When I was a younger, about the age you are right now, my wine glasses were 4 ounce jelly jars. I used to buy jams and jelly in these jars that had lids that you would need to pry off with a bottle opener. The jar had no decoration on the outer face and the glass was very clear. I was always very careful to gently pry the cover off so I could reuse the metal lid several times.
All of the table glasses we had when I was growing up, as a boy, were originally jam or jelly jars in the 8 or 12 ounce size. My mother used to get her “glasses” this way, so I guess it was just something I picked up. When I was single and got out on my own, I would see these jars at Safeway, and I decided that I would start my glass collection.
When I emptied the jam or jelly, I would wash out the jar and put it on the shelf in the kitchen. People would come over and ask where the glasses were for beer or water or whatever and when I told them, they would always look at the jelly jars and ask, “What are these?” “Those are the wine glasses”, I used to say.
It wasn’t until I went to Italy the first time back in 1999 that I saw the 4 ounce jars again sitting on the tables and being used for wine. They were called wine tumblers. Fancy that. I really like the Riedel tumblers, like these:
These are much better than my old jelly glasses. You know, I gradually broke all but two of the jelly jars and the company that sold them went out of business, so I needed to find a replacement. I turned to Riedel for special occasions. I also had a part time job in college at a restaurant supply store and they sold cheap wine glasses by the case. I got three cases. These lasted for a long time and when I was no longer in college and my collection was getting down, I was on the prowl for more wine glasses.
I went back to Riedel glasses since they seemed to be “the” wine glass to have. I only got six glasses since a case was over $100 and a little too rich for me at that time. (And still is.) These were very nice glasses but they also broke very easily. Pretty soon I was back out looking for wine glasses.
I went into Pier 1 and found a nice wine glass. It was sturdy, low to the table so it would not tip, and fairly thick. I bought 12 for about $1.50 each.
When I was the Wine Editor for Bella Online, I purchased two magnum Riedel glasses for $9.50 each. They have a nice bowl, a not too long stem and a solid base. We do all of our tasting and wine reviews using these two wine glasses.
I have had them for about four months now and so far so good. They are made of glass however. So they are a little more durable than the crystal Riedels I had earlier.
Get two or four glasses. Use them for sipping, tasting and testing. Get a cheap dozen at Pier 1 for everyday use and when friends come over to check out your cellar.
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Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?