Friday, September 18, 2009

A glass by any other name

If you are a wine connoisseur, either burgeoning or seasoned, you have no doubt heard of Riedel. For anyone else wanting to learn a little something today, Riedel is considered by many not just as a wine glass company but the wine glass company. Riedel is one of the oldest companies in the world having opened its doors in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) over 250 years ago.

Riedel has been rated by some of the master wine critics in the world because they shape the glass based on the wine you are drinking. In case you are still serving white and red in the same glass, here is a guide to show you their breadth. So, being developing oenophiles, I decided to buy the Vinum Extremes for JohnnyMac as a gift one holiday. Only to discover, he had bought the same for me and now we had eight gorgeous wine glasses. Well, we had 36 wine glasses to match the 8 wine globes for red, the 8 oversized white wine glasses, and the 12 champagne flutes I had to have but we like to have parties so I kept them all. (JohnnyMac immediately grimaced at my stance). And we loved using the Riedels. Did they make the flavor that much better? I hope so.

And then I abused the Riedels. As I washed it with the utmost tender loving care, I apparently did not use angel wings to dry the water and I cracked one. I haven't broken a wine glass. Ever. I have been highly overserved in stilettos on a wet patio with wine glass in hand and still have never broken a wine glass. So one Riedel down.

That's ok,
I told myself. I have seven more. And then I broke another. Damn! And then another.

I put myself on probation. No Riedels for me and I didn't want to wash them OR look at them. And after a month I went back. And look what Ive done! I broke another &$%@*!&^ wine glass. And another. Regardless of my gingerly caresses, over the course of six months, I had now broken seven of the eight glasses. And let me assure you, I am not a clumsy girl. And why would this even merit comment? Because we bought the Vinum Extreme glasses for $25.00. Each. So I now have a wine glass debit of $175.00. Isn't that precious?

But rather than go on permanent probation, I have discovered I can buy a CASE of Vinum Extremes on eBay for about 100.00 now. Oh, eBay, I do love you.

And while I am waiting for another shipment, I have my lovely wine globes from Pottery Barn which are just fantastic (and at 24 ounces, you really can say you only had one glass.)

And then I read an article about some interesting methods used to serve wine in restaurants from California to NYC.

At Lou's Red Oak BBQ in Huntington Beach, they serve wine in a mason jar. How fitting. But I'm not buying. I really can not drink wine out of a glass with no stem. Seriously. I won't.

At Global Cafe in Colorado, Sofia Coppola has sparkling wine that comes in a can. Oh Lord. I think the makers of the renowned Screaming Eagle just shuddered.

At 1914, a speakeasy in Chicago, they serve it in teacups and small bowls.

And at La Cave des Fondus, they serve red wine in baby bottles. Oh yes, you read that right. Apparently an idea from a restaurant in Paris that has been doing it since 1966 (to avoid taxes). Now, I support creativity, but let's be clear, this is just ill. If I saw a grown person drinking wine from a baby bottle, my tummy would churn. Stop it La Cave des Fondus. While the Parisians may have some sound albeit odd reasoning for such a thing, you do not.

Maybe I should send them all case of Riedels.

59 comments:

Fireblossom said...

Darling, this is lovely. Educational, just like the time RRRRamon showed me his cute rope tricks. But I find that the Waterford crystal makes the most pleasing sound--even better than the Oneida--when I pitch it against the wall to punctuate some particularly pithy bon mot I have come up with. And the mess? Why, that is why Goddess invented staff!

Thank you for your visit to Objets D'art. In choosing my blog, you've shown that you can easily distinguish a pinched little teetotaller (Fireblossom) from a cultured woman of parts (me, Babs!).

La Belle Mere UK said...

I was once served milk in a coffee shop in Thailand that came in a babies bottle. And I thought THAT was bizarre. But RED WINE?? Ewww....

Oh and I'm ALWAYS breaking wine glasses. I snap the stems when I'm drying them. I've no idea how - they just.. SNAP. Perhaps I'm oblivious to my Hulk like inner strength.

