A couple of decades ago — maybe a little more — The Riedel Company came out with a whole new concept in wine glasses: A glass for every particular variety of wine. No longer did you simply have one glass for red and one glass for white wine. Oh, my no! Heaven forbid you drink a Bordeaux out of a Burgundy glass. (You peasant! It’s obvious that all your taste is in your mouth — oh, well, not exactly; that would be a good thing in this case, wouldn’t it?)
Riedel produces at least 13 different lines of glasses including a stemless wine glass that my friend Paula likes because if you happen to knock it over, it rights itself like a child’s toy. You can spend hours playing with this if you are one of the “easily amused.”
Once I started getting serious about wine and realized my beautiful cut-crystal Waterford wine glasses did not do the job properly, I set about finding glasses that would do justice to what I was drinking. Which brought me to Riedel. Which I quickly eliminated.
You can buy Riedel glasses for as little as $69 for a box of four, but if you want a true wine tasting experience, you might want to go for the Burgundy Grand Cru at $139. Or the Bordeaux Grand Cru also at $139. For a glass. An empty glass — wine not included. A breakable glass, I might add, because that does happen. If you aren’t drinking Grand Cru (at $5,999 a bottle. On sale), you can get the Bordeaux “mature wine” glass for $99. And if you’re just drinking water, you can pick up a Riedel water glass for as little as $95.
My water glasses come from the dollar store — and some of my wine glasses, too. In fact, about 3 years ago somehow Dollar Tree got REAL wine glasses — not the heavy, thick-rimmed ones they always have, but elegant, large-bowled, light-weight, thin-rimmed wine glasses. I have no idea how they got there, but immediately snatched up all they had — a half dozen. They work just fine. Maybe not as well as Riedel, but with my palate, I doubt I could tell any difference. And I saved $98!
And now I’m going to share my real secret to wine glass buying. (And don’t you dare tell a soul!) Thrift stores: Goodwill. Opportunity Village. Salvation Army. Amazing what you can find. In fact, the wine glasses above all came from Goodwill. Two of them are Waterford, but the one on the left — still a nice crystal glass — is not. On to foot it says “The Palm,” a pricey restaurant. They were all marked $1.99, but Paula had taken me there on a Wednesday, senior half-price day, so I walked out with 3 crystal wine glasses for $2.97.
I still check Dollar Tree every time I go in just to make sure someone hasn’t made the mistake of sending them real wine glasses and lo-and-behold, I found something unique and wonderful. I saved this picture for the end since I knew that as soon as you saw it you would stop reading and run straight to your nearest Dollar Tree store to stock up. So here it is — the latest and greatest in wine glasses. And it isn’t even breakable!