Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Stemless Wine Glasses


Recommended Posts

Much controversy has been raised regarding the Reidel "O" Series glasses.

I recently dined at a restaurant (Lift in Vancouver) which uses the "O" series for wines by the glass, I thought it was a great way to allow the restaurant to use a high quality glass and limit the breakage (most glasses break at the stem). In a discussion with my server later I was told that the use of the stemless glasses had been reviewed negatively by the The Globe and Mail's entertainment section and that about 1/3 of the guests rejected the glasses - preferring non crystal stemmed glasses.

I am interested if any other restaurants are using this glassware and what general opinion is of them. The complaint in the Globe was over the wine warming but unless you sit with your hand wrapped around your wine glass I fail to see the problem.

''Wine is a beverage to enjoy with your meal, with good conversation, if it's too expensive all you talk about is the wine.'' Bill Bowers - The Captain's Tavern, Miami

Link to post
Share on other sites
Much controversy has been raised regarding the Reidel "O" Series glasses. 

I recently dined at a restaurant (Lift in Vancouver) which uses the "O" series for wines by the glass, I thought it was a great way to allow the restaurant to use a high quality glass and limit the breakage (most glasses break at the stem).  In a discussion with my server later I was told that the use of the stemless glasses had been reviewed negatively by the The Globe and Mail's entertainment section and that about 1/3 of the guests rejected the glasses - preferring non crystal stemmed glasses.

I am interested if any other restaurants are using this glassware and what general opinion is of them.  The complaint in the Globe was over the wine warming but unless you sit with your hand wrapped around your wine glass I fail to see the problem.

Many wine drinkers seem to be very conservative in their wine drinking. Many drinkers accustomed to using stemmed glasses dislike using anything else, for no other obvious reason than that it is untraditional. For instance the screw cap was invented, what, in the 20s? 30s? And only now is it beginning to make headway on young wines. Give non-stemmed glasses another 40 years, and maybe they'll be received more favorably. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, the warming of the glass (and the wine?) is not the issue -- it is ease of swirling and subsequent fingerprints. I like stemware for the very simple reason that it is easy to swirl -- sometimes violently to open up said wine. And when said swirling is completed, I want a clear image of the wine to note clarity and edge color, all of which would be detrimental if the glass were smudged with fingerprints.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The larger ones are almost to big to hold in one hand.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anytime you have people who are passionate about, geeky about, "into," consumed with, any hobby or avocation, you are going to see the creation and selling of products and services that make some people go "huh?"

I should add that I'm by no means suggesting that purchases of the Riedel "O" series are off the deep end. But pick up a Wine Enthusiast or Wine Jazz catalog (or even look through the Sky Mall shopper on some airplanes), and you'll see what I mean.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with WineSonoma - they're too big to hold, especially when they contain wine and the drinker has a small hand. I've been told my hand is the size of a ten year old's. My daughter loves to make fun of me because she can pick up two cans in one hand and I can't. I'll stick to stems!! (Plus they just look more elegant and I'm not into fingerprints.)

Burgundy makes you think silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them ---

Brillat-Savarin

Link to post
Share on other sites
For me, the warming of the glass (and the wine?) is not the issue -- it is ease of swirling and subsequent fingerprints. I like stemware for the very simple reason that it is easy to swirl -- sometimes violently to open up said wine. And when said swirling is completed, I want a clear image of the wine to note clarity and edge color, all of which would be detrimental if the glass were smudged with fingerprints.

I agree 100% with Carolyn.

I bought four "impitoyable" nearly 20 years ago (do they even make these things any more?) It's a pain in the ass but I stlll use them on the odd occasion when I want everyone to think I'm cool. :raz: At least it has the dents in the glass to keep all of your fingerprints in one place. I'm hoping they will become a collector's item and I will be able to get my money back some day.

Trust me, the Reidel "O" Series will fade out too.

Edited by SWISS_CHEF (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

We've got two of the Riedel 'O' glasses that we were given at a winery when we stopped there to pick up our order. I can't say that I love them, and I think I've only used them once since bringing them home. That said, they are easy to swirl without covering the glass in fingerprints, the method is just somewhat counterintuitive - you need to hold the glass from above, in the only way you can really hold a glass that doesn’t allow you to drink from it then swirling is easier than in a glass with a stem and they stay reasonably clean.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't even drink wine but I do imbibe of Ame - fruit/herbal beverage that's far drier than the average fruit beverage and makes a good food accompaniment for us non-drinkers. Having tried on many occasions to drink it from decent quality tumblers I still felt that something was missing. I switched to balloon stylecrystal stemware and don't regret it. Yes... we're talkign about $6 a bottle fancy juice here and issues of color, clarity anf fragrance are irrelevant.

