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Riedel Glasses in General


Susan in FL
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To add to our supply of Riedel glasses, we just acquired two Tasting Glasses for a real good price. What's up with them? Tonight we drank our wine (Shiraz) for dinner with these glasses. As good wine always does in Riedel, it tasted wonderful. The design of the tasting glasses is more practical than pretty, I'm sure.

I get it, that for a tasting, these glasses precisely measure the amount of wine poured by filling the hollow stem. Beyond that, what is the advantage?

Any other comments about Riedel, or Riedel vs. Spiegelau or others?

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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There has been a recent article in Gourmet about a recent Riedel 'tasting' where they compare various wine glass shapes and how it supposedly affects the taste. The 'conclusion' of the Gourmet article is that EXPECTING wine to taste/smell better in certain glassware is a self-fulfilling prophecy. An interesting article.

A discussion of this piece is here:

http://fora.erobertparker.com/ubb/ultimate...ic;f=1;t=036617

Cheers

paul

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Thanks for the link. That is an interesting article, and notion, about the various glasses. I am aware of that opinion, and aware of the various shapes, but I am still curious about this tasting glass, specifically.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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There has been a recent article in Gourmet about a recent Riedel 'tasting' where they compare various wine glass shapes and how it supposedly affects the taste. The 'conclusion' of the Gourmet article is that EXPECTING wine to taste/smell better in certain glassware is a self-fulfilling prophecy. An interesting article.

A discussion of this piece is here:

http://fora.erobertparker.com/ubb/ultimate...ic;f=1;t=036617

Cheers

paul

Actually - not to put too fine a point on it - the Gourmet article said that the Riedel glass stuff was a lot of BS.

I will freely admit that I like my Orrefors crystal because it's beautiful on my table - and feels nice in my hand. Never thought that it affected the taste of what I drink though. So what was your opinion of the Gourmet article? Robyn

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I am trying to remember when I first used a Riedel glass, I don't remember the year, but it was a long time ago. It probably was twenty years ago when I was organizing a tasting for Louis Trebuchet of the fine Burgundy estate Chartron Trebuchet, when the people from Riedel contacted me and asked me to use their glasses at the tasting. This tasting was was to be attended by all the top wine pros in town and they wanted to demonstrate the quality of their glasses. After the tasting there was universal agreement that the glasses enhanced the quality of the wines. In the decades since I have compared Riedel vs.other glasses, hundreds, if not thousands of times, and it is very clear to me that their glasses make a difference. This is not to say that there are not other glasses that can equal them. Twenty years ago they stood alone, but their success has inspired many other companies to improve their wine glass design.

I have to admit I do not buy the Riedel argument about different glass shapes pushing certain types of wine to just the right part of the tongue. First of all I am a habitual "swisher" (you know that slurping sound wine tasters make - I have done it so many times I find myself doing it with milk or water, much to the pleasure of my wife) so the wine quickly covers all parts of the mouth. Also, the tongue is quite simple when it comes to tasting. Where the real action is at is in the bouquet of the wine. Here is most of what we refer to as "taste" when it comes to wine. It is in this area that Riedel (and other similar brands) really shine. If you plug up your nose the glass matters not, but if you want to really dig into the aromatics of a wine a good glass is everything.

Riedel glasses are aromatic amplifiers. This is where their real impact occurs.

Appearance is also important and does provide a psychological push to a wine. Just as beautiful china sets off a meal and predisposes one to perceive the food as top quality, beautiful crystal presents a wine in its best light. Certainly Riedel does well here also as their glasses are visually stunning.

I use Riedel both for my work and for dining. For work I use the "O" series using the cabernet/merlot and pinot noir/nebbiolo for both red and white wines. The stemless design is easy to work with and as, I wash my own glasses after tastings, they are very convenient and much less likely to break. As I do most of my tasting in the late morning these are also the glasses that usually end up on the lunch table when there is no company around.

At the table I use the "Vinum" series using the Burgundy and Bordeaux shapes for all types of wine. In my opinion, the "Sommelier" series is certainly more beautiful, but are not technically superior to the "Vinum" series when it comes to enhancing aromatic intensity.

You can see the "O" and "Vinum" glasses here.

