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Glassware


pariah_kerry
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Look for the "Top Ten" line of glasses from Schott-Zwiesel. They are attractive, drastically less expensive than Riedel, dishwasher safe and are more durable. Schott is distributed by Oneida.

Here you are getting some real professional advice from someone who deals with it every night in the most difficult of situations.

I would go with Mark's advise if it was my money.

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I can safely recommend against the Steinglau that shows up really cheap at Amazon on periodic promos. I bought a set of six Bordeaux glasses and also six of the Burgundy back at Christmas season. The price was unbeatable: under $25 for 12 glasses including free shipping. I like the shape and feel of them and I don't even drink wine but have a new hosue and figured I'd want them for company. I've used a few of them (generally just two at a time) for other bevergaes but they're just way too fragile. I try to be very catious and have still broken three of them already, even with limited use. At roughly $2 per glass I'm not losing sleep over it but in the big scheme of thigns it was not a good investment, even at such a low price.

I believe the reference here is to Spiegelau. I would disagree and highly recommend them. They are selected by top winemakers the world over as a less expensive, but still effective substitute for Riedel.

Like all good glasses you are going to break some eventually.

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http://www.riedelcrystal.com/index.htm

Riedel is the best glassware IMO and is carried by Williams Sonoma and even Amazon.com. We obtained ours thru our bridal registry also. Start with a few pieces -champagne, chardonay and cab glasses. Then you can add on!

Why do you think Riedel is the best? How do they add to your wine drinking experience?

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Look for the "Top Ten" line of glasses from Schott-Zwiesel. They are attractive, drastically less expensive than Riedel, dishwasher safe and are more durable. Schott is distributed by Oneida.

Here you are getting some real professional advice from someone who deals with it every night in the most difficult of situations.

I would go with Mark's advise if it was my money.

As an aside, I have been told that Schott-Zwiesel is a major contractor for Riedel, and produce most of their less expensive glasses under contract. The Top Ten glasses resemble the Riedel Extreme series. S-Z is also well known in Europe for its testubes and beakers.

Mark

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I agree, Craig. I have been keeping out of this thread as a novice (though, er, rather enthusiastic) wine drinker, but I don't like the idea of internally cringing whenever a guest picks up a wine glass.

Also I tend to suspect with a lot of these things, the name plays a large role in the price...I go to Germany regularly and can see a lot of these products side by side, It's often hard to tell a difference in quality. Certainly beteween Spiegelau and Riedel. In fact, a lot of times a product's reputation is big in the US because they are advertised better in the US, whereas if you go to Germany the "fancy" brand names are entirely different. e.g., I have a watch I got from my husband for my birthday -- here no one has ever heard of the brand, but there it was kind of a big deal. Excellent quality swiss watch, absolutely beautiful piece, but they just don't bother marketing over here.

I just have some nice mid-price glass wine glasses, Crate & Barrel actually. At the time I paid attention to size and shape of Riedels when buying so in terms of general shape and size I've been very happy. They are not leaded crystal, but they look and feel great, and while it will no doubt bother me when they break I expect to suffer no lasting trauma. I do plan to buy some Riedel-equivalent at some point for special use, but since I like to entertain people regularly and serve a lot of wine with dinner, this choice made a lot more sense to me. I wish I'd known about Schott-Zweisel, will definitely keep an eye out next time I'm in the market. Those look great. (Though all the web sites were .de -- are they available in the US?).

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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Riedel also makes a "Restaurant Series" that while still thin lipped and capable of "pinging" nicely, are far less fragile and less breakable than any of the lead crystal series. They're meant to take the sort of abuse that commercial glassware takes in a restaurant. You can actually drum them on the edge of the table and they are none the worse for wear. I ordered a set of 12 for myself from my local distributor when I was buying a half a pallet full for Striped Bass last summer. They're awesome, come in many (although not ALL) of the standard Riedel shapes and sizes.

I have no idea where you'd order these whereever it is that you live, but if you call the best restaurant in town (that you know has Riedel stemware) and ask the manager or sommelier who the local purveyor of Riedel is, that would be a good place to start.

As far as registering goes, I'd open a new checking account and provide that number as your registry. You can get whatever you want, start a downpayment for a house fund, kick up your honeymoon fund or whatever. You can also shop around for the best deal on things and make the gift money go further. :cool:

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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I'll admit I'm a Riedel snob. Most of my glassware comes from them.

I don't mind when other people/restaurants use a different brand, but what really bothers me (sorry for inserting a nit) is water spots on wine glasses. Take five dollars and buy a flour towel. This type of towel is good because it doesn't leave lint behind. When you clean your glasses, always rub them up and down, not side to side, which causes them to break at the stem.

