It's Past Time to Replace Those Mismatched Glasses!

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  • By Randy Kemner
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It's Past Time to Replace Those Mismatched Glasses!

Our DiVino by Rosenthal line is an ideal solution to your cobbled-together collection of mismatched stemware. A set of 6 is just $89.99. The flute glass set is only $84.99.

My goal as a wine merchant is to make each customer happy with every bottle they take home from our store.  In my view, it is impossible to get the most for your money without proper stemware.

 

If you doubt me, try this experiment at home.  Take out one of our DiVino Bordeaux glasses ($16.99 each) and a small Libby-style wine glass and place them side-by-side.  Then pour the same wine in both glasses, about two ounces each.

 

Swirl one, sniff it and taste, then do the other.  You should notice a dramatic difference in the aroma and the taste.  Yes, I said taste.

 

How can that be?

 

It's simple.  With wine, unlike other alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, the aroma is the gateway to its complex taste.  Without the nose, wine's flavor is simple and primary. 

 

Think of how food tastes when you have a cold.  All you get are four primary tastes of salt, sweet, sour and bitter.  The fifth basic taste--umami, which is described as the hard to define satisfying savory taste of meat--is obliter-

rated when you have a cold.

 

Now transpose that to wine.  Of the thousands of identifiable nuances in a wine's taste that make it so incredible to most of us, only a few of those flavor characteristics will survive a stuffy nose.

 

For those of us who want to get the most out of a wine for which we spent our hard-earned money, there is no easier vehicle than proper stemware to aerate it and unleash its aroma molecules.    

 

 What's This All About?

That brings me to my central point. 

 

Glasses break. 

 

Your set of 12 matching glasses eventually becomes a set of five if not replaced, which means you will be serving a mismatched set for your dinner party.  Did you reach in your cabinet to pull out one of those stenciled free stems you got when you attended a fundraising wine tasting that some unlucky guest got because you put off refreshing your glass case?

 

I can tell you from personal experience you feel a lot better when you purge the accumulated junk from your house.  It's good Feng Shui.  And The Wine Country has a simple solution.

 

Better Than Riedl?

Tired of our super-thin Riedl glasses (that had to be hand-washed, often breaking in our hands), we discovered a line of similar shapes of dishwasher-safe, sturdier wine stems from Rosenthal's DiVino line.  Even better, they cost less.

We offer Bordeaux (for Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel), Burgundy (for Pinot Noir, Grenache and Nebbiolo), White Wine and Champagne flute shapes.  They each come boxed up in sets of 6, although we will also sell them separately.

 

There is another line of stemware we offer, with a more dramatic angled look from Schott-Zwiesel's "Pure" line ($14.99 per stem).  Michael's On Naples restaurant uses a similar shape.  We have "Pure" glasses in Bordeaux (Cabernet), Burgundy (Pinot Noir), Sauvignon Blanc (white wine) and Champagne flute shapes.

Just as I was about to sit down and write about our latest shipment of wine stemware, the Press-Telegram, Long Beach's local newspaper, beat me to it.

 

In a full page article called "Best in Glass", the paper asserted "The right stemware will help you and your guests get the most from your wines." 

 

Most wine people know that by now.  Led by Georg Riedl some 30 years ago, the push for simple, clean stemware that allowed each wine to express itself fully swept through the wine community with provable comparison tastings using proper stemware and inferior wine glasses side-by-side.

 

 

The results were dramatic and Riedl became the dominate brand of choice.  Riedls were offered in all the top wine stores, including ours, and after ramping up production found their way to the chains, like Target.

 

The biggest complaint we've received from people who own Riedl stemware is how easily they break and how people can't put them in their dishwashers.  Towel drying each stem subjects their thin walls to snap easily, and your 6 piece collection becomes 5, then 4, then 3.

 

That's what made me search for a replacement line, and we found not one, but two.  DiVino by Rosenthal and Pure from Schott-Zwiesel.  Both lines provide clean lines, beautiful shapes and sturdy structure without losing is graceful character.

 

Use the Stem

Do you ever watch how people drink wine?  I do.  Some people hold their glass by the bowl. Don't do that--it smudges your glass with oily fingerprints that impede its appearance and heats wine toward body temperature, which you definitely don't want to do.  That's what stems are for.  Use them.

Also, there are people who just toss down their wine without taking the first step of inhaling its aromas.  That's like swallowing a chunk of steak without chewing it and enjoying its full flavor.

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