LBM xxx

Laura Trevey said...

Have a Beautiful weekend!!
xo Laura
www.brightboldbeautiful.blogspot.com

f8hasit said...

I'm with you on your stance on stemmed glassware. Although I have taken to stemLESS glass when entertaining on the deck.

I've also had some Riedell casualties. I won't pay retail any longer, but can't give up my nice stemware!

Baby bottles. Bah.
:-)

mo.stoneskin said...

I've learnt two things in life.

1) Expensive wine glasses break if you so much as look at them.

2) Blogger/Crackberry browser combination is about as functional as a smashed wine glass. (I read yesterday's post, came up with a witty comment (yeah right), but that damn Crackberry).

AmyK said...

Riedell was the first I saw, that came out with the stemless glasses. The stem to me, is part of the wine experience. I had the red wine globes. Had... I think there is one left of my set of 4. Have you seen the cafe with the thumb hold in the bottom. Gorgeous...but obviously, I am not worthy. I'd break it too.

The Peach Tart said...

I love Riedel glasses but also have broken a few in my day. Someone gave me a set of the Riedel stemless wine glasses and I've used them once, just long enough to know I don't like them.

Tammy Howard said...

I absolutely concur that drinks should be served in the proper glasses. I don't know why it makes a difference, but it does. Wine in a Mason jar? No. Sparkling wine in a soda can? Oh HELL no!

B SQUARED said...

I know the French introduce their young to wine at an early age but must they carry that tradition into adulthood?

Vodka Logic said...

I am not a wine drinker but I do like champagne once in awhile. Martini is my drink...surprise lol...

I bought the husband some nice "up" glasses for fathers day and he will bring me a drink in a juice glass, olives and all. I ask about the nice glasses and he says he doesn't want to break them. While I understand and appreciate that, why have them if we can't use them.

Enjoy the glasss JennyMac. and Cheers
xx

Eva Gallant said...

I would be heart-broken if I had broken those Riedels! Poor, Jenny!
Of course, down here in trailer trash land, we drink our wine-coolers straight from the bottle! lol (Actually, I hate wine coolers. Horrible thing to do to wine!)

That was a very informative post, btw.

Live.Love.Eat said...

I love the idea of tea out of mason jars but not my wine. Beer, yes, but not wine.

Cee said...

I might have to get some of those, I have mostly stemless right now because I don't have a lot of storage room but I do love a nice huge wine glass.

Heather said...

That sucks!!! I hate when I break stuff like that too. And you are right, never seems to happen when you think it should - like 4 glasses into the night.

Um...wine in a can? WTF. No.

Cheers to Friday!

Stereos and Souffles said...

I remember the first time I drank champagne out of a flute without a stem, it felt strange. I like your 24 oz I only had one glass idea!

Char said...

I love my cheap stemless wineglasses from Targets. LOL of course I have a uneducated palate.

Badass Geek said...

$25 a glass?

Just by the sheer cost, I'd be so nervous about breaking it that it'd shatter before I got it to the cashier.

Kelly said...

I can't tell you how many glasses I've broken in the last year. Really its a problem. I need to either not drink so much or be given a sippy cup.

Mommy Lisa said...

I have Riedel Vivant Pinot Noir Glasses that I bought AT TARGET CHAR!!! on clearance for like $20 or something for four of them. I love them.

Lopez said...

It's a post like this that really REALLY makes me want to make me learn to appreciate a good bottle of wine...I've tried and I've tried, but I can't seem to get past the first couple of sips.

How I would love to sample wine in different glasses to see if the taste varies...

These Riedel glasses must be made out of something super delicate if you managed to break 7/8 in six months, wow!

I didn't see the example of the restaurant that serves wine out of a box...or is that just on college campuses? ha ha ha!

foxy said...

GOOD LAWD! I didn't even know there WERE that many types of wine. I feel a tad bit stupid now. I used to break wine glasses left and right, but I've gotten MUCH better over the past few years...

