I have been a long-time fan of Riedel glasses and have about 12 sets of the Riedel Extreme Vinum as well as a variety of spirit and champagne tasting glasses in our household. I’ve tried several different brands of tasting glasses in comparison with the Riedel glasses and found they just didn’t compare to the original. So when the folks at the Wine Enthusiast asked me to do a comparison of a set of the Viognier/Chardonnay tasting glasses versus Fusion Stemware, I was dubious, but took their challenge.
Wine Enthusiast sent me both sets of glasses. The Fusion glasses were billed as the World’s Most Break-Resistant Glasses with a 10-year warranty. Shatterproof glasses … hmmm. I remember one fateful party at my house where a friend helping clean up quickly shattered three Riedel champagne glasses due to a faulty drying rack. It still hurts to remember.
I opened up Chardonnay and Viognier wines and got to work. I was surprised to learn that I preferred the taste of the wine in the Fusion glass versus the Riedel glass. The flavors were enhanced, the crystal glass had the heft that I was used to (neither glass was the size of the ones I have at home though) and the fact that it was made for klutzes like me resonated. Having had this experience, if I were to re-invest in my stemware, I’d choose Fusion.
Now neither of these glass sets are cheap and I haven’t seen the Fusion people come through Dallas with wine tastings priced to include the glasses at a big discount.
So you may ask why you should invest in a set of tasting glasses? It matters – because a glass is a glass except when it isn’t. Once you try the right stemware, you’ll notice when you don’t have it.