Maximilian Riedel – Photo Jill Weinlein
“People go to restaurants, because they love to be entertained,” said Maximilian Riedel, an 11th generation glassmaker, CEO and President of Riedel. As the host of an informative Riedel glass wine tasting seminar at The Maybourne Beverly Hills, he shared with over 100 wine professionals and wine consumers, “A Riedel glass turns wine drinking into a celebration.”
Top-rated restaurants and wineries throughout the world use Riedel glassware to intensify one’s drinking experience.
This family-owned and operated wine, spirit and decanter glass company, started making drinking glasses in 1756 for the church and royals. In the 1950’s Maximilian’s grandfather pioneered grape varietal-specific stemware for international wine connoisseurs, sommeliers, hospitality professionals and consumers. His goal was to create luxury wine-friendly stemware that delivers a lovely bouquet, taste, balance and finish with each sip. “Our glasses guide the wine on your palate. It’s a conveyor belt conveying a message to all of your senses,” said Maximilian Riedel.
The start-of-the-art technology to make RIEDEL VELOCE happens at the Riedel factory in Weiden, Germany. The glasses are made from highly advanced machine production to create a beautiful and functional glass. “The size and shape of a glass per wine varietal delivers the aroma first,” said Maximilian Riedel. “Without the right size glass, one might smell overpowering alcohol, bitterness and acidity.”
Stemware consists of three parts: the bowl, the stem and the base. The architecture of the glass design focuses on the height of the stem and the width of the base.
New to 2023 is Riedel Superleggero Restaurant glassware that intensifies the fine dining food and wine experience at a restaurant. In homage to the 50th Anniversary of Sommeliers, Riedel relaunches a new premium machine-blown wine glass. ‘Today young people don’t want to work in a factory to make handmade glasses, so we had to adapt with machines to make our glassware,’ said Riedel.
Size and shape matter when drinking wine from a glass. Riedel offers a diamond-shaped bowl that angles out dramatically before narrowing at the top. This creates an exceptionally wide surface that intensifies and enhances the silkiness of the wine on the palate. Their glasses allow the fruit driven style of New World wines to shine.
The perfection of a machine-made glass compared to handmade can be seen in the rim diameter and bowl of the glass. Riedel is known for their light glass with a thin stem and large bowl. They are the only one to make the widest base diameter ever produced by a machine.
The new collection has 8 different grape varietal glasses. The smallest is for Riesling wine and Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc glass is a touch taller than the Riesling glass. Then there is the Chardonnay glass, Pinot Noir glass and large bowl Cabernet glass.
Riedel wineglasses offer oenophiles and novice wine drinkers four sensations. It begins with the bouquet of the grape varietal. When poured into the specific varietal stemware, it delivers superior quality and intensity of the wine’s aroma.
Texture of the grape varietal should produce excitement to the palate. The right glass offers a mouthfeel of creamy, silky, watery or velvety. There should be a balanced interaction between the fruit, minerality, acidity and bitter components of a wine. Last the finish should be pleasant, harmonious and provide a long lasting aftertaste that produces a smile.
Fine Crystal Decanters – Photo Jill Weinlein
Riedel believes all wines – young and old, white and red, even sparkling can be enhanced when poured from the bottle into a decanter. They make 8 different decanters to give wine a chance to bloom and attain a stage of development that usually requires years of aging. ‘We have elegant, complex handmade designs,’ said Riedel.
Each of their decanters are a work of art. The Ultra is one of the most elegant, and the Mamba decanter is the most dramatic, looking a bit like a glass cobra snake. ‘Decanting a wine liberates the aromas,’ said Riedel. ‘It intensifies the fruitiness and rounds out the texture.’
Decanting old wines allows the wine to separate from any deposits that have formed through the years, and drinking the wine from a Riedel glass heightens one’s culinary experience and senses.