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Riedel stemware

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by hopkins_student, May 18, 2005.

  1. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Senior member

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    I've heard good things about Riedel stemware and I'm thinking about buying some for a friend of mine. What are the differences between the lines and does anybody have any suggestions about what to buy? Also, where can I purchase Riedel? Thanks.
     
  2. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    Mrs. Cuffthis and I really appreciate wine and entertain A LOT. We have gone through a ton of Riedel glasses, as noted by the boxes in our cellar: [​IMG] Reidel offers, from right to left, the following glasses: Right - Wine Series stem. About $10 each. Art Deco stem is thicker than Vinum series, helps prevent snapping stem. Large bowl excellent for opening nose on reds. Doesn't have the "clink" sound of Vinum though. Middle - Vinum Series stem. About $20 each. More elegant but the extremely thin stem is very, very easy to snap, especially when cleaning smudges off. Ouch. Left - Overture Series. About $7 each. A nice big bowl, but small stem. The best everday glass, but harder to find, surprisingly. Not shown - Somelier Series. At $65 per stem, a gorgeous glass, but way to thin and expensive for practical use. Everyone at Chateau Cuffthis is afraid to hand wash them for fear of breaking. [​IMG]
     
  3. countdemoney

    countdemoney Senior member

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    Thanks for an excellent post cuff. I've been wondering about the differences myself. As for Overture, I can help - Linens-N-Things try this: Riedel at LNT
     
  4. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Hopkins,

    Descending from the top-of-the-line:

    Sommeliers: Hand-blown, >24% Lead Crystal glasses, exceptionally thin bowls and stems. There's a very [/] wide selection of Sommeliers series glasses, one for nearly every wine varietal or appelation, as well as for fortified wines and spirits. Staggeringly nice.

    Vinum Extreme: Relatively new line of glasses, machine made, >24% PbO crystal, thin bowls, thicker stems than Sommeliers. Based on a diamond-like shape -- very distinctive. Their are not as many glasses in this line, and it is a chievable to get them all. I like the striking effect of the diamond -- it is different and distinctive, while retaining good balance.

    Vinum: Machine -made, >24% PbO crystal, more "tradionally" shaped of a Riedel glass than the extreme. About two dozen or so in the line, for a variety of varietals and appealtions. Stem and bowl thickness seems to vary with age -- my older Vinums are thinner than the current ones, sadly.

    Overture: Machine made, Lead-free glasses. Honestly, I don't know that much about them -- I picked one up and it doesn't have the delicate feel of a Vinum or Sommeliers.

    Wine: I think this is similar to the Overture, but with a little detailing on the stem -- a band or two. Haven't actually seen one.

    O-Riedel: Horrific stem-less glasses. Probably uber-trendy, but I was pretty shocked to see them.

    Suggestions of what to buy depends on how much you want to drop on your friend, as well as what he/she enjoys drinking -- Sommeleris can set you back from 45-100 USD/glass, Vinum Extremes run 30-45 USD, Vinums 20-40 or so, and I don't know about the others.

    Regards,

    Huntsman

    ps. The Sommeliers have that nice Riedel signature engraved on the base -- see the "Riedel Label' thread in this forum for pics...

    EDIT: Sorry for cross-posting some of the same info, cuffthis - I had the window open for a long time while doing other things and didn't refresh...
     
  5. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Cuffthis, that shot of all the boxes is almost obscene. You do everything in a big way, apparently.

    Regards,

    Huntsman
     
  6. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    Although the Vinum and Sommelier lines are indeed nice, we've found that unless you're uncorking vintage Burgundies every night (and don't mind breaking $50+ glasses w/ some regularity), the Overture series is the way to go if you regularly consume wine w/ your meals. They're a perfectly acceptable 'workhorse' glass (the Hickey Freeman of stemware?). Not as thin/delicate as the Vinum & Sommeliers, but they're miles ahead of standard Crate&Barrel/PotteryBarn-stuff, and you get peace of mind as the breakage factor disappears. There are a couple of wine paraphenalia catalogs (forget the names, but they're basically interchangable) that offer them discounted by the set and regularly run stemware discounts of 10 - 15%. Like everything else, it worth checking eBay as well...
     
  7. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    There was a discussion of Riedel's scotch glasses on another thread at some point. I picked up a pair (Vinum, not Sommeliers) this winter, they're friggin terrific. And they were pretty reasonable, like $30 for two on sale, I believe. Amazon I have some Speigelau stemware as well; it's no Riedel, but I haven't cried when drunk girls broke 'em.
     
  8. PHV

    PHV Senior member

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    It all depends what kind of glasses.

    For champagne flutes I would recommend getting the Somelliers. You don't drink champagne enough to worry about breakage. At least I don't.

    If you're getting them a basic "red wine" glass, then go with the Overture.
     
  9. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] You should drink more Champagne then. And not just for celebrations. Champagne is a wonderful compliment to a lot of foods. Try it with sushi.
     
