Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Apr 6, 2008 07:07 AM

What all purpose red/white wine glasses to buy?

Registering for gifts and would really like to get some Riedel glasses. But, it seems they only have glasses that are made for specific varietels. Due to space limitations, I an only get one typre of glass for whiet and one for red. Should I get one Riedel made for a red and one made for a white, and if so, which would be closest to an all purpose glass geared for all varietals. Or, is there some other brand that I should be looking at? Thanks all.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Riedels are nice, but for everyday drinking I like the Lenox Tuscany Collection Grand Bourdeaux glasses. They seem to be a little more forgiving to routine handling and cleaning, and are cheaper than the Riedels. These work for most reds and whites for me. Get a couple of 4 packs of these and some champagne flutes and you should be covered pretty well for most wines. Later you can also pick up some sauternes glasses if you like late harvest or desert type wines.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Paul Weller

      Agreed, Riedels are nice, but it stinks if you break one. You can go with one of thier lesser lines, which are machined and not hand blown, but I find that they are flimsy and the stems tend to break off.

      For everyday use, I really like the Cost Plus Connoisseur series, which is made by one of Riedel's competitor, Spiegelau. The come in several varietal series, and they keep adding more every time I check the store. They go on sale frequently, making them about $5 stem instead of $8 which really makes them a best buy in my opinion. You can order them online.

      If you don't have a Cost Plus World Market, you can try the IKEA all purpose glass that got Food & Wine's "Best All Purpose" award recently.

      The right glass can make a difference, so if you drink a lot of one varietal (i.e. Burgundy/Pinot) I recommend a varietal glass. Otherwise, a good all purpose white & red are going to serve you well.

      Happy Drinking!

      1. re: Vinquire

        >>I really like the Cost Plus Connoisseur series, which is made by one of Riedel's competitor, Spiegelau. The come in several>>

        Not a competitor - Riedel owns Spiegelau.

        1. re: Vinquire

          I often read the posts regarding this question with some of the advice dispensed here went and bought Riedel Nachtmann glasses from Williams-Sonoma. The problem is that my husband really doesn't like them... feels they are too small. They were about $10 per glass. I'm interested in the Cost Plus series and have a question... are you referring to the glassware or the stemware? I went online and there are in fact two different types under the Connoisseur series. Thanks!

          1. re: cjc519

            It's actually the same product, but either a set of 4 or a set of 6. Thier wording is a bit confusing.
            Set of 4
            Set of 6

            Here is the article I was looking for and couldn't find before -
            pointing out the Tritan Forte, Riedel, Spiegelau and Connoisseur.

            I have some Riedel Burgundy & chardonnay glasses, and Connoisseur Bordeaux glasses, and at the last sale (6/$30) bought zin/syrah glasses and am very happy with them (can you tell I am a red wine drinker ;-) ).

            Thanks Dan for the correction - I had forgotten that Riedel bought Spiegelau.


            1. re: Vinquire

              Thank you for taking the time to post these links. Interesting article, as well.

      2. For all purpose glasses, get nice "INAO" type glasses, or tulip shape glasses; they are "perfect" (or adequate") for every type of wine (except maybe champagne type wines)

        1. Need more information from you before making a rec. Do you want to use the glasses everyday or more for special occasions? Do you want to handwash or be able to place in the dishwasher? What are your favorites types of red and white wines? The types that you would be using the glasses for the most? Answers to these questions will help in making more thoughtful recs. Thanks!

          3 Replies
          1. re: souvenir

            Well, they're going to be used for everyday and for special occassions. NYC apartment space has lilitations, so looking for an all purpose glass. A far as whites, generally a sauvignon blanc drinker, and pinot noir for reds. I understand that picking a specific glass for those varietals is best, but also want something that will work best with the widest selection of whites/reds. Let me know.

            1. re: jdf

              You didn't answer the question about dishwasher or hand wash, so I'll answer the question 2 ways based upon my own experience.

