Snake Oil, Part 2 - Unfiltered

A few folks have emailed me both in support of, and in strict opposition to, my comments regarding Riedel glassware. However, not one of them was able to explain the following.

Crate and Barrel has several wine glasses that, should you draw an outline of their shadow on a wall (with a piece of paper on it ideally), you'll notice a STARK similarity between them and the shape of Riedel's Vinum series. I'd be surprised if one can copyright (or patent) the shape of a wine glass which explains how C&B was able to source these things.

Which begs the obvious question - if a wine glass made by C&B has the same shape as a Riedel glass, doesn't it do the same thing? While Riedel socks you for $19.00 a glass, C&B can do it for $5.00. (Presumably the latter are glass and not crystal but...)

As many of you know, I'll attempt an authoritative talk about food but, when it comes to wine, I defer to others for true wisdom. Among those who have chimed in is "Krista" who works in a lovely little wine bar in the area, who penned her own take.
In my email this a.m. was the first of oh, say 40 Wine Enthusiast newsletters that I receive in a day- but this one urged me to take action to purchase Riedel glassware before Feb 1st, as they will be raising the prices. And I felt compelled to write you. Ok, I just needed to vent... Snarkily. You seemed a fitting forum, and since my blog is intended for wittily packaged and borderline fluffy educational wine rants, and you willingly put your email on yours, you kind of asked for it. So here is my brief snark/tirade: Glad to learn that Riedel finally wised up on the bargain they were giving people, what with those low-low prices on their magnificent invention. Yes, in case you weren’t aware, here is a blurb from the Riedel website: Claus Riedel was the first person in the long history of the glass to design its shape according to the character of the wine. He is thus the inventor of the functional wine glass.

Apparently before Riedel the wine glass was a rather impractical item... the only way I can think of a glass not properly functioning in the delivery of wine is well, if it had a hole in the bottom. Or rather, lacked one at the top. Maybe if it had a jagged, razor-sharp edge that would rip my lip to shreds with every sip, then I may not receive optimal pleasure from my wine-drinking experience. But I have to agree (and interpret) the obvious wisdom of MS and Goddess Catherine Fallis, that the most amazing wine is still amazing drunk from a Dixie Cup, and that swill is still swill, even if it is served at precisely 65 degrees in a Swill model glass from the Sommelier Series (at this point, I imagine there is one).

Speaking of asinine models, what is up with the Zinfandel/Chianti model from Riedel?? Ok, the Burgundy model, I kinda get. The Rose model is cute, but pushing it. But what the hell is up with a glass that is precisely designed for optimal pleasure for both a Zinfandel and Chianti Classico?! It just makes my brain hurt. Here are all the wines it is recommended for: Ajaccio, Bardolino, Beaujolais Nouveau, Blauer Portugieser, Carignan, Chianti, Côtes du Roussillon, Cótes du Ventoux, Dolcetto, Dornfelder, Freisci, Grignolino, Lambrusco, Montepulciano, Patrimonio, Primitivo, Sangiovese, Trollinger, Vin de Corse, Zinfandel.
Yep, when I think Montepulciano, Beau. Nouveau is the obvious kissing cousin.

(Sigh) So much snark, I just wish I'd written it myself.


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