Home' Hospitality Business : HB MAR 2017 Contents A BIT OF HISTORY...
More than 50 years ago, Georg’s father Claus J Riedel began his pioneering work to create
stemware that would match and complement different wines and spirits. In the late 1950s Riedel
started to produce glasses which, at that time, were a design revolution. Thin-blown, unadorned,
simplifying the design to it’s very essence: bowl, stem, base.
Working with experienced tasters, Riedel discovered that wine enjoyed from his glasses showed more
depth and better experience than when served in other glasses. Claus J Riedel laid the groundwork for
stemware which was functional as well as beautiful, and made according to the Bauhaus design principle
of “form follows function”. In 1961 a revolutionary concept was introduced when the Riedel catalogue
featured the first line of wine glasses created in different sizes and shapes. Before this, the conventional
stemware had used a single bowl shape, with only the size varying depending on its use. This concept was
then created into the Sommeliers series in 1973.
After his father’s Sommeliers range, Georg Riedel continued this pioneering work with the launch of
Riedel’s benchmark Vinum range in 1986. Vinum became the first machine-made glass in history to be
based on the characteristics of grape varietals.
For more on Riedel, visit www.riedel.com
The Riedel factory floor in Kufstein, Austria
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF DESIGNING A NEW
First of all, we feel like architects, so there has to be a
commercial making sense of it.You go to the country
and you meet the people - most wine people are very
passionate about what they do and this kind of passion
is very addictive. [In New Zealand the winemakers]
are working hard because it’s new ground, new
terr itory, no tradition, so it’s not easy in this kind of
world of established wines and competition to put a
flag into the ground and say ‘here is the new Pinot
Noir’. [So we] understand how the people struggle,
but in a positive way, and then we come up with ideas
of how we could make a glass for them.
We taste the wines, we meet more than one
winemaker who tells you what the wine is all about
and when we look at wines in general. It’s always
between the two flavour elements in wine – the
fruit versus the minerality and acidity.This kind
of equilibrium is what a glass can do, elevate this
har mony in wine and provide the r ight aromas.
So when you taste wine in our glasses versus other
glasses, you may be [able to] understand what
we bring to the table. We cannot improve wine
but when you carefully study the subject, it’s an
evolution. Translating wine to our senses is what we’re
passionate about and what we feel good about.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST MISTAKES PEOPLE
MAKE WHEN CHOOSING A WINE GLASS?
There are no mistakes. We enjoy wine generally
speaking because wine brings people together.
You drink wine in company, you drink wine with
food. I would say there is no better way to spend
time then just having a conversation with a glass of
wine and some food.There are really no mistakes.
Riedel brings something to the table – we are not
able to improve wine but we are able to, with the
r ight glass, manage the emotions of a person. The
only thing that people cannot have is [the] hidden
satisfaction that the content of the bottle would
give you if you were able to identify a glass that
elevate the emotions.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WINE GLASS
The glass is a tool, it’s an instrument, so you need
to choose your instrument according to the wine.
My favour ite wine is good wine but are there bad
wines? Not really.There are wines that seem to
be extremely emotional - wines create emotion
and respect when they come with age. For regular
consumers who enjoy commercial wines where they
have been bottled recently, it’s nice to drink but it’s
beautiful to drink wines when they have been aged
HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT GOING INTO
I would have been good at winemaking, I believe
so. I have a talent, a good sense of smell, I’m a
regular taster, I can cook food, so I can also make
wine I think. But I didn’t want to make wine from
scratch, I would have looked for an invitation
which I never got.
WHAT ARE THE GLASS TRENDS FOR 2017?
The new trend is cocktail glasses. When we look
at the portfolio of our Spiegelau brand, they have
success with the cocktail/bar subject. The other
trend that will continue is handmade glasses. There is
a market niche for handmade glasses where you have
steams in different colours or different work and a
clear bowl on top. n
not able to
we are able
to, with the
Hospitality BUSINESS | March 2017 | 49
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