I’m a wine drinker and I’m a Tyrolean. These two facts recently culminated in me buying a set of stemless Riedel wine glasses. A month later, I won’t easily drink from another wine glass again. And not just wine – even water, juice, and an apéritif like Aperol Spritz taste better coming from a Riedel O wine tumbler.
I must admit it wasn’t until a recent visit to the medieval town of Kufstein that I found out Riedel hailed from this part of the world. It was here in the Inn Valley between Innsbruck and Munich where the first Riedel factory opened in 1756. The company headquarters is still here today.
Riedel is one of two world-famous glass and crystal companies with their roots in Tyrol, Austria. The other is Swarovski, the crystal giant.
The innovative Riedel O stemless wine tumbler, designed by Maximilian Riedel in 2004, took the wine world by storm. They were the first ever varietal-specific wine tumbler series.
My choice of stemless Riedel wine glass fell on the Viognier/Chardonnay tumbler. They came in a set of 8 where you only pay for six. At €59,90, it meant less than €10 per glass. Quite reasonable for a set of the world’s greatest wine glasses I would say.
The pay for 6, get 8 Riedel O wine tumbler sets come in different variations. Some have only Cabernet glasses and some only Viognier/Chardonnay glasses. There is also one with 4 of each for those who like to drink their white and red wines from varietal specific tumblers.
The Happy O wine tumbler set is a fun multi-coloured set for everyday use.
Riedel is well-known for designing wine glasses to enhance the flavour of different types of wines. But unless you’re a wine connoisseur with a big budget and lots of cupboard space, you’ll probably invest in one set of red wine and one set of white wine glasses only.
The stemless Riedel Viognier/Chardonnay tumbler is an excellent all-round white wine glass. To be honest, I think even a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon will taste great coming from this glass.
Why stemless Riedel wine glasses?
After using my Riedel O Viognier/Chardonnay tumblers for a month, I can come up with quite a few reasons why you should invest in a set of stemless Riedel wine glasses.
No matter how practical a wine glass is, it should retain its classic and elegant shape. Stemless Riedel wine glasses are of good crystal quality with pretty, thin lips.
Stemless glasses are less likely to be knocked over. Whether it’s a swiping arm over the dinner table, a running child or a dog’s tail – the Riedel O wine tumbler is sturdy and stable despite its elegant look.
They’re versatile. Although the Riedel O series consists of six varietal-specific wine glass shapes, a sauvignon blanc won’t taste much different in a chardonnay tumbler and vice versa. The stemless chardonnay glass is also the perfect size for an Apérol Spritz. I can let it stand on the balcony railing at sundowner time without having to worry that it will fall over.
I understand if some people like their red wine glasses bigger. No problem. The stemless Riedel Cabernet glass is a good all-rounder for reds.
Stemless Riedel wine glasses are ideal for everyday use. They are safe to use in a dishwasher without the fear of the stem breaking off. The fact that they are lead-free also means no cloudy glasses coming out of the machine.
As long as stemless Riedel wine glasses are in demand, they will be available worldwide. In the unfortunate event that you do break one, it’s easy to buy another matching set.
Riedel products to complement your glasses
Riedel decanters for wine
Owning a set of stemless Riedel wine glasses makes you want to go all out for a stylish wine drinking experience. It just doesn’t seem right to be pouring wine from a box into a Riedel glass. Or even a bottle with an ugly label.
That’s why there are Riedel decanters for wine. Decanting wine serves many purposes. Those in the know say it separates the wine from the sediment and aerates it. I can think of a few other reasons to use Riedel decanters for wine, like hiding the bottle when my budget doesn’t allow me to buy anything over €5 😊.
Riedel water glasses
It’s never a bad thing to have a glass of water close-by when you open a bottle of wine on a Friday afternoon or when friends come over for Sunday lunch. If you love the Riedel O wine tumbler, you’ll love the water glass in the same series. I can’t wait to lay my hands on a set (another trip to Kufstein is coming up soon).
How to care for your stemless Riedel wine glasses
Riedel O wine tumblers are machine blown and therefore made from non-lead glass. This means you can put them in the dishwasher without fear that they will come out dull and cloudy. (Fact: heat and water bring lead out of glass.)
Furthermore, the fact that there are no stems to get stuck or fall over reduces the risk of breakage in a dishwasher.
Tried and tested verdict: I’ve washed my stemless Riedel wine glasses by hand as well as in the dishwasher. I hate to admit that those coming from the dishwasher are shinier and spotless compared to those I washed and let to dry over the sink.
But hey, if you don’t trust your husband or kids to treat your Riedel wine glasses as gently as you do, rather wash and dry them by hand before storing them out of harm’s way.
Tips for washing wine glasses by hand:
- Take care to thoroughly wipe the rim and the outside of the glass. These are the parts where the lips and fingers leave the most marks.
- Use only a little detergent and rinse thoroughly under running water.
- Let the glasses drip-dry on a special wine glass drying rack or use a microfibre towel to dry them immediately. Riedel’s own polishing cloth does the job best.
A practical gift from Austria
Stemless Riedel wine glasses are the perfect souvenir from Austria. The recipient of some Riedel O wine tumblers from the original factory in Kufstein will thank you for bringing them a useful gift for a change. They will be used often which means you will be remembered often.
Because they have no fragile stems, the Riedel O tumblers are less likely to break in transit. There are also some very nice gift boxes for stemless wine glasses to put them in. I’m sure you’ll be thanked for many years to come.
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