Anyway, because you are registering for your wedding, I imagine you are going to be drinking a bit of champagne over the next year. So I would recommend champagne, cabernet, and chardonnay.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Try these Riedel glasses they fit in the dishwasher and are reasonably priced.

http://www.winestuff.com/acatalog/Riedel_Basic.html

If you're concerned about Riedels breaking in the dishwasher, consider their O model.

Look ma, no stems! :laugh:

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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http://www.riedelcrystal.com/index.htm

Riedel is the best glassware IMO and is carried by Williams Sonoma and even Amazon.com. We obtained ours thru our bridal registry also. Start with a few pieces -champagne, chardonay and cab glasses. Then you can add on!

Why do you think Riedel is the best? How do they add to your wine drinking experience?

I have Riedels and I also have 2 Riedel port glasses and 2 Spiegelau port glasses. I freely admit to being no expert when it comes to tasting wine, other than I know what I like. I find the Spiegelau to be slightly thicker than the Riedel port glass, and although I don't think there's much difference in taste, I prefer the feel of the Riedel. I've also had to replace the Speigelau's twice, but I've never had a Riedel break.

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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I too bought the Spiegelau sets from Amazon and they have treated me well except for my own abuse on one glass.

I was improperly drying the glass (holding at the base and drying the inside by spinning it) when it broke at the stem and gave me a small but nasty cut.

I dont believe this was due to poor workmanship, but piss poor handling from somebody who doesn't know how to clean and dry wine glasses.

Ben

Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!

-Freakmaster

I have two words for America... Meat Crust.

-Mario

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My Amazon Spiegelau glasses have caused me nothing but grief. I have broken 30% of them which is higher than my usual breakage :blink:

I'm convinced the Amazon glasses were not up to Spiegelau's usual standards.

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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I don't like the idea of internally cringing whenever a guest picks up a wine glass.

I don't like how I cringe when I pick one up! :laugh: I managed to break a stem when washing one the first time with no effort at all. Now I handle them like I'm defusing a bomb.

And those stemless Reidels are the stupidest friggin' things I've ever seen. Anyone happy to hold a white wine by the bowl doesn't deserve Reidel.

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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My Amazon Spiegelau glasses have caused me nothing but grief. I have broken 30% of them which is higher than my usual breakage  :blink:

I'm convinced the Amazon glasses were not up to Spiegelau's usual standards.

My whole experience with my Amazon purchace was jinxed from the start.

I bought mine the first time around; buy six cabernet, get six burgundy for free with free shipping. This was in August '02.

December '02 I finally get the glasses.

Someone conveniently broke one glass in each box during shipment.

I got 12, make that 10 burgundy glasses; 0 cabernet.

Amazon charged me for shipping, which they always do when I order through their super-saver-we-don't-charge-for-shipping-on-purchases-over-$25-program. :angry:

It was such an enjoyable experience I tear up every time I use them. :rolleyes:

Are Amazon Spiegelau glasses different than the Spiegelau glasses you buy in stores?

To be honest, I'm not familiar with the quality of any other Spiegelau except what I have. However, they do sound more fragile than a glass should.

I don't like how I cringe when I pick one up! 

I only cringe when I take out my Riedel Grand Cru Bordeaux 400/00 Sommelier line of glassware. These are about 10.5 inches high and hold around 39 ounces. Nothing beats taking a couple ounces of a Lafite and swirling it around in a glass like that. Who needs a decanter? :biggrin:

Earlier this year I was hosting a dinner party and had the table all set when the other couple canceled. As I was putting away two 400/00s, I noticed a spot on one. I brought out the flour towel and was gently polishing it when a tiny, tiny, bump on the rim of the glass got caught in the towel. The glass shattered into thousands of pieces. :sad:

It later occured to me that the one glass was more expensive than the wine it was going to hold. Oh well, what's a couple of more hours of work to pay for your passion? :laugh:

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Are Amazon Spiegelau glasses different than the Spiegelau glasses you buy in stores?

Mind you, I'm not an engineer and I haven't done any testing of this, but my anecdotal evidence leads me to believe that they are different.

We bought twelve glasses on the Amazon deal. One came broken (Amazon was kind enough to credit my account for the cost of the one broken glass). We decided to supplement with additional Speigelau glasses. The Amazon special was over and we happened to be in a shop in Oregon where they were on sale (and no sales tax in Oregon!) so we bought another six there. We haven't had the same problems with those glasses as we have the Amazon ones. So...............

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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My wife and I just recently married and we registered and received a set of 12 "Isabella" 12oz all purpose goblets from Crate & Barrel. They seem to work fine to me...

