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Apr 28, 2013 04:00 PM

Bistro glasses for wine

Why is it that I much prefer to drink my wine in bistro glasses rather than stemmed glasses? Especially at home, but in restaurants too. Just as I have in restaurants on my travels through europe. Is it that I am just uncouth?

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  1. Uncouth? Nah. I also prefer to drink out of short, stemless, Bistro-style glasses at home. I think now that wine has become more easily accessible to the masses--thanks in large part to more affordable bottles--we are moving away from pedantic wine culture.

    The Only-Drink-Out-Of-Stemmed-Glasses rule seems a bit archaic for plebians such as me.

    4 Replies
    1. re: globocity

      I read a review of a restaurant here on CH and he dinged it badly for using such a glass. This is a bare tabletop, dishtowels as napkins, lofted ceiling kinda place. I wanted to ding him :)

      1. re: globocity

        If only more affordable wines were a reality here in Québec, where there are a lot of wine lovers - and bistro glass lovers!

        Oh, how I love my little Duralex Picardie gobelets. Some are brought back from every (working) trip to Europe.
        GH and Chinon, I also have stem glasses, but only use them for certain tastings and high-end wines.

        Gobelets are much less likely to get broken in heated conversations with lots of body language...

        1. re: lagatta

          To my knowledge, I have no Latin blood in me but I talk with my hands. Some years ago, while doing this, I broke a relatively expensive glass. I traced a copy of one of the remainders and gave it to our daughter who was heading to the area where I'd bought them. Lotta trouble.

          1. re: lagatta

            Picardie glasses are available at Williams Sonoma and Sur la Table. No need to go to France. But if you are going to go I will ask you to buy some of my favorite perfume for me. For some reason they quit exporting it and will not even ship it to the US.

        2. A bistro glas is ok in a casual place, but a stem glass is not an affectation. Holding the glass by the stem prevents the heat from your hand from warming the wine.

          Holding a stem glass by the bowl — now that's uncouth.

          6 Replies
          1. re: GH1618

            I know that's a general rule. I realize I'm a bit uncouth, even though I've been collecting wine for 20 years. I tend to usually use the stem but know that part of the time I grab the bowl. Less so with a white than a red.
            The truth is, that with a red wine served at 60 degrees and an air temp of 72, you're really imparting a negligible amount of extra heat by touching the bowl with four fingers and taking a sip as opposed to grasping the stem.

            Anyhow, I don't mind a globlet shaped stemless that at least has a slight taper inward at the top. To me that makes swirling a little easier and concentrates the nose. I don't like drinking out of glasses the flare/taper outward.

            1. re: john gonzales

              But all those finger prints look terrible;]

              1. re: Chinon00

                Very true. Especially if one is having ribs or fried chicken :)
                I'm discouraged more by the fingerprint mess than the wine temp angle.

                1. re: john gonzales

                  I'll go along with that. But would you use stemware with barbecue?

                  1. re: GH1618

                    I often do, but I'm pretty serious about wine. We have a lot of relatively large (25+ ppl) parties of wine-lovers where most people bring at least one good bottle in the $30-$100 range. So those wines deserve stems. We tell people what we're making, and maybe 2-3 times a year it's bbq. So lots of matching wines show up .
                    It's not unusual to have 2 stems broken per party. I have a lot of those stemless bowls but I'd say only 1 of 10 people opt for them. With the stand-around or roam gatherings one does have to constantly hold the glass so the temp thing makes sense.

                    1. re: john gonzales

                      I do have crystal stem glasses, but there is no room in my little flat for so many people, especially not for "roaming", and risk spillage and destruction of work equipment or materials. I'd be sad if I had such good wine without somewhere to sit and sip it slowly.

          2. It depends on the wine. If it's real simple plonk have at it. But if it's a nicer bottle and you wanna dig into the nose, etc a larger bowl stemmed glass is better.

            1. I always hated the stemmed wine glasses. Breakable,tip over easy. To fragile for me. At home I drink my wine from glasses without a stem that I bought in Cortona, Italy.

              1. i like both, but at home i like the bistro glasses because they can withstand machine washing

                1 Reply
                1. re: westsidegal

                  I don't have a dishwasher but still prefer the gobelets to stem glasses, for most purposes.