Inside The Riedel Performance Comparative Wine Tasting With Maximilian Riedel
Maximilian Riedel, 11th generation CEO and President of Riedel Crystal, recently led one of Riedel’s famous comparative glassware tastings at the City Winery NYC using the all-new Riedel Performance Series, to demonstrate the relationship between the shape of the glass and the perception and enjoyment of wine.
Maximilian began the tasting by speaking to the purpose of a wineglass and how it acts as “the loudspeaker for the wine.” He explained how each wine group varietal has its own DNA and how each Riedel glass has been specially engineered to enhance an imbiber’s perception of the wine’s bouquet and flavor.
As the first in the industry to introduce the varietal specific wine glass, Riedel developed the comparative tasting to showcase the importance of varietal specificity. Maximilian invited the attendees to taste three different wines from the Performance Series Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay glasses — each developed with winemakers, sommeliers and other wine experts — to compare how each distorts or improves the wine’s aroma, flavor, body, and finish as a result of its shape.
The Performance series is the first to introduce Riedel’s proprietary optically-blown bowls, marked by barely-perceptible rippled glassware that accelerates in-glass aeration of the wine and one of the best parts is that all Riedel glasses are dishwasher safe.
The four things that Maximilian asked attendees to keep in mind when experiencing wine were texture, temperature, taste and aftertaste (which includes the finish, or how long the flavors stay on the palate) and these elements were significantly noticeable or unnoticeable between the glasses. The Cabernet glass showcased the red wine in all its complexity and finesse. The shape of the bowl of the Pinot Noir glass supported the peatiness and the notes of plum.
The Riesling glass best brought out the bouquet of floral in the white wine while the Chardonnay glass allowed space for the rich bouquet to develop its superbly diverse range of aromas, minimizing the risk of becoming over concentrated.
Maximilian also advised all attendees to “decant, decant, decant,” no matter what the wine or occasion is, decanting wine is the best way to add flare (and oxygen) to open the aromas and help it mature as aging will always improve the taste of a wine. From Champagne to Chardonnay to all types of red wines, Maximilian encourages us to leverage the art of decanters in our wine lifestyle.