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We actually have the Riedel Vinum Extreme glasses which are stunning but take up a lot of room because of their size and shape. We also have the Vinum champagne glasses and the Cognac glasses (tulip shaped)

Here's why I love Riedel. First and most important it totally affects the taste of wine. We collect drinkable wines (under $50 for the most part) and literally open a bottle a night. The wine tastes better in these glasses. We've done at home, non scientific tests ;) Really, it helps to bring out all the flavors and we think it is really worth it.

second is the lead crystal. It is beautiful, it holds light and reflects and the sound in awesome. We are Riedel snobs also and always look at restaurant glassware to see what they are using. The top restuarants are using this too.

Yes, I've broken some while washing them (my fault) but as someone else said you can get the normal size and put them in the dishwasher. We do with the smaller ones.

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The Reidel and the Schott-Zwiesel glasses are nice, but they're both about twice the price of Spiegelau. Spiegelau is fine; they last much longer than Riedel, but they still have a nice look and feel. In my experience the Spiegelau glasses sold through Amazon are identical to the Spiegelau glasses sold elsewhere.

As to glass types, regardless of brand you really should have a large-sized glass (for most reds), a medium-sized glass (for most whites), and champagne flutes (for sparklers and dessert wines). Since I find most Chard. glasses too small for effective swirling, etc., I use Reidel Vinum Chianti/Zin glasses for my medium-size glass. Spiegelau is fine for everything else.

Good luck,

Tim

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The wine tastes better in these glasses. We've done at home, non scientific tests ;) Really, it helps to bring out all the flavors and we think it is really worth it.

If you really want to conduct a test, :smile: pour the same wine into a different style of glass.

For instance, take a big, 5-year old cabernet and pour it into a cabernet, chardonnay, champagne, and port glass. Wait about 30 minutes for it to develop. Then start swirling and sniffing. You will get different aromas from each glass even though it's the same wine. Now taste, again you'll get different sensations out of each one.

Last weekend I brought a '95 Neibaum-Coppola Rubicon to a friend's house. We had a couple of different glasses and the difference in the wine was incredible.

I have a friend who is a CWE (certified wine educator) and he prefers the smaller port-like glasses in his classes for the sole purpose of analyzing wines.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Are Amazon Spiegelau glasses different than the Spiegelau glasses you buy in stores?

Every single one of the 2 dozen Spieglaus I bought from Amazon is broken. (And I had all the same issues as ReallyNice!, too.)

On the other hand, nearly every Riedel glass I got for my wedding is in tact. I would go with Riedel.

I also have a set of Mikasa's plain-Jane, low-end Studio Nova "balloon" and "white" glasses (yes that's what they're called), and I use them every day and they never break in the dishwasher.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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For those who are against Spiegelau glasses, just some facts :

a : they are the glasses of Grand Jury Européen from 96 and, if they were not good, be sure my Members would have ask me to change them.

b : we use per tasting sessions around 1200 glasses (Vino Grande at origin, and now the beautiful and very efficient Authentis).

c : we use the same glass for white and red and for bubbles

d : for us, Spiegelau glasses are the best , simply because they do not enhance defaults or qualities : they are quite neutral.

Of course, you will tell I got them at a special price - which is true - but again, if they were not well fitted for our tasting, we would have gone to another company.

Moreover, as used at home in washing machine, as daily glasses, they do not brake that easy.

One bemol on that : the first series of Authentis had a weak point from the calice to the foot: now this is corrected.

I agree too that Riedel collection is not only famous,but wonderfull : but - except if your name is Rothschild or Rockfeller - if you consider the price…javascript:emoticon(':smile:')

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I would like to welcome François Mauss, president and founder of Grand Jury Européen, a unique and innovative wine judging concept that as Mauss describes it, " It is a body of wine tasters who aim to provide wine enthusiasts with an alternative to the rating of wines by individual critics." For more information visit their website below:

http://www.grandjuryeuropeen.com/

It is a great pleasure to have someone of Mr. Mauss' experience and knowledge join us at eGullet.com.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Going with girlfriend (actually, now fiancee) to register for wedding goods tomorrow morning and while we both enjoy the more than occasional beverage, I'm far more interested in the different sorts of glasses available. In terms of priorities, it's most important to have glasses to showcase red wines, champagne, and whiskeys (in that order). So please let me know what you all use, are happy with, unhappy with, etc. Any brands to watch out for, anything stupidly overpriced, anything worth it's escessive price?

Thanks

"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

-Neil Gaiman

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If you must register for stemware, register for Reidel and Spiegelau. However, these two amazing products frequently show up as to-die-for deals on Amazon (sometimes upwards of 70% and 80% off!) three and four times a year.

We here online are the first to spread the word when these deals come about and you could save your friends tons of money if you are patient enough to wait and buy these yourself when the deals occur.

Just a thought...

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