** Post Retrieved from Riedel’s Company Brochure **
WHY SHAPE MATTERS
Stemware consists of 3 parts: the bowl, stem and base.
– The height of the stem and the width of the base are part of the glass design (known as the architecture).
– Grape varietal specific stemware features finely-tuned glass bowls consisting of 3 variables: shape, size and rim diameter.
– Grape varietal specific stemware has to translate the “message” of wine to the human senses.
There are 4 sensations in wine:
1. Bouquet: Grape varietal specific stemware is responsible for delivering the quality and intensity of the wine’s aroma.
2. Texture: Grape varietal specific stemware highlights the exciting and diverse styles of “mouthfeel” in wine (watery, creamy, silky, velvety).
3. Flavor: Grape varietal specific stemware creates a balanced interaction between the fruit, minerality, acidity and bitter components of a wine.
4. Finish: Grape varietal specific stemware offers a pleasant, seamless, harmonious, and long lasting aftertaste.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF STEMWARE
The design (architecture or construction) of a stemmed glass must ensure that the size, height and width are in perfect harmony. The size of the bowl has to be in proportion to the height of the stem and the width of the base. Respecting the exact ratio between these dimensions ensures the glass is correctly and seamlessly proportioned. Table top “classics” are composed using the magic “golden architectural formula”. Early glass architecture, around 1920, took the lead, spearheaded by three Viennese architects (Loos, Hoffmann, Ertl). CLAUS J. RIEDEL’s designs from the late 1950‘s, reestablished and took on this concept, which combined with influence from French and Irish classics resulted in stemware featuring this “construction”, which is so pleasing to the eye.
ONE SIZE FITS ALL? HOW CAN EACH SHAPE PROVIDE A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE FOR MY WINE?
– One glass is not ideal for all styles of wine; a wine’s bouquet, taste, balance and finish are all affected by the shape of the glass it is consumed from.
– A wine will display completely different characteristics when served in different glasses.
– These differences can be so great, that when the same wine is served in several different glasses, even experienced wine connoisseurs believe that they are tasting as many different wines as there are glasses.
– RIEDEL has created shapes that specifically enhance a wine’s harmony and highlight its unique characteristics.
– Grape varietals carry in their DNA unmistakable flavor profiles which adds to the importance of selecting the appropriate glass.
– Wines have two, three or four flavor contributors which are associated with the fermentation process.
WHY SHOULD I USE A DECANTER? HOW WILL DECANTING ENHANCE MY WINE EXPERIENCE?
There are two reasons why we decant wines:
- Decant an older wine to separate it from its sediment.
- Decant a younger wine to increase aeration, revealing more complexity, and opening up aromas and flavors.
– To enjoy young wines fully (up to 10 years for both red and white) consider opening them 8 – 12 hours prior to consumption for aeration, or decant the wine, as this shortens the aeration process.
– The main preservation element in wine is carbon dioxide, which is integrated with the wine during the first (alcoholic) fermentation.
– Decanting reduces the amount of carbon dioxide and “matures“ the wine, allowing the bouquet to develop faster.
– On the palate, decanted wine expresses higher levels of fruit in red wines and tends to integrate and smooth out tannins.
– When decanting young wines, turn the bottle directly into the decanter and let it splash into the vessel to maximize aeration.
– When decanting off the sediment of an old wine, slowly pour the wine into the decanter without allowing any sediment to leave the bottle.