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Wine Glass recommendations (in Boston)

I am tired to breaking my Riedels, down to 2 white glasses and 4 bordeaux stems from probably a dozen or more of each. Since it has become clear that breaking these things is an occupational hazard, any recommendations for good riedel quality (ie shape, and not too heavy/thick) stems that are not too expensive. Either in Boston or mail order. Thanks.

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  1. Did you have the Sommelier or the Vinum series? I gave up on the Sommelier due to the breakage/price ratio. I've recently gotten some great Vinum deals at Sherry Lehman in NYC, and they do ship.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Oh god, breaking a few dozen sommeliers would be the cost of a good bottle of Latour. No I bust the Vinum's like they're going otu of style. Even though they're only $6-$8 a stem, I get irritated b/c it seems they are always at risk. Between the granite counter top, the 900 lb la crueset, and the invariable cleaning stems at midnight after several bottles of wine, I have almost gone through 2 dz stems in the last 18 months. Hoping to fine a $3-5/stem alternative that won't irriate me as much (and possibly be a little more rugged). I do have 2 sauterne sommaliers for the special bottle of liquid gold, I love the shape of that glass.

      1. re: chefboyardee

        I leave the wine glasses for cleaning the morning *after* a party. And, I've discovered a great tool for cleaning them ... will try to find a link for you. I always lay down dishtowels on the counter before drying the glasses. Not sure how the Le Creuset factors in! I have had some Vinum breakage, but not at your rate. Seeing my Sommelier champagne flutes go down one by one was terribly sad - I think 3 of them were in the hands of one particularly flamboyant friend who after a drink or two had a tendency to gesticulate dramatically, glass in hand, then snap - there went the stem.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Cleaning brush - I have the one on the left, but the other two look useful too.

          http://www.chefsresource.com/somwaski...

          Another trick that I use is not to dry them upside down - any water eventually evaporates. If I'm having a dinner party, I steam them inside using the kettle, then dry w/ a linen cloth - carefully.

        2. re: chefboyardee

          I feel your pain. Since we do multi-course meals, with at least one wine/course, and often 2-3, a dinner for 12 can fill all counter space with used glasses. Rather than face the prospect of doing them AFTER the wine and guests, I rinse, leave partially filled with water, then set up my wash line the next day - no parties on Sunday night, unless Monday is a holiday. I soak in vey warm water with StemShine, then rinse in warm water, then soak in warm water with a surfactant (AZ water is possibly the hardest in the US), then dry on racks, turning once, finishing with the bowl down. Last, polish each $^*#@^% glass and put back into the glassware cabinet. I can go on for hours, but in about 20 years, I have yet to break one. Oh, some DO get broken, but I'm still batting 100%. I know that my next post will be to get help on replacing the glasses, that I DO break after the next dinner party, as I have just jinxed myself. It's like thinking, on the 16th hole, "hey, this is the same ball that I started with!" We all know what happens next.

          Hunt

      2. Yeah, I feel your pain -- look too hard at a Riedel and they break. I've had great luck with Spieglau . . .

        4 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          Have you tried the Tritan series from Schott Zweisel -- lead-free, titanium "infused" glass? Dishwasher safe. Much more durable than either Reidel or Spiegelau. Several places online to order these.

          1. re: z.pinhead

            The Tritans are excellent. Good design and very durable. I can't remember where online maybe wineclub.com ??) but they were $39.95 / 6.

            1. re: TonyO

              I've got some of these. So far, I haven't "tested" how break-resistant is (I'm sure that will happen naturally at some point). I have a friend who says she's broken about 5 or 6 of this sort of wine glass, though.

              1. re: will47

                We have yet to lose any including some hitting granite and other glasses. It is either luck or they really are durable. Maybe a bit of each ???

        2. Look at the Lenox Tuscany collection. Really good looking, excellent quality.
          Unfortunately this line is not made in the US but at least it's an American company which is why Jackie Kennedy chose Lenox for the White House which uses it as the official crystal as do all US Embassies abroad.
          There is a reasonable number of shapes of glasses - not as many specific ones as Riedel - but how many do you really need? Lenox also has a breakage guarantee and will replace what you break at half price.
          I got a couple dozen at a Lenox outlet and paid even less than the outlet price because they were having a major sale. I think my final price was less than $5 per stem.
          Wouldn't surprise me if there weren't an outlet store near you.

          1. Based on reccomendations from this site, I bought some Speiglau white wine glasses and love them! The ones I got were luckily on clearance at Target, but I think via amazon they are not bad at all and the quality is great.

