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Oct 28, 2008 08:36 AM

Investing in new wine glasses

I'm about to upgrade my wine glasses. I am going with Riedel, I just don't know which model yet. I like the stemless glasses, but I'm not sure if they are worth the investment. I want something that is pretty but practical.

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  1. Riedel glasses are very nice and probably my favorite. However, the glass is uber thin and they will break quite easily if you're not careful. Especially when drying the bowl. Personally, I don't like the stemless glasses; cupping the bowl warms up the wine.

    However, my go-to glasses are Spiegelau; they're on par with Riedel yet are less prone to breaking.

    For wine dinners, off-lines, etc, I like to bring Schott Zwiesel Forte series wine glasses. These are very affordable and the titanium glass is very resilient.

    1. I got a set of Spiegelau glasses, both Bordeaux and Burgundy, about two years ago and have been very pleased with them. Thinking about getting a set of champagne glasses now.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ibstatguy

        Sorry ibs, but for champagne nothing beats Baccarat, period.

        1. re: RicRios

          Were money no object, I'd look seriously look at these three glasses:
          Les Impitoyables No. 4 --
          Zalto Denk’Art Champagne --
          Riedel Sommelier Vintage --

          Not a big fan of the Baccarat, sorry. Besides they make the rest of these look cheap! ;^)

          1. re: zin1953

            Jason - thx for this. Had previously thought about the Les Impitoyables and will now have to give it further thought. I've posted enough here that its no secret that I love champagne and sparklers so I ought to do them justice.

            1. re: zin1953

              << Zalto Denk’Art Champagne >>

              Pretty!!! Want!!! Wish I had 250 € to spend on champagne *glasses* !

            2. re: RicRios

              Except the Tritan champagne glasses from Schott Zwiesel (function & appearance). And maybe the one from Zalto. Baccarat if you like lead in your stemware and love the "look".

              Speaking of Zalto...does any one know where to buy them locally in Toronto? Or online in Canada (prefer from Toronto...if not...some where in Ontario?). I only know of one place in Alberta where Canucks can order them and hope they arrive in one piece.

          2. FORGET STEMLESS! They are worthless if you are serious about your wine. They are a design statement, nothing more. They are horrible for wine service.

            I have LOTS of glasses . . . Riedels are great BUT -- they DO break if you look at them hard.

            I am in a long, slow process of replacing my Riedels with Spieglau (Riedel owns Spieglau), and I have noticed no drop off in quality, but my wallet is a lot happier.

            The Schott Zwiesel Forte series is also good.

            6 Replies
            1. re: zin1953

              I always wonder when I see people discussing how fragile Riedel glasses are. I have dozens of their low-end 'degustation glasses' - the ones that come in boxes of 4 for $30, and numerous pairs of other designs (zin, burgundy, shiraz, chardonnay, champagne...) in the Vinum line, and have never broken a single one. The cheap ones are 8-9 years old, have been through many parties, handled by a huge variety of people, and all still intact.

              Re: the O glasses, some might be OK for casual use but be careful if you have small hands - my wife thought she might like some but while checking them out in a store realized she couldn't actually pick up the burgundy, chardonnay or shiraz version in one hand because it was too big.

              1. re: Dan G

                a) Restaurants get a "breakage allowance" when they agree to use Riedels.

                b) I did say "I am in a long, slow process of replacing my Riedels with Spieglau . . . " When enough Riedels break to buy a new box, I replace them with Spieglau. I'm guessing, but I probably have about 2/3 Riedel, 1/3 Spieglau.

                c) I did not say WHO breaks them. I can count on one hand the number of Riedels I have broken in the past ten years on one hand. I can count the number of Riedels my wife has broken in the past five years on two hands. I can also count the number of glasses my chocolate lab has broken with her tail in five years on one hand . . . .

                C'est la vie.

                But I would not recommend a stemless glass for ANYTHING other than for use as a brandy snifter.

                1. re: zin1953

                  Stemless glasses are like tineless forks: useless.

                  Interesting comments about "who" breaks the glasses. Sounds just like our house (minus the dog) !

                  1. re: zin1953

                    LOL I had the same set of four Riedel Bordeaux stems for years when I was single and living alone. During the first year of marriage all of them were broken... I also quickly found out that the broken wine glass thing was a battle best left unfought... Cheap Libbey stems it is! :)

                  2. re: Dan G

                    In 20+ years of heavy use, I've had one broken. This was one of my everyday Burg Vinums. Do not know what happened, but the bowl developed cracks.

                    Now, I've lost a few dozen other glasses over that time. Two were irreplacable V & B Port Copitas - Bummer!

                    I have two Vinum Bdx stems that get used nightly and are going on about 5 years.

                    In retrospect, I feel that none of my glasses, the V & B's, the Waterford Marquis, the Vinum and the Sommelier are that fragile, given good care. The one Vinum Burg glass is the only one to break with out heavy outside mechanical influence exerted.


                  3. re: zin1953

                    I am not a fan of the O glasses. I have some, and appreciate the gift. However, I am totally uncomfortable with these, and have other problems as well. Plus, I find them much more difficult to clean.


                  4. First, and I'm just throwing this out there... I genuinely prefer Schott Zweisel to Riedel. Their Forte line, at about half the price of the Riedel Vinums, is superior in every way -- less breakable, and at least as good for smelling/tasting. The Tritan Divas are even better, and still cost less than the Vinums. And they are very pretty glasses, too.

                    That being said, I absolutely love the Riedel Extreme Cabernet glass. It is by far worth the additional cost over the basic Vinum -- it is an exceptional glass. I actually, however, prefer the basic Vinum glass to the Extreme for Pinot. For white wines, I think the Vinums are fine.

                    The Riedel Somelliers are outstanding, but they break when you *think* about them. And tey cost far too much.

                    Don't even think about the stemmless glasses. Swirling is very difficult, the heat from your hand warms up the wine, and you get ugly fingerprints all over the glasses.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: whiner

                      I've been less than impressed in the Extreme line, but then I'm an old fudd. I did encounter an Extreme "look alike," that seemed to perform - Rona. I know nothing of them, but they almost fooled a good friend, who owns many Extreme. I though the weight was a touch off, but OK.


                    2. i love riedel som stems but too fragile and too scared to use them.....i use riedel extrm for everyday. for party i have tons of spiegelau that i got from amazon spcl....
                      i do have some stemless riedel that we go it as gifts but i don't like them and usually use them for other than wine