Riedel Crystal Stemware

Georg Riedel is an elegant man and a compelling authority figure, like a stage hypnotist. Made some strong points, then wildly overstated his conclusions.

Many people I admire in the wine biz have completely bought Georg Reidel’s line about glass shape affecting the smell and taste of a wine. So I went to see what can only be described as one of their Stage Shows. No doubt about the fact Georg cuts an impressive figure. His shoes alone would have paid my mortgage for several months. And 120 people in the audience ate it up. Of course Georg did give each of them five fairly expensive glasses to take home.

Did any of his claims about the shape of the glasses hold water? Well, yes and no. It certainly is true that any wine tasted from a large wine glass will be more impressive than the same wine tasted from a slope-sided plastic cup. And I’m inclined to go along with his assertion that wide-aperture glasses emphasize fruity aromatics better than tall glasses with narrow mouths. But that is about as far as I can ride the bandwagon. I simply did not see the differences due to shape in the middle of the glass that he was exhorting the crowd to notice. Which is not to say that most of my neighbors in the audience stood unaffected. As a group they largely spent the hour whispering to each other about what a revelation these different glasses were, and how they couldn’t wait to buy fourteen different sets of glasses for use in their homes. I’m afraid I just could not overcome my sense of Mr. Riedel’s self-interest in the matter.

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