Starter/Value Stemware

So we have a bunch of cheapo stemware that we’ve accumulated from various places, including IKEA. I’d like to start using proper stemware and would love some recommendations on starter stemware. We drink a lot more reds than whites, and I think our current white glasses are better (comparatively) anyway, so stemware for reds is probably the place to start. Right now, we mainly use our IKEA glasses with a very large bowl for our reds, but I’m using those for everything red, not just Pinot Noir. I know that glasses can get very pricey, and given the klutziness of my wife and I, durability is an issue too.

I know there are other threads on stemware, but I’m not sure they’re on point given where we are in our wine experience to this point. Any recommendations for daily or starter stemware to get us going on the right path without too much of an up-front investment? In part, I’m curious how the proper stemware accentuates the drinking experience, but don’t want to spend a ton on Riedel’s upfront (that we’d likely break in a matter of days). Do we need to buy multiple styles of glasses, or would a good bordeaux style glass be generally sufficient?

Thanks in advance!


I’ve been using Schott Zwiesel Tritan Claret glasses for over a year now as my ‘daily’ glass. They are elegant, lightweight, beautifully designed, and REALLY strong. In that time, I’ve broken Riedels and Spieglaus while using them only once in a great while." onclick=";return false;

$10 per or so, but worth it.

If you can figure out where to buy them, the Riedel restaurant lines provide pretty great value. I’ve found a shop or two that will let me buy a case at their cost, which is around $5 a stem. Not so bad for nice glasses, at least from my perspective. I think there is some amount of disagreement on whether these stems are more burly than the normal vinuums, but I’ve found them to hold up really quite well, even through the dishwasher.

The only trouble is finding someone that will order them for you, but with some searching they are great.

I’m a big fan of the Riedel Overture red wine glasses…the ubiquitous ones that are at a lot of wine tastings. I have a lot of the nicer varietal Riedels, but I seem to always grab these.

And locally like $7-8 a glass in stores. I like their Burgundy and white wine stems as well.

Get the titanium Schott-Zwiesels - the “Forte Tritan”. They’re about $10 per stem and I haven’t broken one in the year and a half I’ve been using them. I used to be able to get Spiegelaus for $6 per stem before Riedel bought them and, though they’re more durable than the Riedel Vinum Series, I still broke them all the time.

Here’s a link. I’m not hyping Sur la Table, it’s just where I found the pics. Also, one of our members is offering a deal on S-W stems in Commerce Corner." onclick=";return false;

Exactly, ‘forte tritan’ - those are the best.

Cris, where can you get those for $7/stem in a store?

There are always on shelf at WineX for either $7 or $8. I’ve only said that online about 10-15 times. At some point it will sink in. neener

Hey, thanks everyone for the quick response. Would you recommend the Claret for reds generally? I noticed in the sur la table link that there is also a red wine style and a cabernet style glass. Is the differentiation material? I assume it matters more if you’re drinking higher end stuff?

Don’t bet on it…

Keep talkin’, smartass - we’ll see how long you last when we dump you on Foxen Canyon Road. When I have to at least quickly glance at EVERY SINGLE POST in this forum, I get some slack.

I have these as well. 80 of them actually!

Grabbed them at closeout at BB&B a few years ago for $3 per in tubes of 4. A great all around glass indeed.

Generally you want the Burgundy style for more aromatic reds like Pinot, Tempranillo or Nebbiolo based wines. The Bordeaux or Claret style for most other reds, especially for full bodied varieties. I also use the white wine glasses for lighter styled whites and sparkling wines.

Thanks, Cris. Not to a be pain, but the Forte Tritan in the link is called a Claret Burgundy glass. Would you use the red wine or cabernet style for the other reds then?

Here is a decent deal on those glasses mentioned above:" onclick=";return false;

I have no clue why they label the boxes that way. Has annoyed me since i started buying them. Use these two links and it should be clear. When I say Burgundy style, I mean the wider, bigger bowled example.
Bordeaux -" onclick=“;return false;
Burgundy -” onclick=";return false;

You just missed the ‘Berserker Exclusive’ deal on these glasses - 28% off $71.99 (set of 6) - that’s a good price, basically $50 a set of 6!

Thats a great deal indeed, Cris.

Do you have the Magnums or the Red Wine glasses? Which do you prefer? (I have the red wine, not the magnums)

When I have groups over, I love them. I have to check which they are. about 9.5 inches tall.

When the group is smaller, I like the Vinum. I have both the Cab and the Syrah.