              At home, we have a fair amount of cabinet space (some would say more than a fair amount), and we have different shapes of riedel vinum, ouverture, and the style riedel calls the everyday glass. What we use the most are the ones that go in the dishwasher without a problem. This is in large part because of their shorter stems and lead-free glass:
              the everyday glass
              and the ouverture magnum,
              We use the everyday glasses for sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, rose and sparkling water, and the magnums for lots of reds, typically zinfandel, red blends, cabs, merlots. For pinots, we have some large bowl lead-free burgundy glasses I brought back from France a long time ago and I have no iidea what brand they are. They go in the dishwasher too, and take up a large amount of space on the top rack.

              When we rent apartments in France, I often don't find wine glasses in the apartment that I want to use, and so I've bought a variety of glasses there that I sometimes bring home, sometimes give to friends there.
              Ones that we use all the time here also are lead free and are basically the bordeaux shape with about a 14 oz capacity and have a longer stem than either the everyday or ouverture.

              When a nicer bottle of wine is opened, or we feel like handwashing, or have a multi-course, multi-wine bottle thing going on, we use the various appropriate vinum shapes.

              If you intend to handwash everything, and given your mentions of sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, if you like to pour 5-6 ounces into a glass and be able to sniff and swirl, etc., then I would suggest the riedel vinum bordeaux and pinot/burgundy glasses. Or the ouverture magnum and vinum pinot/burgundy. I like having small amounts of whites and roses in the larger size glasses as well, so that is why I'm suggesting 2 red glasses and no white. Certainly others may disagree with me.

              If you want to check out other brands, I think the Spiegelau Vino Grande series is also good. It is a bit more sturdy then Riedel's Vinum, and nicer quality than the Ouverture. Their burgundy is a different shape than Riedel's, a more open, less rounded shape:
              I've given a lot of this line of Spiegelau to people as wedding gifts when they weren't registered for any specific wine glass brand, and everyone so far has seemed to be very happy with them.

              Maximilien mentioned the tulip shape. We've had some in the past, and they were handed off to a friend just beginning to furnish a new house. I prefer a deeper rounder bowl, than the tulip ones we had at least.

              ps. It would be sad not to also have at least a few champagne glasses, unless you absolutely detest champagne. We have the riedel vinum prestige shape.

              Hope this all makes sense, and is helpful to your decision process.

              1. re: souvenir

                It is helpful. I missed the part and about the dishwasher, but they will be hand washed. And of course, champagne glasses are already taken care of. Thanks for the useful suggestions.

          2. I agree with Spiegelau. I like them and have used them, and broken a few,for many many years. Good every day glasses. I always buy them at K&L Wines in the Bay Area.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pasoguy

              Riedel sells what they call degustation glasses in both red and white. Red is similar to the bordeaux glass, white similar to sauv blanc. They can be found all over in Canada for between $25 and 30 for a box of 4. Non-lead crystal, suitable for everyday and special occassion. I have dozens of them and use them daily.

            2. Jdf,

              I am a big fan of the Riedel Vinum line, and own far too many. However, that is not what you have asked. Were I in your place, I'd opt for their Bdx (red) and their Chardonnay (white) as my everyday red/white glasses. Later, I'd add their Burg "balloon" for PNs and their "Montrachet" for big whites (a fav. around our home). I do not have their exact model #'s handy, as I am on a different computer now, since the laptop died.

              The first two will get you through most situations. Consider the other two, if you are into Burgs (white, or red), or really get off on PNs and big Cal-Chards. You WILL be rewarded.

              If you can find a Riedel "tasting" in your locale, do it and try for yourself. Many higher-end cooking stores (did one at Sur la Table) and wine/food societies hold these. I also did several, over the years, at the Wine Spectator's California Wine Experience. They now do these as their "Grand Tour," and I do not know if the Riedel tastings are part of the format.

              For me, the minimum would be the Bdx., the Chard (or the SB), the Montrachet, the Burg (red) "balloon," Port, and Champagne flutes. Of these, I have all in the Vinum line. Also, there are hundreds of "other" Riedels around my house, but that is another story. Last note: I know you are planning on registering, but if you can find a Riedel tasting, the prices at those events are pretty nice. I just picked up 24 Riedel Sommelier Sauternes and a handful of both the Bdx and Burg glasses, at about what I paid for many of my Vinum glasses.

              There are other lines/mfgrs, and one that I like is the Waterford Marquis "Tasting" series. Only problem is that I find their "young whites" glasses to be a bit unbalanced, but that's just me. Their other glasses are great and work well.