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You don't know wine until you know Riedel

posted on September 15th, 2015 by Kim Kaczor-Wardlow

riedelYou may be wondering how I can possibly make a statement such as the title of this blog, “You don’t know wine until you know Riedel.” Well, this is the best way I can express what I have learned from my experience with this centuries-old glassware producer out of Austria. When we partnered with Riedel, they didn’t have interest in just stacking up displays of glassware for our customers to purchase in-store – they had a full vested interest in educating us on the use of their glassware and how it makes a dramatic difference in the beverages you enjoy…and I assure you, it does.

If you are like me and have had the displeasure of tasting a bad wine or two, or three, you have likely been mistaken by thinking it was a bad wine. Riedel opened our eyes and taste buds to realize that the wine you thought was bad might actually be the fault of the glass you are enjoying it from. My team had an opportunity to experience a full wine tasting presentation given to us by our partners at Riedel, and we were all blown away by the difference the glass shape can make on the palatability of the wine. During the presentation, they poured a single varietal of wine, such as a Pinot Noir, into four different glasses, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and New World Pinot Noir glass. Amazingly, the wine was unpalatable and displeasing on the nose in all the glasses except the proper New World Pinot Noir glass. We did this same test with three other varietals and experienced the same. I’m sure you can imagine the grins we were all wearing to this surprise.

The Riedel family started producing fine glassware in the mid-1700’s and enjoyed generations after generations of success. About 50 years ago, Claus Riedel, a chemical engineer and professor of chemistry (and 9th generation owner), wasn’t convinced that the glasses being produced were as complimentary and functional to the specific varietals of the “cherished juice” they were entrusted to cradle. With this, Claus is credited by most for being the innovator of the varietal specific wine glasses that many of us are so familiar with today. Who knew (well Claus did) that by varying the shape, size, density, and other variables of a glass that one could extrude the true characteristics of different varietals?

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a lover of wine. However, I would not profess to be a “certified snob” or connoisseur on any level. But one of my greatest experiences was enjoying the glass tutorial mentioned above given by the fine folks at Riedel. Let me tell you as an avid wine novice – Claus was right! While certainly the wine itself is the headliner, make no doubt that the correct vessel is critical to the total drinking experience.

Editor’s Note: It’s my intention to create the opportunity for our valued patrons to also enjoy this same tasting experience. Stay tuned for updates.

Bristol Farms is proud to partner with the Riedel Family to offer our customers a wonderful selection of wine glasses. During your next visit to one of our YOUR local Bristol Farms, be sure to browse through the legacy of Claus Riedel and pick up a couple of great wines to pair with the appropriate glasses. Cheers!

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