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Nov 17, 2011 08:41 PM

Riedel O - stemless wine glasses?

I would like to buy my first set of wine glasses. I don't consider myself a fine wine connoisseur but I do really enjoy my wine!

I always wanted to buy Riedel wine glasses and the Riedel O collection seems to be a great deal because they are stemless. The users on amazon seem to like them. What do you guys think about stemless wine glasses? They seem pretty cool, more informal and practical. Do you think it is sacrilegious to use those, especially for white wine? Should I stay classic and go with a stemmed wineglass set? Is it just a fad? what do you think?

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  1. I got them as gifts when they first came out (a nice gift....and appreciated), but
    I really don't like them. They're too thin and break easily. And your hand warms the white wine too quickly...or red that is chilled. I'd stick with stems.....just my vote.

    4 Replies
    1. re: perk

      Why is hand-warming always cited as an issue? I don't usually hold my wine for any considerable length of time.

      1. re: eethan

        Hand-warming wasn't an issue for me; I just like that stems raise the glass off the table and prevent those greasy fingerprints (at least with those people who hold by the stem).

        1. re: wattacetti

          I sympathise with that---it's pretty much impossible to avoid leaving fingerprints, and it doesn't look nice.

        2. re: eethan

          Well...if you're having a cocktail party and people are standing around actually can be held for a fair amount of time.

      2. I like stems myself (there is a universal glass in the Riedel Ouverture series), but I do have O-series champagne "flutes" for those times when there are more than 4 people to serve.

        1. You can also swirl better with stemmed "stemware."

          That being said, all these things are fairly peripheral to the process of drinking wine. I drink out of stemmed, unstemmed, and completely unrelated glassware. Unless you're a major wine geek, the biggest difference is just in atmosphere, so go for unstemmed if casual is your thing.

          However, I wouldn't suggest Riedel unless you're a major, major wine geek. It's like getting a Shun meat cleaver. Ikea, CB2 and a thousand other places have reasonably priced and attractive stemless wine glasses.

          1. Personally, a) it's a fad that comes and goes every 30 or so years, and b) having used the,. I don't like them . . .

            Now, I admit I own a fair amount of Reidel Vinum and Sommelier series glassware (and am replacing it with Spieiglau), I draw the line at stemless -- for all the reasons previously stated. Your hand warms the wine -- even holding it briefly, and this is true for both reds and white wines; they are not all that easy to swirl properly; and they (IMHO) simply AREN'T "pretty cool, more informal, practical," although I will concede one can debate standards of aesthetics and formality.

            The only thing I actually like "stemless" are some 30-year old brandy snifters I still have from the *last* time "stemless" was thought to be cool, informal and practical . . .


            6 Replies
            1. re: zin1953

              Jason, I tend to agree with you about Reidel O's (and no-stem wine glasses in general) BUT I was surprised to see Parker using one in an old PBS documentary about him I caught a few years ago. It seemed to be his 'standard' glass from what I recall.

              At the time I just figured he was less concerned about swirling than about spilling. Do you suppose that the less-than-optimal swirling characteristics of a stemless glass are not an issue for a "full-time pro" who likely has his own preferred technique for tasting? Or....... is there any reason to care WHAT kind of glass he uses?

              1. re: Midlife


                This is but a wild guess - Riedel provided the glasses to R. Parker, Jr., as part of their marketing program, to promote them. Who knows, he might have gotten a "little something," just for using them in a photo shoot?


                1. re: Midlife

                  I'm pretty sure that was NOT a Reidel "O" -- Parker used to endorse (or at least, use) a line of glassware called "L'Impitoyable" ("the ruthless"), and used to swear by them. I would guess the glass you saw him use was L'Impitoyable's "The Taster." Look here -- -- for a picture of the glass in question. It's held by two fingers . . .

                  Also, for their complete line of L'Impitoyable glassware, check out this link:

                  1. re: zin1953

                    Do you know anything about the L'Impitoyable line? I checked out your link and fell in love with the dimpled champagne glasses. Wondering if they are worth the money.

                    1. re: omotosando

                      Disclaimer: I have *only* used the Taster glass, and found it a PITA.

                      Somewhere on eBob (actually I thought it was on Chowhound, but I can't find it now), there was a discussion of these glasses -- or, rather, of high-end Champagne glasses in general -- and the consensus was that the L'Impitoyable #4 (aka their Champagne glass) was the L'Oréal of champagne glasses: expensive but worth it!

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Oh no, I was not hoping to hear that as I am not looking for excuses to spend money. :) But those dimpled glasses are really calling out to me.

              2. I was gifted a set of the Bdx O glasses, and used them for a bit. I never really felt comfortable with them, and found them a bit more difficult to clean, than the Riedel Vinums, w/ approx. the same sized bowl. I still have those, because they came from a good friend. However, I have won several wine lots at charity auctions, that included the O's. All three sets were re-packaged into wine lots that I donated to other charity events.

                Some like 'em, and some do not. I happen to fall into the latter category.


                5 Replies
                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  Wouldn't it be funny if those you re-package are just the same ones over and over? Sort of like the fruitcake that keeps getting passed around from year to year...

                  1. re: Leepa

                    as johnny carson used to say....there is really only ONE fruitcake that keeps getting passed around......

                    1. re: Leepa

                      That could certainly happen, but as we attend about 50 charity events per year, I feel that the likelihood is slight. Still, I am glad that they do NOT have serial numbers... [Grin]


                      PS - In those particular lots, I believe that the Riedel O's have come from commercial entities, coupled with lots of wines. Hope I am not wrong on that.

                      1. re: Bill Hunt

              's good they don't have serial numbers.
                        Also don't think they expiration numbers!

                        1. re: perk

                          Yes, when I re-donate (is that a word?) such things, I try to remove any lot #'s, etc..

                          Still, we bid on a lot of wine-oriented lots, and some contain other items, like the various O's. Often, I will sort of pick through, and then donate the rest to a good cause. If Paul Fleming can remember that he donated X, and that I won the lot, then he recognizes part of it at another charity auction, he's a better man, than I am.

                          Going back a few months, we won a case of wine in a charity raffle. Another charity contacted me about a donation, and I told them OK, and asked for dates, etc. They forgot to furnish the dates, and then contacted me, just before a long trip. Luckily, that case was still in the foundation offices, so we donated that, without ever even seeing the wines. Things normally do not happen that way, but I was glad, as I was heading out the door for London, and otherwise had nothing to offer.

                          I try to do some creative matching and pairing, such as with a vertical of Insignia, that I donated a few years back, and added an Insignia wooden box, and 12 Riedel Vinum Bdx. stems, plus a Rabbit corkscrew set in a wooden box with extra worms. The Insignia came from my cellar, as did the wooden presentation box. I bought the Riedels for that lot, and the Rabbit came from another lot (maybe my third one?).