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Life without a stem

riedel glass

Question from Charlie: What’s the deal with steamless wine glasses? My sister has asked for wine glasses for Christmas and I’m tossing up between stem or no stem…

In a nut shell: The only disadvantage of steamless wine glasses is that the wine inside the glass (especially if chilled) will heat up quicker than if you’re holding the glass by the steam. But one awesome advantage of stemless wine glasses is that you can chuck them in the dishwasher!

In a clam shell: Australia fine-glassmaker Riedel revolutionised the wine glass in 2004 with the introduction of the tumbler and wine drinkers have been divided ever since – to stem or not to stem?!?

These days you can get stemless wine glasses everywhere, in many different sizes and at many different price points.

The only disadvantage of the stemless wine glass is that if you take too long to drink your wine it’ll heat up a little in the glass because of the temperature of your fingers.

The advantage? They are dishwashers safe! Amazing! So all those grotty finger prints you get on the glass can be easily washed off by the dishwasher. They’re also stackable if storage space is an issue.

If you’re buying them to be used during Christmas celebrations stemless are a great idea – after that second bottle of wine when the conversation gets a little more enthusiastic and animated it’s going to be much harder to knock over a stemless tumbler than your expensive stemware.

They’re also great to use for non-alocolic drinks like citrus water or pre-dinner cocktails.

My advice? Is your sister a casual weekday wine drinker or a fancy pants wino that only drinks the very best Burgundies? If casual is the answer I’d go with the stemless option which are perfect for casual settings with everyday wines. Save the stemware for the bottles that you’ve been cellaring for the past 10 years.

For more on the importance of getting the glassware right click here.

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