Can the design of a wine glass enhance the flavor of wine? Taste for yourself.
By Marlene Fanta Shyer • Photographs courtesy Riedel
If you were blindfolded and handed two different wine glasses of Grüner Veltliner, both poured from the same bottle, do you think you could tell from the taste which glass was made by Riedel? Could you discern the difference as you sipped a Pinot Blanc or a Riesling? Really? “In glassware, a millimeter is a mile,” claims the Riedel Company, headquartered in Kufstein, a pretty town of 17,000 on the River Inn and a view of the Kaiser Mountains as a backdrop. It’s in Tyrol, Austria, yes, but near the Bavarian border and closer to Munich than to Vienna. For nearly three hundred years and through multiple generations it has produced its glassware and expanded its reach as Riedel products are now sold in 125 countries. Its famous claim is that the flavor, taste and experience of a “varietal specific” wine or champagne will actually be enhanced, boosted and enriched when sipped from one of its appropriate crystal glasses.
The very first of this innovation was the Burgundy Grand Cru glass, introduced in 1958. This and the following Riedel glasses were created to suit the precise beverage for which they were intended, each targeting a definite “location on the palate.” Almost sixty years later that concept is still going strong; its size, shape, and even the rim, are designed in sync, to complement what’s inside the glass.
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