But I still find the experience of drinking from the stemware to be intuitively more enjoyable. It's worth noting that even when I did consume alcohol I was never a wine drinker and never owned a single piece of stemware - I'm not trying to duplicate some past experience sans alcohol - it's just inherently more pleasurable (to me) to drink from a decent stem.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides the other problems mentioned above, the O series glasses make wine less visually appealing. When you hold the glass, your hand blocks your view of the wine or the amount of light entering it. When you set the glass down, you look down at the wine and through it to the surface on which the glass is sitting. Stemmed glasses allow for more play of light and less visual interference from, say, the checkered blue and white tablecloth in a Greek restaurant or the black granite countertops in a well-heeled wine lover's desinger kitchen; they literally put the wine above it all, take it to a higher level.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have lots of wine glasses and typically break about 6 per year due to various reasons at the functions we hold. Some are due to the consequences of a slightly alcohol impaired mind putting the glass on the open tail gate of a Tahoe and closing the tailgate or similar.

To try to reduce the breakage at events, when an Internet sale came about, I ordered two 12 glass sets of the O-series. The smaller glass is very easy to use and has a low center of gravity and for casual drinking, I actually prefer it. It is true that the larger is not of use to individuals with small hands but for me presents no problem and has become my generic white wine glass of choice. Breakage has become a concern that we leave the higher end glass for small affairs or when it is just my wife and myself. I think the O-series is a good compromise. So far we haven't had a single broken glass. -Dick

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't disagree with the fingerprints on the tumblers, and that a glass with a stem is not a better choice for that great bottle of wine. But I think the tumblers can be fun. I plan to use the tumblers this summer...dressed in shorts, a ribeye on the grill, and pulling the corks off some simple reds...the tumblers sound perfect!!!

Ed McAniff

A Taster's Journey

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't disagree with the fingerprints on the tumblers, and that a glass with a stem is not a better choice for that great bottle of wine. But I think the tumblers can be fun. I plan to use the tumblers this summer...dressed in shorts, a ribeye on the grill, and pulling the corks off some simple reds...the tumblers sound perfect!!!

Hope you will post pictures of these tumblers in shorts! :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

The glasses in Riedel's "O Series are modeled after the Vinum bowls but are different in one major way - no stems or bases. In the words of the site "‘O’ is the ideal glass for every day use and for every occasion. It is fun, feels good to hold, looks trendy and it works! " and the glasses are available as Cabernet/Merlot, Pinot/Nebbiolo, Syrah/Shiraz, Chardonnay, Viognier/Chardonnay, Riesling/Sauvignon".

My first reaction is to be reminded of what I have called in the past the "what's new plague" that is taking over the planet. I have seen that in chocolatiers, pastry shops, and restaurants around the world that feel obligated to pander to the most jaded of their clients, those who need something "new" on a daily or weekly basis, as if the old is no longer good enough or, even worse not "in" or innovative enough.

My second reaction is to wonder just why Mr. Riedel and others have convinced us (and rightly so over the years) that one simply does not hold a wine glass by the bowl - not only because of ugly fingerprints that will interfere with our aesthetic pleasure but also because of the warming effect the hand has on the wine inside the bowl. If Mr. Riedel really approves of these new glasses, why doesn't he simply eliminate all of those old fashioned stemmed glasses of his?

My third reaction is that I find it all a bit amusing. After all, this gives us six more glasses to add to the already large collection of over 30 in the Sommelier series, the mere 20 in the Vinum series, five in the Vinum Extreme series, and 8 in the Wine Series. The mind boggles.

Don't misunderstand - I remain convinced that Georg Riedel makes the finest wine glasses in the world. I cannot, however help but wonder where it will all end!

As to restaurants in Israel using the "O" glass, I not too long ago visited the newly opened "Comme Il Faut" in Tel Aviv Port. With regard to the glasses and other aspects of what might be thought of as "design" I wrote:

"Translated literally from the French, comme il faut means "as it should be" and thus implies things that are fit, proper and appropriate. Situated close to water's edge in the increasingly upswing Tel Aviv Port, the recently opened "Comme Il Faut" is as proper as proper can be, with as much attention paid to political correctness as to concept and design. The only problem with all of this is that after a short while one begins to wonder just who is defining what we are to expected to accept as "proper".

The wine glasses used in the restaurant offer an example of decisions being made for clients who may not want all of their decisions made for them. The glasses used, for example are unquestionably attractive but they are of a rather unusual design in that they have no stems. No one will question that these glasses, part of the "O" series produced by Austria's Riedel are beautiful and make you smile, but many question whether they are appropriate for drinking fine wine for there is no doubt that having to cup a glass in the palm to drink from it warms the wine beyond the usually desired temperatures. Nor do many like their wine glasses with the fingerprints that invariably make their way to this style of glass. Even this would have been acceptable had the restaurant decided to have more standard glasses to offer to those who requested them. That decision was not made. I was not amused".

