic experience is more psychologocal but does seem to impact the taste.

I have the Reidels and I do put them in the dishwasher. I'm wondering if the taste of the wine is changed by doing so. I think there is a residue left after dishwashing detergent is used.

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I would like to add my vote for machine made Reidel. I think the balance , thin rim and heft of the glass are "formidable". I would also suggest that the Chianti glass is one of the best all-purpose glasses around. I have found great buys on these glasses from Brown Derby in MO both on the web an by catalogue. I also own the burgundy and bordeaux from Reidel in the Vinum series. I also put them into the dishwasher but only on the "fine china" setting which is not as hot and therefore does not cloud as bad. I do find some residue but usually a quick wipe with a glass towel as I put them away removes this.

Edited by dlc (log)
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dlc,

have you noticed that the chianti glass is the exact same proportions as the chablis glass?

I wonder how many people have a set of each and never realized that?

The chianti glass is my white wine glass of choice, and I occassionally use it for some lighter bodied reds.

My favorite is the syrah glass.

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Ron,

I did not know that. I also like the Syrah glass but find the Chianti better for both whites and reds for a crowd or a tasting. I picked up Saveur magazine today and in the top 100 they list Baccarat Perfection series glasses. I bet that they are "real money". In the picture they look extremely fragile.

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  • 1 month later...

Amazon is doing a big promotion on Reidel stemware. Perhaps other more intelligent folks can point out the real bargains (and make me regret my recent purchases of Speiglau).

Oh -- and please identify yourself if you purchase the bordeaux maxi cru, for $173 per stem (cheap at 40%), and explain why you need a glass that holds four bottles of wine. (Unless you're tommy, in which case no explanation necessary.)

Edited by Stone (log)
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You don't have to get the handmade Reidels.  There are also machine made glasses that are much cheaper, but still have all the benefits:  large bowl, no bead of glass on the lip, proper shape to accentuate the particular wine or variety of grape.  The machine one are just not 24% lead crytsal and are not made by hand.

However, I have found that they break just as easily.  :blink:

If you are serious about wine, then I think it only makes sense to use proper stemware.

Ron:

Riedel now has a line of "commercial grade" glasses that are MEANT for restaurant abuse. You can drum the suckers on the tabletop and they won't break! They are slightly less delicate than the machine stemmed glasses but can be put through the dishwasher in the proper rack. Amazing! They aren't completely undbreakable as they will break if you drop them on a concrete floor or throw them up against a wall, but they DO hold up far better than anything else I've seen. Here is link for local distributors Riedel America.

Cheers!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Personally I refuse to buy anything you can't put in a dishwasher so very expensive glassware is out for me.

But glasses of any quality end up going cloudy if put in the dishwasher, so you must get through them more quickly, no?

Like Tony, I don't have expensive glasses. But this is mainly because I break them on a regular basis.

re: cloudy glassware

My understanding is the interaction of dishwasher soap with the granularity of minerals in the water creates the "etching" on glass usually described as the cloudy appearance. The softer the water, the less soap should be used. The GE dishwasher owner's manual has a small section on this issue.

The manual recommends not more than 1/3 of the detergent allowance be added in very soft water environments.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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I have my good crystal (DaVinci) for formal dining, but we have Reidel glasses that we use on an everyday basis. We have the Reidel Vinum Extreme series, and I have two Reisling, 2 Burgandy, 2 Pinot Noir, 2 Chardonnay, and 2 port glasses. I put them in the dishwasher all the time.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Amazon is doing a big promotion on Reidel stemware.  Perhaps other more intelligent folks can point out the real bargains (and make me regret my recent purchases of Speiglau).

I don't think the Amazon sale on the Riedel glasses is that great. For example, the Vinum Extreme Bordeaux are $72 for 4, which is what I paid when I bought mine (I got them from Winestuff). Similarly, the Ouverture Magnum are $24 for 4, also what I paid for mine a while ago.

I find that one gets much better value on Spieglau. For example, the Riedel Overture Magnum sell for $6 a glass, and they're a relatively simple non-crystal offering. When Amazon had their great Spieglau sale in September, one could get the Authentis Bordeaux and Burgundy stems for $5 each. Those are really nice crystal glasses that are meant to compete with the Vinum Extreme line. I've since decided to stop buying Riedel and stock up on Spieglau instead.

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  • 9 months later...

At the risk of sounding as stoopid as I am, what is the purpose of using different styles of glasses for different wines? What would you recommend for someone (ME), who doesn't drink much at home, but wants good quality for the ocassions I do? A general all purpose red wine glass and one for white?

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years of analysis has shown, among other things, that the shape of the glass directs the aroma of certain wines a certain way, thereby enhancing the drinking experience. there are other issues involved as well, such as surface area, etc. but all you need to know is that they've already figured it out, so...

an all-purpose red glass , and an all-purpose white glass, would certainly be sufficient for the casual drinker.

Edited by tommy (log)
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After my husband managed to break 4 out of the 6 Spieglau glasses I bought last year, I knew a replacement was in order. In response to my query about good glasses from a couple weeks ago, I went to Cost Plus World Market and picked up a dozen of their "Conniseur" glasses.

The shape of the white wine glass is almost identical to the 2 Spieglau Chianti glasses that I have left. The bowl is slightly different and they are a few milimeters smaller. But they're definitely sturdier, while still having a nice thin rim. They're not going to show off an aged Bordeaux to best advantage, but I think they're fine for most red and white wines.

At $4.99 a stem, they're not the cheapest glasses, and with the Amazon deal, Spieglau might even be a tad cheaper. But I'm much less worried about breaking these ones!

Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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In the Riedel Vinum line, I'm a big fan of the Chianti/Zinfandel glasses. In my limited experience, these are the most versatile glasses that Riedel offers -- they improve the taste of just about any red wine. I have those and the Bordeaux glasses. We also have a set of the Sauvignon Blanc glasses because that's just about all my wife drinks.

We've tried the Spiegelaus and are just not impressed. Here's the review.

Chad

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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