Riedel alternatives

I’m no expert in stemware, other than I know when I’m drinking out of something I don’t like. Riedel strikes me as, say, the Henckels or Wusthof of stemware, i.e., they are fine enough, but you’re paying a lot for marketing and the brand name. But unlike knives (where I can go to Hida Tool in Berkeley and get a chef’s knife that makes me feel all special inside with that first slice), I’ve not a clue about where you get similar for stemware; i.e., equal or better quality than the big name at a better price. What sayeth the experts?

Riedel is way more overpriced than Henckels or Wusthof and they promote pseudo-scientific nonsense.

I’ve been using Schott Zweisel Tritan for ten years. They’re much more break-resistant than other glasses I’ve used. On wood they just bounce. If we didn’t have tile floors in the kitchen they probably wouldn’t break at all. No damage from the dishwasher. The ones I buy are $7 if you shop around.


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Just get one.
Taste side-by-side with any other brand.
Then we talk.

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Do a triangle test with two wine glasses of one type and one of another, blindfolded, with someone else holding the glass to your lips.

I also use the Schott Zweisel. Pretty much the same, a touch thicker on the rim, but at $7-10 a glass, it doesn’t hurt too bad when you break them. They also seem to be a little more sturdy.

The glass that IS worth paying for are the Zaltos. Those things are amazing but pricey.

I’ve used the Zaltos in restaurants. They’re fun but seem like a pointless expense to me. I’d rather spend my money on what I put in the glass.

Costco had some of this Mondavi/Waterford glasses recently. Worth hunting them down. I thought they were a very nice Riedel alternative for not a lot of $ (much cheaper than the official site price)


@Sgee, those are nice glasses. I’ve had them for several years and haven’t broken one yet. Even take them to Vegas with me.

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Second. Very sturdy, yet thin enough to be elegant.

My local Costco started carrying this, Kirkland branded glasses made by Riedel. Killer price at $17.99.

How tall are they?

Sorry robert, I just did a quick glance. Didn’t pay attention to the height, I just checked the thickness of the crystal which was relatively thin and delicate and thought it was a good value.


Robert, the Costco glasses are 9.6" tall according to this post:

Like you guys, I use the Zwiesels daily (great QPR, strong, cheers vigorously without fear) and the Target brand of Riedels for burgundy style wines. Worry free operation for both of these. The Zwiesel Forte model has a small stem and crowds my hand slightly, but the glass is under 9" tall, so it’s not excessively tall. Zwiesel has a lot of models with longer stems though.

My local wine shop just started carrying Zaltos so I picked up two universals for special occasions. The glass seems too light almost. I tested them by drinking some water and it feels like the stem is bending with a heavy pour. Also, the liquid inside the glass seems to weigh more than the glass itself causing some imbalance in the hand. Anyway, let’s see how it goes when I drink actual wine from them. Perhaps the key is to use very small pours. Right now using the glass does not feel second nature.

Sometimes nitpicking things like a glass actually gets in the way of enjoying wine. Ideally you should not think about the glass at all.

Finally, I believe Saison in SF uses only the Gabriel Glas Gold edition. So consider those as an alternative to Zalto. A bit Less expensive and comes in only one shape, so don’t have to worry about matching the glass with the wine.

They use Zaltos.

Do you know if Saison ever used the GG? Websites selling the GG reference Saison and its sommelier pretty regularly, so it is definitely misleading. Based on how carefully the language is written I bet they have both brands.

My Costco had the Kirkland/Reidel glasses on clearance last month for $12.97 for 8 glasses. I picked up a box. We’re very happy with them. Nice bowl size, and thin sides.

They may have had it at one point or maybe they use both concurrently. Since I’ve been going (2013), I’ve only seen their Zaltos, and pictures from my recent visits confirm this. But it’s possible they also have GG.

Did I say this before ?


Just get one.
Taste side-by-side with any other brand.
Then we talk