Oh yes...latest joke making its way around is that Riedel will shortly be offering kits of stems and wonder glue to match the glasses in the "O" series.

Edited by Daniel Rogov (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Stemless wine glasses are pretty stupid... especially since wine glasses don't tend to break "at the stem". As a restaurateur, I have never seen this phenomenon. Mostly glasses break during polishing, from being dropped... etc.

You warm the wine with the hand, get fingerprints on the bowl... the best you can say is you can put them in the top rack of a home dishwasher.

If you want a good, general use daily wine glass, IKEA makes one that sells for about a dollar.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want a good, general use daily wine glass, IKEA makes one that sells for about a dollar.

I just purchased some IKEA glasses that are not quite stemware and not quite "O" glasses. They have a very, very short stem. Why did I buy them? Because I am married to a man who manages to knock over stemware on a regular basis and he passed this unique gene onto two of our three (now grown children)! And our best friend has the same aberrant gene. Short, stubby stems mean most of the time, most of the glasses make it all the way through the meal. :laugh:

Edited to fix typos.

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh heh. Look at what's in the top right of my cabinet. Yup, I have 'em and use 'em. I don't drink enough good wine to worry about the majority of the concerns above, but I do remember to break out the stemware when I have a nice barolo.

gallery_137_803_42362.jpg

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to post
Share on other sites

We bought the O's for the long drive home to Toronto, from the San Francisco area. Much better to drink from then the tasting room / wine show glasses we would normally use on a camping trip, or long road trip, and allowed to enjoy the wine we carried as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We recently got 4 of the stemless glasses (syrah/shiraz) when they were on sale at a tasting. If I want to sit down with a nice glass of wine, there is no question I'll drink it out of a conventional, stemmed wine glass. It is more functional, more traditional, and I think superior. Still there is a place for stemless glasses.

On their downside, the biggest problems I found were the pour size and it is more awkward as to swirling as well as for visually looking at the wine. Melkor is correct that swirling from the top works very well though it is counter-intuitive. I have very large hands and if for me it is still awkward for looking at the wines appearance I can only imagine how it must be for one with normal or small sized hands. As to the pour size, note in the picture, both glasses are filled with exactly 2 oz. pours. The "O" glass looks not to have much in it which is due to the flat as opposed to bowl shaped base. I tend to pour on the heavy side to begin with so for me this is the biggest problem.

On the plus side, I think they are splendid for around the spa (yeah, yeah, I know you aren't suppose to drink wine in the spa) or when outside grilling or doing other things. I'm always aware of the breakage problem with stemware (especially if it is a thin glass/crystal glass) so in that regard I like them for having a casual glass of wine outside or, as now, by the computer.

Oh well, couldn't figure out how to get the picture in here.

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

Link to post
Share on other sites

I received 8 of the O series as a Christmas gift and after my initial "return this" reaction I find that they, like everything else, have a time and place. I sometimes use them for G&T as well (the syrah/shiraz ones)

Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

A conversation at my house this Saturday evening....

Me: Hey, there's an eGullet thread about those stemless glasses I picked up last month.

Girlfriend: You mean the ones I don't like?

Used a gift certificate to pick up a couple of them, and my girlfriend's hatred of them aside, the novelty is starting to wear off. I did like using them for my cheaper everyday wines, but started to realize that (at least for me) the smartest way to drink even the cheaper wines was with a stemmed glass. As others have mentioned, the stemless glasses handle very awkwardly and there is no good way to observe or swirl the wine. As someone relatively new to wine, I think it's smarter for me to use good stemware for my "practice" wines so that I'm better equipped to appreciate the great ones.

As far as cost, I'm really liking my cheapie World Market selection of stemmed wine glasses.

Jerry

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

Link to post
Share on other sites

If it works this time, the comparison of 2 oz pours. The stemless just feels smaller.

gallery_20318_1251_405967.jpg

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 15 years later...

Host's note: this updated discussion springs from a comment in the Dinner 2021 topic. How times have changed!

 

@kayb 

 

Ive given up stems on my wine glasses 

 

a long long tome ago

 

indeed 

 

including my collection od Baccarat 

 

the B's have  been passes on to a friend

 

for family only.

 

not for guests.

 

I use these now days :

 

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Double-Wall Tumbler Glass Set, 9 fl. oz, White

 

648639073_zzzz.thumb.jpg.ff8c70a914385bfbdcc035ba9eb4c60f.jpg

 

 

yoy might note the flat base ?

 

exceptionally stable\\keeps my whites very very cold

 

and my red just right

 

N.B :  table wines 

 

fine for me just now.

Edited by Smithy
Added host's note (log)
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...