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Written by Nikitas Magel, and published in Epicurean Charlotte, Food & Wine magazine   

The Practicality of Stemless Wineglasses

riedel_o_1Alright, I'm a bit of a wine snob.  For the longest time I scoffed at the very idea of stemless glassware.  I felt it cheapened the experience, sort of like taking a work of art and slapping it on the living room wall with tape.  But then along came Riedel's O line of glassware, a cleverly named and equally clever approach to drinking wine.   Unlike the vulgar quarter-inch-thick glass-walled tumblers you might be tossed while eating in some casual restaurant that's trying to be cool & ironic by serving wines so nonchalantly, Riedel's O glasses succeed in being a pleasure to hold and drink from, while at the same time eliminating the traditional but oftentimes impractical long stem.   In keeping with Riedel's dedication to producing a wineglass for each type of wine (see Bowls & Stems), there is an O glass for pretty much every type of red and white wine.  And they're made of crystal!   Okay, now that is cool: a casual, unpretentious way to drink wine, from something made with quality and that retains a degree of finesse at the same time.   This, I think, speaks to people.

The original reason I purchased them — they had been selling for quite some time already — was because a guy I was dating at the time knocked over a stemmed-glass full of red wine on his ivory-colored rug and fabric ottoman.  (I immediately ran home and grabbed my bottle of Wine Away, which did a great job of taking out the spots.)   When he did this for a second time barely more than a week later, I figured we needed to take more preventative measures in disaster management.    riedel_o_2So, the next day, I ran out to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and picked up a couple of sets of Riedel O.  They worked famously: now he was free to kick his feet back as we watched the final season of Six Feet Under, wine safe and sound in the stout yet stylish stemless glasses.   They grew on me, and a week or so later, I went out and bought myself two sets.  Of course, he and I stopped dating after a couple of months (he had anger issues… two spilled wine glasses in the span of a single week should have been my red flag), whereas I've grown all the more fond of the glassware. end


This piece was published in the September/October 2009 issue of Epicurean Charlotte Food & Wine magazine.
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