I know I am a relic. I love antique furniture, carpets and tableware, some of which have come to me from multiple generations. I have collected these things out of a love of history, never viewing them as an investment, which is a good thing.
One look at public television’s “Antiques Roadshow” will reveal that century-old brown furniture (i.e., walnut and mahogany) is passé and has lost at least 50 percent of its value. Ditto for fine china and other period decorative items.
What’s in is mid-century modern. I personally find this style hideously abhorrent, but I wish I had a warehouse full of the stuff from the 1950s and ’60s, because it brings record prices in today’s market.
Also in is deconstructed furniture. Our millennial in Atlanta — who was raised right — has paid outrageous prices for deconstructed furniture that looks like it is ready for the dump.
Restoration Hardware describes such furniture as being liberated from velvet upholstery, its soul bared, to expose the frame, which is accented with exposed nails and tacks. (I added the “bare the soul” bit.)
It makes no sense that a deconstructed Restoration Hardware chair commands triple the price of a constructed period chair. I have to believe that the generations following millennials will someday be very puzzled by the plethora of deconstructed furniture at Goodwill.
Very out is fine crystal. No one wants Waterford anymore, except relics like myself, but millennials do drink wine. Latest statistics show they account for 42 percent of all wine purchased. Therefore, they do need wine glasses, but they are not the wineglass snobs of the generation of yours truly.
Riedel is the foremost manufacturer of fine wine precision drinking tools, as they refer to their stemware. If a wine is made, Riedel makes a glass for it, likely even for Alabama muscadine wine.
The company’s infinite lines of stemware started with its Sommelier line, priced at more than $100 per stem. Over the years, Riedel has added other less-pricey lines, like its newest dishwasher-safe Vivant Series, costing about $12 per stem at the factory outlet store.
Yes, times have changed. Riedel now has a factory outlet store.
If thinking of purchasing wine glasses as a Christmas present for your millennials or for your relics, while Riedel glasses are nice to have, Riedel is not the only game in town.
First, it is absurd to think a specific glass is needed for every wine varietal known to man. Two basic types of glasses will suffice: a generic white wine glass, from which it is acceptable to drink French Champagne as the French do, and a generic red wine glass. (The latter is generally wider and taller than the former, to allow for the bolder flavors and aromas of red wine.)
For millennials, glasses should be unadorned. No glassmaker has figured out how to make a deconstructed glass at this point.
Glasses should be clear without a top rim.
Most importantly, they should be dishwasher-proof. Even relics do not like to wash wine glasses.
O-Riedel is a stemless glass that fits nicely in the top section of the dishwasher. All wineglass-makers offer a version of the “O,” and this type of glass is widely available at Target, TJ Maxx, Kohl’s and most other places wine glasses are sold.
While many wine glasses on the market today are dishwasher-proof, most dishwashers are not wineglass-proof. Any wine vessel that nestles precariously on top of a slither of a glass stem is at peril when placed in a dishwasher.
Wine Enthusiast catalog offers the Fusion Air Universal wineglass, meaning it can be used for both white and red wine, as well as a a pinot glass and a cabernet glass. These glasses are $15 to $20 per stem. They are made from crystal and magnesium, making them extremely durable. So durable, in fact, they come with a 10-year guarantee. “If you break it, we replace it,” says a company representative.
For millennia, people have enjoyed wine long before there were precision drinking tools. When buying wine glasses, keep it simple and inexpensive. Instead, splurge on the wine that goes into the glass.
Pat Kettles writes about wine and spirits every other Wednesday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.