My KitchenAid dishwasher has given up. Since all our stainless steel kitchen appliances are from their Architect Series, I was planning to replace it with another 24" KitchenAid, so we'd have a consistent look and feel for all of out kitchen appliances. But our KA dishwasher has lasted less than 7 years, and in addition to the initial acquisition cost of $1300, we have had a series of out-of-warranty repairs that pushed its overall cost of ownership to the $2000 price point. Personal experience, combined with lackluster reviews on KA dishwashers from various sources, has led me to consider other brands.
Until now, I've always felt the need to wash my Riedel Vinum stems by hand, to prevent etching, clouding, fogging, etc. As a result, the ledge over my kitchen sink is perpetually filled with an ever-changing assortment of stems--sometimes as many as 40 at a time. This final breakdown has given me a reason to revisit dishwasher features, and I have been thrilled to discover that Riedel recently teamed up with Miele and now offers a dishwasher that can safely, gently, and completely care for high quality stems. Before I make my final selection, I'd like to gather together the experience that fellow Chowhounds have had with Riedel (or comparable stems) and specific models of Miele dishwashers, to assist me in making a final selection amongst Miele's various dishwasher models.
In addition to reading all the dishwasher threads on this board, I've chatted with Miele staff. Unfortunately, I've found that they aren't even aware of this partnership with Riedel, much less able to assist me in flushing out the differences between the models in their current lineup. So the best info I have at this point has come from www.mieleglasscare.com, a site that focuses on this partnership between the two companies. I am still trying to determine which Miele models offer the combination of glasscare features that led Riedel to endorse them. Per the site, the features of import are:
• 3D cutlery tray: sufficient clearance also for stemware
• DeLuxe baskets: secure positioning of wine glasses
• AutoOpen drying: gentle, brilliant drying without polishing
• Perfect GlassCare: long-lasting sparkling finish on glassware
• 'Gentle' programme: perfect glass care control
• CareCollection: perfectly matching detergents with special glass-protection formula
What I cannot tell is: What price point in the Miele lineup do I need to be looking at in order to obtain all the glasscare features I want?
For example, I see that the 3D cutlery tray, which assists in stem placement for taller glasses, is only available on the Diamond and Dimension (and presumable Dimension Plus) models--which narrows it down to 12 models. But the DeLuxe baskets and AutoOpen drying seem to be only available on the Diamond models (only 3 models); Perfect GlassCare is available on all but the Classic models (16 models); "Gentle wash program" (not even listed on the spec sheet under that name) would seem to be available on the same 16 models (if it is the China & Crystal program); and CareCollection (unable to locate which specific products this refers to) would, it figures, be available for all models. And then there's the added paradox of what Miele calls their Crystal Collection (4 models), which one would think would offer all the features to maximize fine crystal care, but which does not appear to include the first three bullet point features on the Riedel list: 3D cutlery tray, DeLuxe basket configuration, and AutoOpen drying.
If you have a recent Miele--one in the Futura dishwasher series--I would love to hear which model you have, how many wine stems you can fit into your dishwasher at a time, what cycle you use for stems, what detergent/rinse aid/salt, etc. you use, and on a scale of 1 to 10, how you'd rate the care it provides for your quality stemware. There's about a $1000 differential between Crystal Collection models and their Diamond models, and I don't want to overspend to get the features that Riedel deems necessary for proper stemware care.
P.S. There's a really cool interactive demo on the site that shows how to optimize stem placement, and allows you to drag specific stems into the various trays of the Miele dishwasher:
It would be more helpful, however, if the site specified which racking configuration they are illustrating, and which Miele models offer that racking configuration. I have been unable to locate complete racking illustrations for the various models.