  10. PHV

    PHV Senior member

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    Originally Posted by PHV,May 19 2005,12:58
    You don't drink champagne enough to worry about breakage. At least I don't.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] You should drink more Champagne then. And not just for celebrations. Champagne is a wonderful compliment to a lot of foods. Try it with sushi.
    I guess I should, but usually I drink champagne at a restaurant, not at home. In europe it is more common to drink champagne and sparkling wines often, but then again they aren't drinking Grand Dame or Dom every time they pop.
     
  11. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    (cuffthis @ May 19 2005,13:09)
    You don't drink champagne enough to worry about breakage. At least I don't.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] You should drink more Champagne then. And not just for celebrations. Champagne is a wonderful compliment to a lot of foods. Try it with sushi.
    I guess I should, but usually I drink champagne at a restaurant, not at home. In europe it is more common to drink champagne and sparkling wines often, but then again they aren't drinking Grand Dame or Dom every time they pop.
    Italian Proscecco is an excellent alternative and usually available for $15 and less. For true Champagnes, Charbout et Fils NV, at $23 or so, is much better IMHO than Veuve Clicquot or any other of the huge productions, at 1/3 less.
     
  12. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    For an interesting everyday sparkler try Gruet. $11 to $14 - you'd never guess it was from New Mexico. [​IMG]
     
  13. jasonpraxis

    jasonpraxis Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiosity, what's the verdict on the (seemingly countless number of ) special glasses for liquors like Scotch, bourbon, whatever? I'm no hardcore connoisseur, but if I'm paying top dollar for my booze is it worth my while to pick up a dedicated glass or two?
     
  14. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    We have some Riedels-- Vinums are a decent workhorse. Not at all fragile, and while there are others more attractive these get the job done.
    Sommeliers are quite nice-- the Vintage Champagne (tulip, not the flute) are my favorite for that purpose apart from the ones that sometimes get packaged with bottles of Krug. The comparable Vinum glass is also perfectly good, however.

    I do like the O series, or whatever the stemless ones are called. I have them down at the summer house, and take the Riesling/SauvBl on the boat for cruising. They take up less space and make wine drinking a real pleasure on board. Dishwasher safe. Anyway, don't be too proud to use these. THey are practical, they let the wine do its thing (bowl is the same shape as in the Vinum), and if they make it easier to enjoy wine regularly I say go for it. Sort of a Bistro aesthetic. You see lots of country French and Italian tables set with similar glasses for wine. There are also some glass tumblers at Crate& Barrel with similar shapes for maybe 1/3 of the price.

    Good, basic alternative-- Williams-Sonoma has Burgundy and Bordeaux glasses of various sizes. The 13 Oz are a good workhorse, and about $10/stem. Nicer looking than Vinums, and while not as suited to any one wine are more versatile. Those have become the everyday choice when I want something that has a stem.
     
  15. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Best cheap-ish bubblies: Gruet, then (next level up) Roederer Estate. After that, it's off to France for the good stuff. But the first 2 get you astonishingly close to the real thing.
     
  16. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    I could be wrong, but I believe the Gruets are actually a 'Champagne' family - they came here (or were here) and did some fairly extensive research before determining that the area south of Santa Fe (near Albequerque) most closely approximated the climate of Champagne - hence, chaep New Mexican sparkly that's pretty @#$%'in good. [​IMG]
     
  17. tgfny

    tgfny Senior member

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    Cremant from Burgundy is also an exceptional value. Same Chard grapes as trad Burgundy, but they spend no money promoting it.
     
  18. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    here's my question: mr. and ms. bargain's anniversary is coming up, and some nice glasses would make a good gift. we don't need any daily drinkers (although after trying riedels we may change that).
    ...i was looking at the "Vinum Extreme 4-piece Tasting Set" - would a couple of these sets be good to get? any alternative suggestions are also appreciated. note: the top-of-the-line handblown glasses scare me, due to their apparent fragility.

    /andrew
     
  19. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I like the Vinums, but have not tried the Extremes. Those are allegedly best suited for new world juice, of which I consume little.

    I think of Vinums as filling the gap between dishwasher-safe everyday and $50 stems at the high end. They are pretty well designed, more or less well balanced, and while obviously not handmade, also not cheesy. Their vintage champagne flutes/tulips are enormously useful, if you need that sort of thing.

    Another less-expensive alternative that I place in that same general bracket--- Williams-Sonoma. They make nice Burgundy and Bordeaux-style glasses of various sizes. The 13oz bowls are pretty nice.

    A long time ago, Tiffany used to traffic in decent stemware. Models have changed, though, and I can offer no specific advice.

    Another that works well if you like the style is Orrefors. The Prelude model works well for non-Burgundian wines-- just get the size larger than what they recommend. I.e., water goblet for claret, red wine for sauvignon blanc/riesling, and so on. Not very breakable, and just a cut below the really scary good stuff.
     
  20. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    thanks for the advice. us being in noCal, new world wine is fairly prevalent.

    the champagne flute idea is also good, although i think they would get less use here.

    i will check out orrefors too - thanks for the sizing suggestion.

    /andrew
     

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