By the way, I still have more than 2 dozen glasses from that tasting almost twenty years ago. I haven't worn them out yet, but I'm trying.

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To add to our supply of Riedel glasses, we just acquired two Tasting Glasses for a real good price. What's up with them? Tonight we drank our wine (Shiraz) for dinner with these glasses. As good wine always does in Riedel, it tasted wonderful. The design of the tasting glasses is more practical than pretty, I'm sure.

I get it, that for a tasting, these glasses precisely measure the amount of wine poured by filling the hollow stem. Beyond that, what is the advantage?

Any other comments about Riedel, or Riedel vs. Spiegelau or others?

By the way, I don't like those Riedel tasting glasses. I think they were only created for portion control at public tastings and have no other use I can think of - why do you need portion control at home?

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The tasting glass design is for professional tasting, period. The amount poured in the hollow stem allows you to turn the glass on its side and roll it to both aerate the wine and view the color. I didn't read the article by the way, so if I'm restating the point made there, I apologize.

But given that they are for professional tastings, the masses will certainly snap them up. What would-be wine aficiando would pass up the oppotunity to peacock around at a wine tasting with a glass expressly for that purpose? I've brought my own glasses to some tastings, but that's only when I know my alternative is a Libby glass that makes it impossible to evaluate wine (or worse, one retailer uses tine plastic Solo cups). The Riedel tasting glass simply "goes to 11" in these venues, and there is a fabric of geekdom that doesn't want to be on the outside looking in.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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To follow up on Craig's great reply, Reidel (and many other nice glasses) are superior in some aspects (as he pointed out, enhancing aroma) and heavily hyped in others (guiding the wine to particular areas of the tongue ... as if it's going to behave and stay in the given tongue quadrant).

I'd like to add that, counter intuitively, they are more practical ... or, at the very least, behavior modifying. For example, they "teach" you to pour an appropriate amount. Everyone I know that has them unconsciously begins to pour smaller amounts. To answer the previous question "why do you need portion control at home" very pragmatically - i.e. without getting into debatable points about aroma and flavor of a modest pour in a large glass - because the appropriate portion is balanced in the glass. It's a fuzzy and a-logical (not illogical) point, but the "right" amount looks right in the glass. You can swirl and sniff and drink as you please without the feeling that the glass is top-heavy or that the wine is sloshing around like water in a bucket. Little glasses filled to the brim are a pain to drink from as are overfilled big glasses. Restaurants with little glasses uses them as a way of gauging portion but they allow for now development of aroma.

They're also astoundingly rugged. Not too long ago a guest knocked a Riedel flute (overture) off of my kitchen counter. It fell three feet, bounced twice, and then skittered across the floor unbroken. Totally amazing.

Now, what I find totally absurd are the enormous glasses - as big as a modest globe ... large enough to cradle an infant - that sell for over $100. Can anyone drink from them without feeling like they're in a Monty Pythonesque satire of epicureanism?

rien

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I have two of the tasting glasses and have never used them. The only real use for them is portion control and also to provide a controlled means of assessing color. Just fill the stem, and tip over onto a piece of paper. Much easier to assess color with a fixed amount of wine in a fixed position. That said, you can't taste color, so I've never tried to measure it rigorously. The glasses are also impossible to swirl in, unless you roll them sideways on the table. Anyone want to buy mine, they are taking up space in the liquor cabinet. :biggrin:

Walt

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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I'm in the Craig Camp camp about wine glasses. I agree that the Riedel glasses and similar fine crystal enhance the quality of wine. I too don't agree about so many different glass shapes being necessary.

As for the tasting glasses, good idea about taking then to a wine tasting. They really do not serve a great purpose at home, but at the price, we couldn't resist joining in with the masses and snapping up two of them. Talk about rugged... they really are.

Now, what I find totally absurd are the enormous glasses - as big as a modest globe ... large enough to cradle an infant - that sell for over $100. Can anyone drink from them without feeling like they're in a Monty Pythonesque satire of epicureanism?
LOL, Drinking out of big glasses can be fun, but some are to the extreme. I wouldn't pay that much money for them. We're familiar with the huge ones for the huge prices only from when we moonlighted at a wine shop in DE, and gotta laugh and agree with you on that, Rien!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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