            1. I keep a few boxes of Ikea wine glasses in red, white and sparkling on hand at all times, believing that the inherent nature of wine glasses is that they break. You can get some fairly "correct" shapes for red, white & sparkling and I like some of the designs. And the price, which obviously is not in the same category as Reidel!

              But my dh got me some of the new Mikasa "Open Up" series. We got sparkling, round, tannic, soft and sweet. They rock. The look takes some getting used to, but the glass formula actually has a not-breaking characteristic (read more at the link) that makes me less worried about actually *using* them. I don't put them in the dishwasher, but supposedly you can.

              http://www.mikasaandcompany.com/contr...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mawrter

                The Ikea glasses are the bulk of what we've got here and we love them. Mawrter is entirely right about the description and you can't beat the price.

              2. Honestly, Target. They have a line of Riedel products now including all sorts of glasses and a decanter that we use almost every night now.
                http://www.target.com/gp/search.html/...

                The prices are good and the quality is excellent. We've been very pleased with them.

                6 Replies
                1. re: ccbweb

                  DANG. I had no inkling that you could get Reidel at Target.

                  1. re: Mawrter

                    Looking at them, they seem to be mass-produced, and a little below the Riedel "Overture" line. However, they are quit nice. The only complaint that I had was a little ridge on the stem. It was from the mold, I guess. A quick pass with a diamond file could quickly knock this down.

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Yes, they're not super high quality, but for the price and availability they're a good option I think.

                      1. re: ccbweb

                        Isn't Riedel diluting their brand with this line? Low quality crystal, mass-produced, sold at Target to consumers chasing the Riedel name. Do guests recognize it? "Oh, by the way, please notice that we're serving this amusing little $20 wine from Riedel stems. Aren't you impressed?" Blank stares. "What's Riedel?" Hard to imagine but the average person doesn't recognize it.
                        At $10 per stem, you can buy lovely crystal of better quality by shopping sales and outlet stores for bargains by other manufacturers.
                        At the high end however, especially if you serve excellent wines to serious oenophiles, it's worth buying their top-of-the-line. Then you get what you pay for, not just a name.

                        1. re: MakingSense

                          I don't think they're diluting their brand because its a completely different market and, more than likely, Target gives Riedel access to people who wouldn't normally have bought any of their products. If the decent stem ware helps someone appreciate wine a bit more, perhaps they'll move up the Riedel foodchain.

                          Its not hard to imagine that the average person doesn't recognize Riedel...the average person isn't spending $25 or $40 a stem on wine glasses and they're not spending their evenings pondering how the stemware is affecting their enjoyment of the wine they may be drinking.

                          Certainly, at $10 a stem, you can go hunting and do well. This is an easy thing to pick up, though.

                          Have you checked out the Riedel from Target? Its inexpensive but I wouldn't call it "low quality." Its not top of the line, but its not priced nor marketed that way.

                          1. re: ccbweb

                            "Diluting a brand" means knocking yourself off, selling a cheap version of your own quality product. Maybe beating the counterfeiters to it. It think some years ago Porche put a VW engine in a Porche body. They sold a lot but who were they kidding? That wasn't a performance vehicle. It was for people who wanted to say that they drove a cool car but had no idea!

                            Yeah, I've seen the Target Riedel. It's low quality crystal in shapes similar to the standard Riedel shapes. I think it misses the point. People who buy shapes that enhance the experience of fine wines at low price points may not be drinking fine wines from them. They get low quality and the shapes don't do anything to increase their pleasure either. Riedel shapes may make their $30 wine taste like a $10 one. If wines have flaws, Riedels will shout it out.

                2. If you like Riedel - and you obviously do - you should consider the wine glasses from Ravenscroft. I live in NJ and several wine stores near me carry this line. They are more rugged than the Riedels but look remarkably similar. They are also less expensive and lead free.

                  I recently bought some "all purpose" glasses from Ravenscroft and am very pleased with them. Here's their web site, which should answer a lot of your questions:

                  http://www.ravenscroftcrystal.com

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ambrose

                    I've heard great reports on the Ravenscroft glasses, on another wine board. I have yet to find them locally, and really do not need any more glasses right now - except for "travel" wine glasses. I'm tired of having a great wine served in "jelly jars," at restaurants around the country, and have just ordered some "luggage," so I can take my glassware with me. The Tritan, or the Ravenscroft, might be a good choice for this.

                    Hunt

                  2. Since I was just told by my Dr. that I can only have one glass per day, I have switched out my riedel for empty mayonnaise jars...