Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Wine Glasses

I've commented before on what a big difference air can make on the appreciation of whiskey. Well, the same thing is true for wine. At least, it is for me. For me, a wine glass has to be big (so that I can swirl the wine around to aerate it without sloshing it out of the glass), clear (so that I can appreciate the color of the wine -- I'm not one of those people who wax eloquent about a wine's "robe," but I like the way wine looks and I want to be able to see it), and made from crystal (because I dearly love the way that crystal rings when I thump it). I've settled on the Bordeaux glasses from Riedel's Vinum line. Riedel claims to have conducted research into the ideal glass shape for different kinds of wine, so they have Bordeaux glasses and Burgundy glasses and Brunello glasses and Tempranillo glasses. I'm inclined to think their research to be bunk, but I like the shape of their Bordeaux glasses. They're machine-blown crystal (24% lead), they're clear, and they're big (21.5 ounces). At around $20 a stem, they're not cheap; but I don't need many stems. The only real problem with them is that they're brittle. It's ridiculously easy to break them while handwashing them (you can't put them in the dishwasher). I can only imagine how breakable glasses from the hand-blown Sommelier line are. I have read about a line of crystal wineglasses that use titanium instead of lead and that are consequently much less brittle; but until I have tried one of those out, these Riedel Vinum glasses will be my choice.

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