New year’s evening is coming – the best time in the year to drink Champagne and welcome the New Year with a toast – I recently learned that it’s not only the quality of champagne that matters – but also the glass you choose for drinking! Find out why:
Champagne glass tasting with Maximilian Josef Riedel
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to experience a ‘champagne glass tasting’ – a journey guided by Maximilian Riedel, head of the traditional famous wine glass company in the 11th generation. I had no idea that the choice of a glass can have such an influence on the scent and taste of champagne – well, believe me, it does! Let’s find out why in this interview with Mr. Riedel…….:
The Riedel philosophy
‘Mr. Riedel, what is the philosophy behind the different glasses you offer for wine and champagne?’
‘My grandfather, Claus J. Riedel – the 9th generation – was the first in history to develop and introduce wine friendly stemware. Based on this principle my father George went one step further and introduced the concept of grape-specific glassware. Which means that each grape variety has its individually shaped glass. The wine glass needs to translate the “message” of wine to the human senses. We refer to the glasses as messengers, as loudspeakers.
The development of a grape specific glass….
‘Can you explain the process of creating a specific glass – is there a design team behind the process?
‘Riedel glasses are not designed on a drawing board by a designer. The shapes result from many tastings in many workshops with professionals. One very good example is the champagne-wineglass. Some time ago I met with Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Cave of Dom Perignon to find a perfectly shaped glass for their champagne. The flute shape was not working.’
The creation of the specific ‘Wine Champagne Glass’
‘So this is how you started developing a very special glass for champagne, for white champagne – what makes it that special?’
‘In 2014 Riedel introduced the Champagne Wine Glass in the collection Riedel Veritas. We also offer it as a handmade version in the collection Riedel Superleggero. The name “Champagne Wine Glass” reflects the fact that the glass is very different from a conventional flute style. The name Champagne Wine Glass was chosen carefully and deliberately. Champagne is a wine and deserves to be treated as such. Whether enjoying a Blanc de Blanc or a Cuvée, the Champagne wine glass allows the wide range of aromas of the Champagne to unfold. The larger rim diameter enables the scent of the Champagne to be released, in a way which is not possible with a narrow flute. The glass also includes a ‘sparkling point’ to aid the formation of the Champagne bubbles – effervescence being an important part of the Champagne experience.’
The creation of the specific Rose ‘Wine Champagne Glass’
‘Part of the glass tasting experience was a glass designated for Rosé Champagne – what is the secret behind this special glass?’
‘For Rosé Champagne, we recommend the Riedel Veritas New World Pinot Noir glass – as the main grape variety of Rosé Champagne is Pinot Noir. This glass is the perfect tool for transforming the message of Rosé champagne.In case you do not have this glass available take the champagne wine glass – it will still perform much better than the flute. But do never use the cup shape for champagne. It does not work for either of the champagne. Neither blanc de blanc or rosé. When drinking out of a cup you do not have anything but bubbles in your mouth. No bouquet, nor aroma, no balance. No taste! The cup had been designed to dip biscuits in – at times when champagne was exclusively served as a dessert wine.
So, investing in a Champagne Wine Glass is worthwhile for a perfect enjoyment!’
‘Thank you very much, Mr. Riedel, for giving us insights of the world of secrets hidden behind manufacturing wine-specific glasses – the glass tasting was a unique experience – the different scent and taste of champagne using the various glasses was definitely unexpected and impressing!
We wish all our friends around the world a very happy new year – may 2107 bring joy and happiness to you and your families!
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The Riedel Veritas Champagne glass on the very right side
The Riedel Veritas New World Pinot Noir glass on the very right side