Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

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Poll: Stemless wine glasses?

Love them.
8
20%
Hate them.
16
40%
Not sure.
0
No votes
Indifferent.
13
33%
Other.
3
8%
 
Total votes : 40

Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:48 am

Love them myself, but I'm always willing to reconsider. Here's what the Wall Street Journal thinks today:

We feel strongly both ways. Let's explain. The famous glass manufacturer Riedel popularized these and now we see knock-offs everywhere. The first time we were served wine in these glasses was at a fancy Austrian restaurant. On the one hand, their informality meshes well with our philosophy that wine should be easy and comfortable, like water on the table. We really like the idea of them. On the other hand, the reason for stems is to avoid warming the wine excessively with your hands -- and we like swirling. So we're just not sure what we think, but we have recommended these as gifts for wine lovers because they are definitely fun to drink from, and to debate.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:11 am

Love is a mighty strong emotion, Bob. I like them, though, and am more affectionate toward them than mere indifference. They're handy, cool-looking, work great on picnics, and in contrast with mere tumblers, they're real Riedels, with the classy thin rim and the purported benefits of varietal-specific shapes.

I've written about them now and again, and will likely do so again during the holiday season, as they make a fine gift idea for wine geeks, and a nice way to use a WineLoversPage.com click link to throw a few pence our way.

But it does surprise me how seemingly angry they make a few wine geeks. I don't get that. Even if you insist on a stem for your personal use, why get worked up about what somebody else does?
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:10 pm

Fair point, Robin -- I should have used words like "Like Them" and "Dislike Them". :-(

I'm intrigued with the Gaiter/Brecher argument that stems are used to avoid warming the wine in the glass. Most people, including many wine lovers, hold stemmed glasses just like I hold my stemless glass. It's easy to do a quick survey; check how people in a wine friendly restaurant like Veritas hold their glasses.

Or, check out the photos at MoCool or search on

+wine +drinking on the Google Image search page.

Images like these outnumber images of folks holding wine glasses by the stem by a very large percentage:

Man drinking wine and Woman drinking wine.

Of course, for analytical purposes, stems are better.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Isaac » Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:46 pm

For myself, the answer is that I prefer stems in most cases. I lived in Italy for a little while, though, so I'm not absolutely against stemless glasses for wine.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:54 pm

Unless you trust them to the dishwasher (which I never do) they are nearly impossible to hold for cleaning. I've broken more stemless glasses in two years than stemmed glasses in 10. I thought they were a very cool idea, but now I hate them.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby michael dietrich » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:17 pm

Last June when I went to New Zealand for 2 weeks to taste wines I bought a pair of the Riedel Pinot tumblers and they worked out great. I did not know what quality of glassware I would encounter so this was my insurance. I knew I would be tasting numerous Pinot Noirs. They also come with a very sturdy box that packs well. Since I have been home I find they have no problem in the dishwasher, unlike the stemmed version. In fact when we showed them to the people at Villa Maria they felt they worked great for on the road.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:46 pm

"Unless you trust them to the dishwasher ..."

I wash both stems and non stems in the dishwasher with no breakage of the stems -- they are in a holder -- and one broken stemless.

If I surround the stemless on two sides with cups with the handles cuddling the stemless glass, they come out fine. I loaded the machine carelessly the day I broke the stemless glass.

Much easier and much less breakage than hand washing -- and our glasses look beautiful.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Agostino Berti » Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:26 pm

This poll is a little too W. Bush for me: "Either your with us, or against us."
What about the gray area?
I don't hate stemless glasses, I just don't like them. I'm so used to holding a wine glass by its stem, swirling it, sniffing it, that stemless glasses just feel weird to me. I think its just habit.

To get on the dishwasher discussion, I'm always scared not of breakage but of getting that opaque thing that some glasses get because of the detergent. I don't know if anybody else has had this experience but I've noticed some nice glasses come out of the dishwasher with this unremoveable fog that ruins glasses forever. I think the harsh detergent used in dishwashers is bad for nice glasses in general.

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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:42 pm

"I think the harsh detergent used in dishwashers is bad for nice glasses in general."

It's important to try a number of detergents to find one that works for your glasses, Agostino. The temperature of the water, the makeup of your particular water, the amount of detergent, the formula of the detergent (particularly the temperature that the formulator assumes will be used in your dishwasher, additives that can appear in various combinations in the water -- added either by you if you "soften" your water or by the water company if you are on a public water supply), , other dishes in the dishwater at the time, and a number of other factors, all can influence the fairly complex chemistry in the dishwasher cycle. But, if the other dishes come out without etching or a film, even very fine Riedels will come out beautifully in my experience.

We have well water, quite stable and often tested because of our koi collection. We've found a combination of temperature, detergent and cycle times that works beautifully in our environment.

I agree, unfortunately in retrospect, with your and Robin's negative comments on the way I set up the poll. It is too Bush-like. :-(

Regards, Bob
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Oliver McCrum » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:07 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Unless you trust them to the dishwasher (which I never do) they are nearly impossible to hold for cleaning. I've broken more stemless glasses in two years than stemmed glasses in 10. I thought they were a very cool idea, but now I hate them.


I've been using the Riedels in the top rack of the dishwasher for months without any problem. I always rinse with wine before I drink (excellent Italian custom) so any residual smells aren't a problem.

