Wine Talk

Snooth User: jamessulis

Wine Tumblers

Original post by jamessulis, Jul 12, 2012.

Lately I've been seeing ads for wine tumblers and am really not sure what to think. Maybe I'm a traditional guy who drinks his Cab out of a large bowl stemmed glass, his white out of a smaller stemmed glass and champagne out of a fluted shape. I suppose the tumbler is alright however, for some reason I cannot describe, it's just not right for me. Would love to hear from fellow Snoothers on how they feel about this kind of wine glass. To Illustrate what I mean by a wine tumbler, I've attached a photo of the kind I'm talking about.

Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest

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Replies

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Reply by jamessulis, Jul 20, 2012.

Craig, those are awesome for under 3 bucks. Sometimes IKEA has different stock and I suppose depending on the store local. For my own pleasure, these glasses can't be beat and if the dishwasher chews them up or (that ugly frosted sandblasted look from overusage) you've got more without dipping into your grocery reserves. Most people that come to my house aren't as "into" wine as I am and would not mind if they drank their wine from a paper cup.

Thanks for sharing,

Lefty

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Reply by jtryka, Jul 20, 2012.

I found the Bordeaux glasses at World Market are pretty good for only $4 each, not quite as inexpensive as Ikea, but well within the range of not making me feel bad when I break one!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 20, 2012.

GregT, you are truly a polymath. My father is a ceramic engineer, can tell you all the properties of glass (built a bridge out of it just to prove it could have tensile strength when in college), made me look at old glass windows (oops, just did that to my kids in Europe) to show them that it's a super cooled liquid and not a solid (it settles), and would ping glasses in any shop that sold them.  He has scads of stemware, made beer steins, and on and on... but you are nearly his equal. 

That said, having grown up with him, I still prefer stemmed glasses because I can hold them up to the light, and I have a bit more control over the temp if I hold them or use the stem.  It's not a question of boiling the wine--hyperbole, my friend, hyperbole, a serious rhetorical fallacy.  The JND for temp in a person is pretty low, and the effect on a wine significant.  Also, the size of the bowl is a factor--overfilled wine glasses are a sign of bad service, and I think GregT has said it and many here have agreed with him.  The shape can focus the wine's aromas back at you.  That said, an ISO 400 glass will do anything you need, IKEA makes plenty of really decent wine glasses, and anyone who pays for a Riedel Syrah or Tempranillo glass is nuts.  After all, you can buy Nachtmann glasses which are the exact same glass made on the exact same assembly line for $6 on Amazon.  Most you need is a set of cab/Bordeaux and a set of pinot/Burgs (they actually sell different glasses for Burg and pinot--what a scam), both of which can be had on Amazon in the Nachtmann label.  I also have many cheaper glasses with similar shapes and would happily drink CdR from a tumbler--some of my best memories of wine are from exactly that experience. But plastic?  Ugh. Still can't bring myself to buy the shatterproof "glassware" K&L markets so aggressively.

BTW. a restaurateur of my acquaintance bought those Riedel "O" glasses when they came out for one of his joints.  The breakage (at least as high as stems) and the theft (much higher) caused him to drop them in a heartbeat.  The thinness is basically the same as stemmed.

As to the IKEAs, I was staying in an apt last week in another city (okay, Paris) and shattered one while drying it.  Luckily, no damage to me, but they aren't that sturdy.

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Reply by botlvr, Jul 25, 2012.

Well those Wine Tumblers,  I drink soda and iced tea out of them.  Put a stem on it and I will drink wineout of it.

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Reply by gregt, Jul 26, 2012.

Fox - it's true about those glasses from Ikea and Crate and Barrel and several other places.  They're not necessarily that sturdy. And if you're a perfectionist, you'll notice a lot of imperfections - they aren't perfectly formed, the stems aren't perfectly straight, the bowls distort the light, etc. The companies get this crystal from someplace in Slovenia or Poland or whatever - it's OK but not Lenox.

On the other hand, you can notice those things and accept them. There are many flaws in many products but sometimes the flaws don't cause any harm and don't lessen the enjoyment. I agree with you that the glasses are in many cases perfectly serviceable and if they're not works of art, they only cost a few bucks. I don't really break that many glasses but if I did, I'd rather they cost me $3 than $30.

Of course, I'm not in the same league as your father. A glass bridge?  Awesome! I would love to meet him.  I remember when I first learned that glass was an amorphous solid - I couldn't wait to go and look at old windows in Europe to see for myself what I'd never noticed before.  Somehow it was one of those things that sort of changes your worldview. Like how you can intellectually imagine that you understand we're made of these subatomic particles that in the end are simply energy, but you really can't understand it in your bones. But looking at the drooping glass, you can imagine and may even have read about the specific individuals who looked at it when it was young and somehow that makes the conflict between what science and engineering tells you and what you experience with your five senses all the more immediate and troubling. Cool that you made your kids look at it - they'll appreciate it one day.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 27, 2012.

Gregt, I bored the kids to tears with talk about how making large flat plates of glass is a relatively recent thing, how glass was often made in circles, then cut to size.  Jeez, I've turned into my old man, except he knows more about manufactured stuff than I do, I think.  I had the "benefit" of a liberal arts education combined with a fair bit of science (one class shy of my physics degree) and one thing I did teach him about was circuit capacitance, which is why your light bulbs blow when you turn a light on but almost never when the have been on for a while. For a long time, he didn't believe me that the switch at the wall or in the socket acted as a capacitor until the switch was turned on, with a resulting small surge of voltage, but what a cool thing when he came to me later and said I was right. 

I've never been to Europe with my folks, so we mostly looked at really old building in New England when we lived there.  It was educational, but didn't make up for the poor selection of wines in Boston in the late '70s. 

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Reply by jamessulis, Jul 27, 2012.

Interesting that some of the glass processes came up during this tumbler conversation. Last September while I was in England, I noticed a lot of these window panes on buildings that were in excess of 300+ years old and I believe that the windows were originals with the buildings so the glass pictured is very old. Comments?

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Reply by gregt, Jul 28, 2012.

I've seen those too James - and I love them. People throw them out when doing renovations but I think there should be some way to save them.  The glass itself is full of imperfections but somehow it's a link to the past that I like.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 28, 2012.

Ditto GregT's remarks.  I replaced all the windows in my house over the years--but it's only 108 years old, and the glass by then was fairly ordinary in houses like mine. Those old, thick windows (that circle is a cool examples of how they made them in the day) were also a bit better at insulating, but the new low-e, double-paned windows save me so much money, I couldn't justify keeping the old double-hung, sash-weighted behemoths.

You know what I like about the wine geeks here?  It's not just wine we're engaged with, it's all the weird aspects of the world--smells, appearances, economics, material science, .neurogastronomy.  You post something and you never know what the response will be, but you can bet you will learn about a lot more than what you originally asked about, or offered information about if you thought you knew something useful. I may have joked that every thread turns into "What hath Parker wrought,?" or "What's wrong with Cali cabernet?" but the truth is that there have been digressions about surfing with sharks, obnoxious or brilliant billionaires people have worked with/for, footwear (okay, high heeled shoes that can be used to open a bottle), Ambrose Bierce (several times), and so many other things, it's amazing.

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