Friday, March 14, 2008

Look who's coming to dinner... as soon as you buy the right stemware.

Good glasses are vital to enjoying wine. Which is why I am baffled by these new designs. Another day another gimmick. They look truly difficult to drink out of and, in the case of Swing, unpleasant to hold on to! Stemless glassware is all the rage and for some occasions are fine, but nothing makes me more enraged than when I go to a restaurant, order a nice bottle of wine and get a stemless glass or a clunky Libbey glass. The proper glass will expand the aromas in the wine.

I think Crate and Barrel makes one of the best everyday drinking wine glasses. As for the big guns, there is really no comparison to Riedel.

This leads me to a very important topic - what do you want in wine glass? The rim needs to be thin and delicate, not big and chunky. The glass should be light and easy to handle, again not fat and heavy. My litmus test is if it looks like you can take a tooth out with it should you bring it to your mouth unexpectedly rushed, then avoid...

Here's a short list of awful wine glasses that are widely available and undoubtedly end up on many gift registries. Macy's truly has the worst line-up of stemware I've ever seen (though they do sell Riedel).

Pottery Barn, Claro Stemware
Euw! Chunky and heavy, short and stubby.
Macy's Mikasa Panache
If you can't swirl it, avoid it.
Macy's Lenox "Tuscany Harvest"
Colored and / or mirrored glasses should never ever be used. A wine's color is integral it's enjoyment. And any reference to Harvest or Tuscany should be avoided at all costs. These are glasses for wine tourists.

If you drink wine every night you must invest in stemware. See above. My cabinets packed with glasses. It's well worth the investment. Ask for them for your birthday, for Christmas for your wedding registry and it won't be long before you build up an arsenal. Then you can invite me over for dinner.


Anonymous said...

thank goodness for your blog. I'm pretty sure when you and P came over, I served you red wine in a stemless glass. Yikes. They save me so much storage space, so they seemed like a good idea at the time, but when I drink from them, I do feel a little bad - like I'm punishing the wine or something! I won't serve white wine in them, but now, it looks like I shouldn't be serving any wine in them at all! :(

Amy said...

Femster - Stemless glasses are good in some contexts! I sound like a jerk in this post, huh?? I even own some stemless sparkling glasses - I just don't use them very much because our filthy little warm hands change the temperature of the wine so quickly. I just happen to have a preference for stems... can't help it!

Anonymous said...

I know that I served you and Peter wine with stemless, but as we were eating outside and the surface was uneven, I figured you 2 weren't worth the potential loss of one of my cherished Riedel's. i do hope you know that i am kidding, but next time we will sit indoors....Regardless, your point is well taken. Invest in a good set. It really does make a differnce!

Amy said...

Haydn - we definitely ARE NOT worth it - and I am about as clumsy as they come - I cannot be trusted with Riedels... I will post another picture of my glass cabinet in a year and there will be like 3 glasses left!

MyPrecious said...

Amy, this blog is so great! Wish I could have you over to my place in North GA! Next time your in town, right? Although, admittedly, I only have one type of wine glass that I think I bought in a box of 12 from WalMart years ago, and I do have some colored glasses from Pier1 :)
We have tons of wine, though! Couldn't tell you if it's good wine or not, but it's from a lot of the places Robert and I have travelled. I desparately need to update my glasses, thanks for the tips! Meryl

Amy said...

Hotlanta here I come!!