Tasting with Riedel Glasses

Riedel StemwareOK, I’ve been a stemware skeptic for many years. The glass was always just a means of getting the wine from the bottle to my mouth without causing people to shake their heads in pity and quickly distance themselves.

I knew that a wine glass was better than a paper cup. I also knew that a bigger bowl was better than a smaller one because the larger space and surface area allowed more effective swirling and helped the wine release more of its aromatics.

But just a few months ago I finally had the chance to go through a formal tasting of several wines each poured into four different Riedel glasses. Now I’m a believer. No question about it. And the difference is prounounced, not subtle, especially in the aromatics. But unless you try the wines side by side you may not even realize what you’re missing. As the article below says, the glass can’t take anything away from the wine but it can hide things. If you’re like me you find yourself drinking from a festival glass more often than not. 🙂 And that’s fine until your realize there is a lot going on that you’re missing out on. I liken it to watching a tube TV and then getting your first HD flat panel. Whoa! Nice!! 🙂

It’s true that some glasses have more impact on a wine, either positive and negative, than others. The difference between putting the wine in the best possible glass vs. the worst possible glass is striking.

That said, I, for one, am not currently planning to make an investment in six different sets of glasses. Even if I could afford it I simply don’t have the storage space. But I am going to try to get the right glasses for the wines I drink most frequently. The holidays are coming and you can buy reasonably priced Riedel in Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond now. So you might consider putting a few different styles on your wish list this year. Or get with a friend or your wine club and split up some four-packs.

I really do encourage you to try playing this game yourself. And please report back. I’d love to hear what you discover!


Glassmaker Georg Riedel explains how the shape of the Burgundy glass enhances Pinot Noir flavors.

2010 New World Wine Experience: Riedel Glass Tasting

What’s the one thing that can make a wine taste better? The right stemware
Alison Napjus
Posted: November 1, 2010

At the first seminar of the New World Wine Experience, the very first sip of wine everyone took was from a plain plastic cup, at the direction of a self-described “crazy Austrian glassmaker.” Georg Riedel—whose family has a centuries-long history of producing fine glass—used the cup to prove a point as he and his son Maximilian demonstrated the impact that proper stemware can have on wine’s taste. “Nothing can add or take away from wine, but we can alter the perception,” said Georg.

See the full article at WineSpectator.com

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