At Mile Wine Company, we use five different styles of Riedel stemware. For those not in the know, Riedel is the world’s leading brand of wineglass. Uber wine geeks will often bring their own Riedel glasses to dinner parties or restaurants where quality wine will be uncorked.
Based in the Tyrolean Alps of Austria, Riedel was founded in the late 1940s by Claus Josef Riedel, a ninth-generation glass-maker who invented the expansive oval-shaped bowl that is now the industry prototype. However, it was his son and successor, Georg, who gave Riedel its global renown and aura of indispensability. He did this by custom-designing glasses for nearly every major grape variety and persuading legions of oenophiles that specialized stemware is essential to wine appreciation.
Yet this begs the question, does the wine glass matter that much? And which wine glass? The glass does matter, and you need not take our word for it. Simply try this at home: pour your favorite wine in a coffee cup, a rocks glass and a nice wine stem. You should experience the fullest range of taste from the thin-lipped, svelte profile of a proper wine glass that allows room for swirling, because air is wine’s best friend. If your wine is crammed into a tiny bowl, an oddly shaped mug or, heaven forbid, a Red Solo cup, well, you’ll miss out on the nuances in aroma and taste.
The next time you’re at a wine festival, keep an eye out for Riedel tasting seminars. These entertaining events are sure to make a believer out of you. Or, you can just stop by Mile Wine Company, and ask your server to taste the same wine across various glass styles.
Need help in finding the perfect stemware? Wine Folly has a great infographic and tutorial to guide you through the process.