Mira is triplet crown said...

My husband loves those wine glasses. I have a personal objection to anything i have to wash by hand. So I pitch a fit or just leave them sitting on the side of the sink until someone else washes them. If they break them so much the better for me because I break everything.

The Savage said...

If wine is for drinking does it really matter the vessel in which it is served?
I used to be a hoity toity, swirler and hint of oak with pineapple overtone expressor but one day a Greek friend of mine said, "John!(my real name is Mark) It is wine. You drink the wine! You don't sip it and say what it tastes like. Just drink it!"
Personally, I prefer taking long pulls straight from the bottle.

Lisa Anne said...

I love me some wine!!!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I love wine, but know nothing about the glasses you drink it in. I do know that I would never drink it out of a baby bottle or a can, but the mason jar, I can do...if it's filled to the top!

Eyes Wide Open said...

I can't drink wine in a glass WITH a stem. Maybe because I am a clumsy girl. I am a huge fan of (inexpensive) stemless wine glasses. Like, you know, Red Solo cups.

Lulu in D.C. said...

So glad I decided against these for my wedding registry. We picked out a less expensive "everyday" wine glass at Macys and have been very happy.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

You just crack me up, kind of like what you do to your Riedels! Cheers to the weekend.

Nonflammable said...

I am a klutzenheimer with those Reidel glasses. I have 1/12 of what I recevied 4 years ago as a gift. No one to blame but moi. I broke them all.

I can't fathom drinking a good wine out of a mason jar let alone a baby bottle.....disturbing.

Pricilla said...

I, alas, cannot drink due to medications I take. *sigh*

But the hubby will only drink his wine out of Orrefors crystal. In fact when we sold everything off and chucked our former lives to travel around the country in a fifthwheel trailer (a truly wonderful adventure) we kept the Orrefors and took it with us - well four stems anyway.

After going back and forth across the nation 4 times we still have three stems. And HE was the one who broke the one.

carma said...

You sound positively jinxed. Yeah, the baby bottle thing is creepy, but I'm not beyond using a mason jar ;-)

Nyx said...

Huh. If I claimed to drink wine out of a plastic cup, would you send me a case of Riedels too?

In all actuality, I'm with you on the stemless glassware. I refuse to drink wine if it's not in a wine glass...with a stem. I don't like those ones that are stemless.

I guess it's some people's preference, but to me it just seem so...wrong. Like drinking beer out of a champagne flute.

Emily said...

Are they really that good even if they break with the utmost careful care?
I'm with you...my wine glass needs to have a stem. We have a set of those stemless wine glasses which my husband loves to use, but that just doesn't fly with me.
And wine from a baby bottle?! Taxes or no taxes, that's just wrong on so many levels!

Living on the Spit said...

I love all wine glasses and trying different wines...thank God for ebay.

Great, informative post.

Kathy B! said...

I think we must have similar wine glasses. The monsters in my butler's pantry can hold the better part of a bottle without looking terribly full :)

Perfection.

La La La Leah said...

Those are some crazy ways to serve wine.. Now IF I did drink wine it would either be straight out of the bottle or in a paper cup filled from a box of wine!!! Because I AM CLASSY! ....... ;) But I don't like wine so we are safe.

Pink Links said...

Red wine in baby bottles... Crazy world!

I'm happy to drink tea:)

JenJen said...

Baby bottles...mason jars? What fresh hell is this?

I do like to drink my vino in a short "dego glass" which is sorta reminiscient of a votive holder, or a standard stemmed glass.
I do not like these fancy pants wine openers. Just gimmie the dang corkscrew. Thankyouverymuch.

Lisa and Laura said...

Champers in a can??? Sign. Me. Up.

Intense Guy said...

Somehow I just knew drinking my wine out of the box through a crazy straw wasn't couth.

Seriously - I feel your pain - a broken waterford glass can make a grown man cry.

HalfAsstic.com said...

