Nice wine glasses
January 11, 2006 3:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some nice wine glasses to give as a gift.

I've heard recommendations for Reidel glasses, but there seem to be quite a range even within the brand, and I have no idea what the difference is between the diffent lines. I've seen other brands displayed as well, but again, have no idea what the difference is! This is a gift for someone who drinks predominately red wine, and would be using it more for everyday rather than entertaining, so something simple in style would be best. Price is not really a factor, I'm willing to spend if the quality is worth it. Suggestions appreciated, bonus points if accompanied by where to buy in Toronto.
posted by orangskye to Shopping (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Riedel's 'Ouverture' is one of their more affordable series.

I would suggest buying 8 wineglasses -- the 'Red Wine' [408/00] 'Magnum' [408/90] glass.
posted by ericb at 3:50 PM on January 11, 2006

I personally like Reidel's "O" series of glasses for every day use. Stemmed glasses have a tendency to break very easily under daily use. The "O" series glasses are very affordable, and are very unique.

The big thing is that the wine glasses are categorized by what type of wine they're drinking. I drink a lot of Pinot, so I have a full set of Reidel Pinot "O" tumblers. The shape of the glass and the size of the bowl has a lot to do with opening up the flavors in the wine, which is why there are so many choices.

For someone who drinks a lot of red, and not knowing what kind of red, I'd get them a set of 414/0 Cabernet/Merlot tumblers, although the 414/7 Pinot/Nebbiolo glasses work well for cabernets and merlots as well ... they just don't keep the flavors as contained and may let the wine breathe too much.
posted by SpecialK at 4:00 PM on January 11, 2006

Best answer: Schott Zwiesel has a new line called Tritan. The pitch is that they're nearly unbreakable. Until I owned a set myself, I didn't believe it, but it's true. They're difficult to break in the usual ways I break glasses: knocking them against the faucet spout, dropping them on tile floors, washing on the lower dishwasher shelf.

Riedel glasses are lovely, and the Ouverture glasses are only about $12 each. But for every day, you might want to consider these. They are made in different styles and cost about $75 for six.

Spiegelau also makes nice stemware, and it's also relatively inexpensive -- and widely available.
posted by wryly at 4:05 PM on January 11, 2006

I don't know if you're willing to do this, but at some art supply stores, you can buy a paste of a mild acid that etches glass.

Buy some contact paper, cut out a design, stick it to the glass, and paint on the paste. Voila: personally designed wine glasses, rather than impersonal, expensive wine glasses. The etched parts look sort of like frosted glass.

My sister did this, to great effect, a couple of years ago. The results looked awesome. Instant family heirloom.
posted by interrobang at 4:05 PM on January 11, 2006

I second the "O" glasses.
posted by elisabeth r at 4:05 PM on January 11, 2006

Oh ... the other thing with wine glasses is that the thinner they are, usually the more expensive they are, and the easier to break. Some of the glasses here are thicker than bulletproof glass, and very heavy -- the kind of glasses you'd find in a restaurant. The Riedel "O" glasses are not, which is why they're such a great gift to someone who really enjoys wine.
posted by SpecialK at 4:09 PM on January 11, 2006

This thread also has some good advice and links on the topic, although geared more towards low-cost options.
posted by brain_drain at 4:30 PM on January 11, 2006

If you want to make the gift unique, here's a company that will monogram Riedel stemware.
posted by Mick at 4:42 PM on January 11, 2006

A couple other things:

It's nice to give more then four, because then if one breaks, you've still got enough to entertain another couple. 6 or 8 glasses is much better.

Also, don't hide where you got them from and what line they are from, so that they may purchase additonal or replacement glasses.
posted by voidcontext at 5:28 PM on January 11, 2006

I found the Riedel "Ouverture" for $6 apiece, which is really not bad. And they're very nice. However, they are very easy to break, especially after you've had some wine.
posted by lackutrol at 5:29 PM on January 11, 2006

Think hard about the breakage issue - we are big wine drinkers and eventually broke all of our fancy wine glasses (gotten as a wedding gift). We replaced them with some heavy duty cheapos from Target that I am actually quite happy with. Depends on the lifestyle of the recipient, of course.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:57 PM on January 11, 2006

Opposing viewpoint: I really don't love the wine tumblers. They feel clunky to me and I don't like gazing at my wine through my own fingerprints.

To me, part of the allure of fine things is that they're frequently fragile and therefore for grownups. It's nice to have a practical set of glasses, but that's not what I think of as a gift. (Depends immensely on who you're buying for, of course. I have given the Riedel Os to people who I knew would find them nifty.)
posted by desuetude at 5:57 PM on January 11, 2006

I have some guilded stemware from this artisan; it's really lovely and it always feels festive to serve wine in glasses bedecked with precious metals! I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift, so I can't speak to the costliness - but I can assure you that they're a great thing to get as a present.
posted by hilatron at 6:25 PM on January 11, 2006

MOMA has some neat stuff, especially this one.
posted by Brian James at 6:37 PM on January 11, 2006

oh! oh! i know about so many great wineglasses, but i might be a little too late to the game.

spanish wine glasses
Stella wine glasses at Moma
CB2's version of Riedel O
Big Brother Crate & Barrel's version of the O
the Bodum version (my favorite)
posted by echo0720 at 7:33 PM on January 11, 2006

Dwell magazine had a feature on wine glasses recently and seemed most fond of the Zwiesel glasses (linked to earlier in the thread).
posted by sad_otter at 9:46 PM on January 11, 2006

I love love love my 2 Reidel O's. I use them for drinking water and juice, too.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:51 AM on January 12, 2006

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