I’m not a hoarder . . . I’m a collector! (#MWWC3)

MWWC“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness, possesses you.  And in this materialistic age, a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.”  Mildred Lisette Norman

I collect wine glasses.  I didn’t set out to collect wine glasses, it just happened.  It’s an accidental collection.  I have, in my possession, 173 wine glasses.  I know this because I counted them.  I can feel your side-eye.  I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell do you need 173 wine glasses?  I’m not sure, but I do.  I might have a party.  You wouldn’t believe how often I throw parties for 173 people.

Are all those wine glasses really useful?  Or am I possessed by my possessions?  This is a fancier way of asking, am I a hoarder?

This is what 173 wine glasses looks like.  Well, technically, this is what 117 wine glasses looks like.  I didn’t drag out my set of 12 Champagne tasting flutes.  Or the 24 wine tasting glasses I keep on hand for verticals.  Or the 20 pieces of fancy lead-crystal glasses I own. My table wasn’t big enough.

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Now that you’ve seen this, I should tell you there’s a fine line between a collection and a hoard.  Clinically, hoarding is the excessive collection (or possession) of items, along with the inability to discard them.  I prefer to think of my menagerie as an extreme collection, but someone with fancy consonants after their name might call it a hoard.  Is 173 glasses excessive?  And (moment of truth) can I get rid of any of them?

In the interest of sanity, I’ve decided to try to thin my hoard collection . . . I’m going to try to dispossess a few glasses.  The problem is they all mean something to me . . . and I’m not sure I can part with any of them.  So let me introduce you to some (but by no means all) of my hoard collection.

These glasses belonged to my grandmother — they’re among the very few things of hers that still exist.  I have a total of 11 of them.  They are completely wrong for any kind of serious wine drinking . . . but I love them.  And I will never, ever part with them.

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This is part of my mom’s Rosenthal Variation stemware set.  She received it as wedding gifts in 1965.  I have about 12 pieces total.  Mom still has the rest.  I love these just as much as grandma’s.  They just ooze 60s chic.  In fact, I wish I’d chosen this pattern as my wedding crystal.  They’re much prettier than mine.  No way I could part with these.

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And this is my wedding crystal — Lady Anne by Gorham.  Don’t tell my husband, but I don’t even like them anymore.  They’re waaaay too fussy.  We’ve been married over 20 years, and I’m not sure I’ve used them 20 times.  We should have registered for power tools at Home Depot.  But who gets rid of their wedding crystal just because they don’t use it?

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These are my German Roemer wine glasses.  One of the first wines I can remember tasting was in this kind of glass.  I adore them.  And there used to be six of them . . . grrr.  They absolutely stay.

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I can’t stand Ed Hardy — his merchandise or his message.  I have friends who know how much I loathe Ed Hardy . . . and so they buy me Ed Hardy wine glasses.  I washed them just for you.  When my girlfriend comes over, we raise a glass to the ridiculous with these glasses. They have to stay.

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Last week, I found a pair of Riedel Tirol Pinot Noir glasses on clearance for $11.  Who doesn’t buy two Riedel Tirol Pinot Noir glasses for $11?

Curse you, Home Goods.

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My favorite everyday wine glasses of the bunch are my Eisch breathable stemware.  I don’t know how Eisch makes these, but dang . . . they’re awesome!  I’ve tasted wine side-by-side in Eisch and Riedel, and (sorry Riedel) the Eisch wine tastes better.  It’s been a while since that tasting, though . . . I should probably run another experiment and blog about it this time.  These have to stay.

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I own a whole complement of Riedel glasses.  I started collecting grape variety stems, two by two, like Noah . . . but I quickly ran out of room to store them.  And yet, I still own 21 of them.  One day, my dream house will have a stemware room.  What?  People have craft rooms, why can’t I have a stemware room?

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Ooooh!   And these lovelies are copper wire-wrapped glasses my friend made.  How gorgeous are they?  You know you’ve arrived in the Circle of Trust when I serve you a glass of wine in one of these beauties.  No way they can go.

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And check these out . . . my friend painted these.  With her own hands.  They’re almost too pretty to drink out of.  Almost.  Gotta keep ’em.

