I like to joke that most of my net worth is invested in fragile stemware. At the very least, most of the cabinets in my apartment are filled with wine glasses. All of it is Riedel, an Austrian glass company that, as far as I knew, made some of the lightest, most balanced, and most ridiculously fragile pieces around. (Fragile as in “don’t slam any doors in the house or … sneeze.”) But here’s something that shattered my week: there’s a line of stemware that’s half the weight of Riedel, lead-free (so less fragile), hand-blown, and less expensive.
Prior to opening his wine shop in 2008 off Roswell Road, owner John Passman of Cellar 13 spent months researching stemware until he landed on a company called Veritas. It’s supposedly based out of Eastern Europe, but I couldn’t find its website or any place online that sells them.
“I’ve never broken one of these before,” Passman says, explaining how Veritas is actually a single piece glass, meaning that the stem and the head are of the same cut.
Excluding Riedel’s Sommelier Grand Cru series, which goes for $125 a glass, its popular Vinum series is actually two separate pieces of glass forged into one. Nor is it hand-blown. Anybody who’s pulled the head off of a glass while cleaning it can back me up here. Bottom line: a single piece of glass translates to sturdier stemware.
Passman sells the standard Veritas line for $16.99 per glass. Compare that to $25 per glass for the Riedel vinum series. Veritas’s Grand Cru series goes for $39.99 per glass.
“I’ve had people knock these glasses over on a table, and they just sort of bounce,” says Passman. “But they don’t break.”