FINDING THE RIGHT RIEDEL GLASS
RIEDEL offers both "varietal specific" glasses for wine enthusiasts and "wine friendly" glasses for more casual wine drinkers.
Use stemmed glassware for fine dining and stemless for casual dining.
Plan to invest ($) in ONE glass as much as you spend on average on a bottle of wine.
When you choose a grape varietal specific RIEDEL glass, understand that it is built for a purpose and performs at its best with a specific type of wine.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF STEMWARE
Comprises three parts: Bowl - Stern - Base.
The design (architecture or construction) of a stemmed glass must ensure that the size, height and width are in perfect harmony. The size of the bowl has to be in proportion to the height of the stem and the width of the base. Respecting the exact ratio between these dimensions ensures the glass is correctly and seamlessly proportioned.Table top "classics" are created using the magic "golden architectural formula". Early glass architecture, around 1920, took the Iead, spearheaded by three Viennese architects (Loos, Hoffmann, Ertl). Claus Riedel's designs from the late 1950's, re-established this concept. This combined with influence from French and lrish classics resulted in stemware featuring this "construction", which is so pleasing to the eye.
WHY SHAPE MATTERS
Sternware consists of 3 parts: the bowl, stem and base. The height of the stem and the width of the base are part of the glass design (known as the architecture). Grape varietal specific stemware features finely-tuned glass bowls consisting of 3 variables: shape, size and rim diameter. Grape varietal specific stemware has to translate the "message" of wine to the human senses. There are 4 sensations in wine.
1. Bouquet: Grape varietal specific stemware is responsible for delivering the quality and intensity of the wine's aroma. 2. Texture: Grape varietal specific stemware highlights the exciting and diverse styles of "mouthfeel" in wine (watery, creamy, silky, velvety). 3. Flavor: Grape varietal specific stemware creates a balanced interaction between the fruit, minerality, acidity and bitter components of a wine. 4. Finish: Grape varietal specific stemware offers a pleasant, seamless, harmonious, and long lasting aftertaste.
THE CONTENT DETERMINES THE SHAPE
When developing a glass, RIEDEL's design ideas are not born on a drawing board, but shaped by trial and error with the help and support of the world's greatest palates. A person interested in wine is led by color, bouquet and taste, but often the glass is not considered as an instrument to convey the wine's message. Over the years, RIEDEL has acquired some interesting scientific explanations as to why the shape of a glass influences the bouquet and taste of alcoholic beverages. The first discovery was made while enjoying wine. The same wine displayed completely differently characteristics when served in a variety of glasses. The differences were so great that experienced connoisseurs were made to believe that they were tasting different wines. The grape variety is the key factor in determining the relationship between fruit, acidity, tannin and alcohol. As the next step, RIEDEL was able to create shapes in which the wine, vinified from specific grape varieties, seemed to improve. We started to recognize the complex role that size and shape play in conveying the message of a fine wine.
WHY SHOULD I USE A DECANTER?
There are two reasons why we decant wines:
1. Decant an older wine to separate it from its sediment.
2. Decant a younger wine to increase aeration, revealing more complexity, and opening up aromas and flavors.
To enjoy young wines fully (up to 10 years for both red and white) consider opening them 8 – 12 hours prior to consumption for aeration, or decant the wine, as this shortens the aeration process.
The main preservation element in wine is carbon dioxide, which is integratedwith the wine during the first (= alcoholic) fermentation.Decanting reduces the amount of carbon dioxide and "matures" the wine, allowing the bouquet to develop faster.
On the palate, decanted wine expresses higher levels of fruit in red wines and tends to integrate and smooth out tannins.
When decanting young wines, turn the bottle straight into the decanter and let it splash into the vessel, allowing maximum aeration.
When decanting off the sediment of an old wine, slowly pour the wine into the decanter without allowing any sediment to leave the bottle.
We suggest you try the following exercise: Using identical glasses, decant half the bottle and serve the other half directly from the bottle – then draw your own conclusion.