Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy Stemware

The Wine Bank
363 Fifth Avenue,
Gaslamp Quarter
(800) 940-WINE

There are restaurants that serve wine in glasses so small that a standard pour will fill them to the brim. As a result, there are people who presume that they have been cheated if they are presented with a larger glass that is only half-full, though the pour remains the same. At the other extreme, there are those who like to drink from glasses so large that a standard pour appears as hardly more than a puddle at the bottom of the bowl. These long-stemmed big-bowlers have a point -- a wine glass ought to be largely empty, the better to collect the aromas that constitute a good chunk of the sensual pleasure a wine has to offer -- but such glasses often cost in the neighborhood of $75. A happy medium is the Reidel Vinum series: not as fragile and enormous as the big bowls, not as thick and undersized as the brimfuls -- elegant and functional. (A simple balloon glass will suffice, but the more careful shaping of the Vinum will help a lesser wine and give a better wine the venue it needs to shine.) The Vinum Bordeaux -- the most popular model -- runs $15.99 per stem at the Wine Bank.

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