Riedel and the Wine Blog Awards

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Nearly everyone I know who has taken the Riedel Taste Test remarks that out of the Riedel glasses wine tastes better or it is more expressive or it is more complex than when tasted out of other glasses. It's a remarkable set of statements when you think about. Same wine, different glasses, different taste experience.

Riedel has administered these comparison tastes tests probably 100s of times across the globe for wine professionals, restaurant servers and others. The consistent result has to lead one to conclude that wine tastes better when consumed out of a glass designed for the type of wine being drunk.

And yet the wine is the same, regardless of the glass that is delivering it into your mouth. And it is this fact that leads many people to poo poo the claims made by Riedel that the design of the delivery vehicle for the wine is essential to truly experiencing the wine.

The Riedel folks are very well aware of this disconnect that many people have expressed where their claims are concerned. It is for this reason that they have gone to great pains to explain in detail just exactly what they believe are the reasons for the difference a glass makes.

I encourage you to visit their website and read through their "Information Page" where they go to great lengths to explain themselves. In various "chapters" they discuss:

How Glass Contents Determine Glass Shape
The Details of Bouquet
-The Details of Taste
The Scientific Background of Taste
-Taste/Olfactory Confusion
The Modalities that Sense Food
The Anatomy of Taste
Genetic Variations Surrounding Taste
"Supertasters" and Alcohol
The Tongue Map
Effects of Temperature on Perceived Sweetness of Sucrose

The lengths to which Riedel has gone to explain the impact of proper glassware in fact goes beyond the requirements of marketing and into the realm of education.

Suffice to say, my respect for Riedel has been fairly impressive. But not just for their dedicationWineBlogAwardsLogo
to their craft. Riedel has gone out of their way to be sponsors at 1000s of wine events, donating likely millions of glasses over the years to professional and consumer tasting events.

Of course I became even more enamored with Riedel when they agreed to sponsor the 2009 American Wine Blog Awards. The Winner in each of seven categories will received a hand blown Crystal "Saint Emilion" Magnum (Pictured above) Decanter etched with the winner's  Name, Blog name, the name of the award, and the year of the award. It will serve as a beautiful trophy and memory.


9 Responses

  1. Fredric Koeppel - February 17, 2009

    we first tasted wine from Riedel glasses and made comparisons about 15 years ago. the difference between experiencing a cabernet-based wine from what was then the company’s top cabernet glass and the wine glasses we used every day was profound. with the Reidel glass, it felt as if the aromas were blowing toward my nose in a wind tunnel. What a great prize they have donated!

  2. K. L. Sullivan - February 17, 2009

    We had the opportunity to do a comparison of Riedel with ISO stemware at Inniskillin in Canada. What a delightful experience! Our hostess explained in detail why the Riedel stemware provided a better tasting experience. Yes, there was a difference.
    I also believe that the experience of a wine tasting provides a subtle addition to a wine tasting. Expectations are higher with fine stemware, wines and the ambience of the location.
    Cheers, Kathy

  3. David McDuff - February 17, 2009

    I too have been a regular Riedel user for years now. Even so, it was eye opening to do a side-by-side test of two different Riedel glasses — their Vinum Burgundy and Vinum XL Pinot Noir stems — a while back. You’ll find a full report at:
    Those etched decanters will definitely make nice trophies. Kudos to Riedel for sponsoring.

  4. St. Vini - February 17, 2009

    Oddly, nobody does these comparisons blind. Use two different manufacturers glasses and a blindfold. That’s the only was you can be somewhat certain that you’re removing the subjectivity here between two different glasses. Or, use 5 glasses, 3 from one maker and 2 from Riedel. The Riedels should jump out at you even with the blindfold. If you can’t pick them out, well then you’ve taken the first step to admitting this is a fallacy….
    I find the whole thing preposterous, personally. Riedel might give you a better aroma, which would impact taste, than a highball glass, but the write-up on their website is just BS. The tongue map! Hell, that hasn’t been scientifically accepted for nearly a century! Try it yourself, do you really taste sweet only on the front of your tongue! No!
    Any well-made glass in a tulip shape will concentrate aromas, Riedel has just done a masterful job with their marketing. I take my hat off to their genius.

  5. Benito - February 17, 2009

    I’m pretty friendly with my glassware at home, and if someone breaks a glass it’s no big deal. But my single Riedel Champagne flute? Nobody touches that. I’ve become spoiled, and drinking bubbly out of anything else now feels like I’m using a child’s sippy cup.
    That’s a classy move with the decanter prize, particularly the personalization. It shows a great deal of respect for winebloggers.

  6. Marco Romano - February 18, 2009

    We own 10 or so of the Vinum Burgundy glasses. I don’t drink wine out of anything else. Great that Riedel got behind the awards with a fine decanter.

  7. Brian Pasch - February 18, 2009

    I’ve been using Riedel glasses for the past 15 years and nothing comes close.

  8. Dylan - February 19, 2009

    Wow, what a beautiful trophy idea. I was never aware of the educational materials Riedel put onto their website. Thanks very much for the links, I’m interested in reading up on what they have to say.

  9. personal wealth academy - November 10, 2010

    i also think that Riedel has gone great lengths to explain the significance of proper glassware.

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