Being able to wash them in the dishwasher is one of the main benefits of this kind of glass, IMO.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Oliver McCrum » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:09 pm

Isaac wrote:For myself, the answer is that I prefer stems in most cases. I lived in Italy for a little while, though, so I'm not absolutely against stemless glasses for wine.


Not sure I follow; most of the Italian restaurants I've been to with a half-way decent wine list use very good stems, much better than in many US restaurants.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Cam Wheeler » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:40 pm

Really like them;

Much easier when transporting to offlines at restaurants (or picnics) where the glassware is sub-standard.

Harder to knock over and break accidentally when motor skills have detoriorated toward the end of the evening, both because they have more weight at the base of the object and because they are lower.

Half the price of regular Riedel stems - haven't broken one yet, but it would be less painful financially if I did.

Fingerprints on the glass and heat transfer are the two downsides people usually come up with, but the positives outweigh the negatives in my opinion.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby DebA » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:09 pm

I know I will sound like a woman here, but I prefer stemware. Crystal stemware is elegant and aesthetically pleasing to my senses; breakage is an inconsequential matter compared to beauty. Not only does one's hand obscure the color and clarity of the wine in a stemless glass, but for me, stemware is the perfect complement to the refined beauty of the grape! :cool:
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Glenn Mackles » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:18 pm

I don't hate stemless glasses but I just prefer glasses with a stem. Personal preference... just like with wine itself.

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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:12 am

I guess I weigh in as "indifferent". I have one stemless glass that I got at a tasting. I use it frequently and I like it, but not enough to go buy more.


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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Sue Courtney » Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:09 am

I'm not really keen on them as they are too big for my small sized hand - so the Sauvignon/Riesling glass is best for me. The bigger bowls - especially the Chardonnay and Pinot - are just too hard to hold. I prefer stems if I have the choice. I haven't seen the Champagne glass except in images - but it looks and an interesting design. It's like a big, fat stem in many ways.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Alejandro Audisio » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:23 am

Im afraid Im quite a purist regarding stemware. I hate the darned things....

However, as a business solution perhaps its a home run. I guess they can use faulty stems and convert them to these no stem glasses?
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Jeff Yeast » Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:35 am

I think they're ok for reds, innapropriate for whites and great for spirits. The biggest drawback for me is fingerprints. It's just irritating to try and admire my wine through a greasy thumb-print. Sometimes I'll use them while cooking as they are less prone to tipping over while I'm moving about the kitchen, but then they're usually really smudged and I'll switch to a standard stem with the meal.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby wrcstl » Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:54 am

I voted "hate them" although that is pretty strong wording for something as simple as a wine glass. Most of the time that we drink wine it is at a tasting or sitting down at dinner alone or with friends. The no-stems show finger prints and warm the wine. I also find it hard to swirl and look at the wine. My reaction is to the Riedel somewhat delicate glass. At a picnic I still use heavy duty commercial grade glasses but have no problem with the bistro type tumbler. I don't think this is what the poll refers to as they have been around forever.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Paul B. » Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:56 am

Bob, as is often the case, my views can't be pigeon-holed.

This is what I think about them.

Generally, I like stems because I always hold such glassware by the stem and like to be able to do the full swirl and sniff routine ... and I like to be able to keep a clear bowl to study the wine's colour and clarity. That said, there are some wines - nay, some wine situations - where I prefer an ordinary clear, stemless glass: Baco Noir and pizza being the main one.

The thing is, though, that when I do serve the wine in stemless glasses, I ask: why would they have to be Riedels? Any plain glass tumbler would work, since the whole experience is as informal as you can get. So to me, going Riedel for tumbler wine drinking represents a bit of dissonance.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Gary Barlettano » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:07 am

When I lived in Germany, many restaurants used stemless glasses for wine, but these glasses had a handle. They looked like a tea glass, i.e. something like this:

Image

This form gives the stability of a stemless glass, the ability to swirl, and the fingers do not touch the bowl!
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Isaac » Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:30 pm

I don't recall seeing any stemware in Italy. Probable that we move in different circles. Certainly, the bars on the piazza in La Maddalena, Sardegna, where I lived, always serves wine in tumblers.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Carl Eppig » Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:04 pm

Cam Wheeler wrote:Really like them;
Much easier when transporting to offlines at restaurants (or picnics) where the glassware is sub-standard.


Bingo Cam! That is best use I have found for them. There is some difficulty securing them in a tot designed to hold glasses by the stem, but if wrapped securing in toweling they travel just fine. Like them for picnics too, as well as for quaffing on the deck. Anyplace, I guess where a stemmed glass would be in peril.

Second observation: We have a set of early nineteenth century German crystal that is gold guilded and has been passed down through the family. There are three shapes: a smallish cup with handle, a dessert dish sort of like an old fashioned Champagne glass with a short stem, and a straight sided glass that I had assumed was a water glass, until a guest insisted that it was a wine goblet that was common in Southern Germany at that time. Riesling tastes just fine out of it. The crystal is very fine with a lip thinner that much of our stemware.
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Re: Poll: Stemless wine glasses.

Postby Michael Pronay » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:27 pm

Gary Barlettano wrote:When I lived in Germany, many restaurants used stemless glasses for wine, but these glasses had a handle. They looked like a tea glass, i.e. something like this:

Image

This form gives the stability of a stemless glass, the ability to swirl, and the fingers do not touch the bowl!


Swirling in a tumbler with a handle? And besides, they're only just about 1/4 of an inch in thickness. :roll:
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