I understand perfectly your problem with keeping your own wine glasses... alive. What is it about super thin, delicate, flimsy, crystal that causes it to beat itself against the sides of the sink once it has been purchased by you? Other dishware doesn't have the same death wish...Thank gawd. ;-)

Mark said...

Wow! It is interesting how things happen is series. Let's hope the next set lasts a long time!

Mommy Mac said...

Power packed with knowledge on one of my favorite subjects.

aDoRe!

Okay, so I opt to spend my money on the wine and not so much what it goes in.

2 choices at my house:

1. my mom's depsression glass set of vintage Cabbage in green

OR

2. BIG FAT glass goblets from...wait for it, wait for it....THE DOLLAR TREE.

Seriously, like a half bottle can fit into one of them and like you said, "it's like you just had one glass."

Cheers to a good weekend, sister.

.mac :)

Mr. Charleston said...

This Riedel outfit has built-in obsolescence down to a science. And, everybody from the South knows there's only one liquor you drink from a mason jar.
Mighty, mighty, pleasin' my pappy's corn squeezins.

Shop Girl* said...

Baby bottles? That's weird. I'm all for creativity but I can't ever see myself all decked out sipping any beverage from a baby bottle.

Now a mason jar I could do... (I'm from a small town. hahaha)

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I so love to hear and learn, thank you so much for the wonderful post. I'm still shaking my head at wine in a can ... LOL :)

Dustjacket Attic said...

Wine has to be served in wine glasses with a stem in my book.

I even take wine glasses camping! No plastic for me.

That's not good about them breaking so easily.

Have a great weekend,
xoxo

Stephanie Faris said...

It's amazing to me how many different wines there are and how a true wine connoisseur can tell the difference. I'm lost...they all taste the same to me.

Suzanne said...

Amazing!

In my corner of the world we drink red wine out of juice glasses. The itty bitty ones. Not joking. Try it!

Being Pramoda... said...

Haii...Thanks for the post..:) ...good read..:) will refer it again when i need it..:) ..:) ..

:) Prams

the walking man said...

I suppose there is no merit in just drinking from the bottle it came in is there?

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

"I really can not drink wine out of a glass with no stem" -- Oh, JennyMac, that's the ONLY kind of glass I can drink from. Baby-food jars are preferable but since Mr. M is 8, they're rather scarce around here.

But I do know what you mean about Reidels. Thin as Bible paper, GD it. They're unmanageable!! I'm off to buy the cheaper, stemless version at Steinmart. XOXO

My name is PJ. said...

Once upon a time I was in my 30's and thought I should buy expensive stemware...along with other very expensive food and drink acoutrement - my husband being a chef and all....but, my wine and drink glass inventory was in need of constant replenishment, so I switched to outlet shopping....
You are a hoot!

today's word verification: clograg

Amanda said...

I would also not be able to tolerate seeing grown adults drinking from baby bottles. ridiculous. I have a healthy respect for Reidel, but stay away from them myself since I break things. I love our eclectic assortment of wine glasses/champagne flutes at home, but am really looking forward to getting a nice set of glasses when I get my big girl dishes.

ladytruth said...

It seems like Riedels are as flimsy and weak as Shar-Peis. I like to stick my wine glasses in the dishwasher and not worry about the outcome the next morning. Can you tell I'm not a great wine drinker?! ;)

Unknown Mami said...

You better buy two cases.

I tried the Coppola in a can. It's better in the can than in my mouth.

Ali said...

I've heard about this wine in baby bottles thing! Too weird.

Ali said...

I've heard about this wine in baby bottles thing! Too weird.

nifer said...

I must have the short stem Riedel martini glasses... the ones where the liquid fills the stem, then the glass. They are too gorgeous for words. I discovered them on a cruise ship, and they will be making an appearance on my future wedding registry!

~ Jen

P.S. I've broken more wine glasses, beverage glasses and coffee pot carafes than I can count! I'm a klutz with soapy hands!