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THESE!  These are the last of what used to be 23 mismatched winery tasting glasses.  I got rid of the other 19 a few months ago.  Yes, that means I used to own 192 wine glasses.  But you see?  I can let go.  And just to prove it, I’m throwing these into the recycling bin right now.

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Alright.  Done and done.  That brings me down to 169 wine glasses . . . which seems like a totally healthy, completely useful, non-excessive, dispossessed number to me.

Salud!

48 comments

  1. Thank you for posting. I was beginning to think my wife had a problem. Not anymore though. I mean. At least compared to you. She likes to save tasting room glasses from vineyards we have visited. Many we visit quite often and have say 12 from one vineyard. I mean, we had 12. As she refuses to throw them away, every few months I do a sweep of the house without her knowledge. She never notices…

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    1. You are living dangerously . . . purging stemware without permission! 😉 I can only imagine how badly my husband wants to purge my collection. I’d notice if one of my gang went missing, though. And then there would be wrath. 😉🍷 Salud!!

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  2. I can totally appreciate your collection of stemware, as I think that is common among all wine drinkers. Some have more sentimental value, and some are just the best when drinking wines. When we have a formal table setting, I insist on having my one Riedel glass from a wine tasting event as my place setting. Come to think of it, I am sure we are hoarders as well, as there is a case of Riedel wine glasses still with the giftwrapping on the box, for when we get around to it. Enjoy your collection.
    – John

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    1. An entire case of Riedels with the paper still on them?!? You should break those beauties out and put them into rotation! And, if you’re anything like me, if you break a glass, it won’t be the $11 clearance glass. It’ll be the Riedel. So at least you have replacements. Salud!!

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  3. The fact that you were able to discard the wine tasting glasses means you’re not a hoarder. But… you might have tendencies. 😉

    Only you and God can know whether you’re possessed by your possessions or vice versa. But that you asked the question is a good indication that you will resist being possessed.

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      1. My tastes changed too. We downsized significantly a few years ago. I got rid of SO much stuff; including all the glasses. I just kept one because every now and then my husband likes to pour something in it, and bring it to me as if I’m a regal princess. And then he bows and backs out of the room (it’s one of those silly private jokes that I didn’t want to let go of).

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  4. This post is fabu! And if it makes you feel better, I sold my wedding crystal (what was I thinking when I registered for that stuff?) at my garage sale; it made room for stemware I really liked. My mom has those German Roemer glasses, too. Gorgeous.

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  5. Nice work Kirsten – interesting take on the theme.

    I have a lot of glasses, but most of them is cheap Ikea stuff – when we do parties or blind tasting, I can’t use plastic (however, I recently encountered plastic Riedel stemless glass which was actually perfect). One thing I learned is not to get attached to the wine glass, because it inevitably breaks…

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  6. Great post. Yes, wine glasses that we don’t use seem to stay around and grow in number. Usually, we use maybe two sets of glasses only. But, it’s fun having enough for that drop in crowd of 150 or so. P.S. I got a couple of the Eisch glasses and do believe they are better.

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      1. No, I don’t, but they do look really nice. I have been meaning to get the Zalto tasting glasses, which are apparently all the rage in Germany these days…but alas, I am sticking to my pretty decent standard tasting glass. If I want to go fancy, I have these really nice Villeroy & Bosch white flutes and Burgundy glasses…

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  7. I love this post! It makes me feel better about my collection. I have several of the tasting room glasses and I can’t part with them. It’s the memories of the nice vacations we have, I suppose. I’ve never counted all of my stemware, perhaps there’s a post coming on….

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  8. Love, love. love this post. a) it’s prompted me to go off and count my wine glasses (I did manage to have a wine tasting for about 16 the other day and supply every one with 3 glasses but hadn’t realised until I read this that I might have wine glass hoarding tendencies. b) someone else who loathes Ed Hardy…c) sparkling writing as always – great entry for #MWWC3

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  9. LOVE it!!! I can’t believe you drug all those glasses out for these pictures. How funny! I have no idea how many wine glasses I have, but you definitely have me beat! I do have some that I don’t use very often but would never get rid of though.

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  10. Oh, my goodness! If I didn’t move so often, I’d be right up there with you in the high 100s. I have a couple of sets of wine glasses that my daughters call the “party glasses” because they only come out for large groups. Which I hardly ever host anymore. But you never know! Glad to see I’m not alone.

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