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Why Riedel Wine Glasses Are The Best

riedel wine glassesElegant Riedel Wine Glasses from Austria

With such a wide range of wine accessories on the market today, it can be a little daunting finding out which the good and useful ones are. When it comes to choosing wine glasses, the quality and shape really do make a difference to the tasting experience.

How do you know which glasses are value for money and which aren't? Well, that's not difficult. When the Riedel range is compared to any other, they stand head and shoulders above them, for a number of reasons. The most obvious one - especially when you have seen them - is their look and feel, i.e. the way they've been made.

Claus Riedel was the person responsible for the finer design and development of today's modern wine glass styles. He made Riedel, into the finest producer of wine glassware in the world. With his son, Maximillian, they recognised the importance of the design of the wine glass in its relation to the style and type of wine being tasted.

I know wine can be consumed from any sort of vessel, but I guarantee that if you tasted wine out of a wide, thick-rimmed average-style glass, and compared it with a Riedel glass, you would definitely notice a difference in the whole wine tasting experience. Finesse has its part to play as well!

When it comes to actually tasting a wine, the shape of the glass is important. Professional tasters have to be able to assess the wine accurately in order to portray their findings to us via tasting notes. It's the same from an amateur's point of view. Before we sip the wine, we want to find out a bit more about it via its smell or 'nose' (as it's called when tasting).

To be able to extract so much information from a 'sniff' when the wine is swirled in the glass, the design of the bowl helps a lot. The ideal design in a Riedel wine glass allows the aromas to be neatly collected at the rim, ready for the taster to sniff and assess the wines' quality prior to drinking it. However, conventional wine glasses, through their design are unable to concentrate the nuances in the same way.

Max Riedel - 11th Riedel generation - has developed bespoke wine glasses for different varieties of wine. Therefore, if you are partial to a delicate wine like a Pinot Noir, then the ideal glass for this is one with a wide-rimmed bowl. Whereas, for a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, the glass shape is taller and thinner, enabling the capture of the youthful, freshness and acidity (which would be lost in the Pinot Noir glass).

Some may say, why be so persnickety over the shape of a glass? The answer to that is, that wine has often been connected to pretentiousness and even snobbery. So drinking out of "the right" glass to many does make a difference - you don't have to be pretentious or a snob to want to appreciate wine.

There is no need to be overwhelmed if you are concerned at the cost of replacing an entire set of glassware, just go for the ones you use regularly. Here are some simple guidelines when selecting glasses for:

White wines:

  • Use a wine glass with a narrow bowl to retain subtle flavours and nuances. This ensures that the surface area of exposed wine to oxygen is reduced.
  • The wine will remain cooler for longer, therefore retaining its bouquet.
  • A younger, fresher wine is best in a slightly taller, thinner glass. i.e. champagne is always served in a tall, fluted glass which contains the bubbles and slowly directs them gently upwards towards your nose.
  • A fuller, fatter wine like a mature Chardonnay is best out of a slightly shorter, wider rimmed glass. As there is an abundance of flavour already in the wine, it is beneficial to have a wider surface area in your glass. A Chardonnay does not require so much chilling - unless of course it is very young and high in acidity.

Red wines:

  • Use a glass with a wider bowl, increasing the surface area, enabling the wine to breathe.
  • Exposure to oxygen will soften the tannins and allow the stronger flavours in the wine to show through.
  • The wine will be served at room temperature, therefore it is easier to warm a wider glass than a tall, narrow one as you hold it in your hand, this in turn releases more aromas.

A few quick tips:

  1. Only fill glasses one-third full. This helps to leave room in the glass to swirl the wine around, so you are able to enjoy the aromas as they are released.
  2. When washing good quality wine glasses use very hot water only without detergent, otherwise the build up of soap in your glasses may interfere with the taste of wine.
  3. Invest in the best wine glass collection you can. It can be a big decision, but I promise you when it comes to tasting wine, size and shape do matter.

More on why Riedel Wine Glasses really are the very best to drink out of. Also, there is a video of the amazing Riedel Amadeo wine decanter being mouth blown.

See a full selection of Riedel Wine Glasses on Amazon.