I’ll Clink To That
DRINKING WINE MIGHT SEEM STRAIGHTFORWARD, BUT SELECTING THE RIGHT GLASS CAN ENHANCE YOUR WINE-DRINKING EXPERIENCE. WITH MANY VARIETIES TO CHOOSE FROM, ONE SIZE DOESN’T NECESSARILY FIT ALL.
OLIVIA MORFFEW SITS DOWN WITH THE TEAM AT RIEDEL TO DISCOVER HOW DIFFERENT TYPES OF GLASSES CAN ACTIVATE AROMA AND FLAVOUR, ENRICHING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH WINE.
Images courtesy of RIEDEL
Enjoying a glass of wine is one of life’s simple pleasures. Be it after a long day at work, or as an accompaniment to a decadent feast, wine is drunk to spark joy. Sitting down with your favourite bottle is a pleasurable experience on its own, but pairing your wine with the appropriate glass can dramatically improve this indulgence. To get the most out of your favourite variety, read on to discover which style and shape of glass will deepen the flavours of your wine.
THE PERFORMANCE OF A LIFETIME
With more than thirty years’ experience in the production of wine glasses, RIEDEL’s newest range fuses the latest technology with the vast knowledge of creating varietal-specific glassware. The company also creates exquisite and unique decanters; practical vessels for pouring wine that make a stylistic statement within your home or cellar. Co-designed by both Georg and Maximilian Riedel, the RIEDEL Performance glassware range caters to numerous types of wine, each with a different shape and style to suit the varietal. Each uniquely designed glass augments the taste and aroma of the wine, making this elegant glassware the investment of a lifetime.
After much trial and error, the team at RIEDEL have perfected the design of this wineglass to best suit a riesling. The shape of the RIEDEL Performance Riesling supports the traits of floral white wines, and the powerful fermented grape juice and yeast flavours. With every sip from this glass, you can smell and taste the distinctive aromas and flavours of a riesling.
Having a wide bowl is the optimum style for drinking chardonnay wines. The larger size provides more space for the lush bouquet to develop a range of aromas as air permeates the wine. A bowl of this size also minimises the risk of the wine becoming overconcentrated, making it the perfect, chic glass for a chardonnay.
The curved shape of this design supports the light-bodied nature and signature fruity and earthy characteristics of the ever-popular pinot noir. With RIEDEL’s Performance Pinot Noir, the distinct curvature of the glass enhances mouthfeel and makes an elegant addition to your glassware collection.
A glass of shiraz or syrah can be greatly improved by drinking from a narrow-rimmed glass, much like the RIEDEL Performance Syrah/Shiraz glass. This shape highlights the classic aromas of toast and black olives – typical of the shiraz variety. The curves and height of this glass accentuate the wine’s silky structure and balanced flavours, while allowing the tannins to appear sweet on the back palate.
For the average wine consumer, there are two important factors to consider before decanting a bottle. The team at RIEDEL explain that decanting older wines removes lingering sediment and allows the wine to breathe after being contained for so long. Decanting is also a crucial step to aerate younger wines and speed up the aging process. Young wines can improve exponentially after spending between one and two hours in a decanter. If the temptation to taste your wine is too great, shake up the decanter first until you see bubbles forming. This chemical reaction activates greater aroma and highlights fruit flavours when consumed. The shape, size and design of a decanter can also influence the rate of aeration. Certain designs create air pockets that will cut the surface of the wine; a feature that will benefit a young wine, but spoil an older vintage. Much like a wine glass, a decanter isn’t perfectly matched with every vintage or varietal, so choose wisely! Having an intricately shaped decanter will be a bold addition to your home, while showcasing some of your favourite wines.
A FEAST FOR THE SENSES
If you prefer a hands-on approach to understanding how glassware impacts and influences the taste of your wine, then look no further than the RIEDEL Sensory Workshop. Hosted at scenic wineries and beautiful restaurants, this educational experience teaches wine-lovers why selecting the correct glassware is essential to magnify the traits of your wine. Guests will be able to see, taste and smell how the different glasses affect the many varieties of wine. You will also learn about the extensive history and invention of this particular glass-making craft. Armed with the perfect glass for your favourite type of wine, you can now sit back, relax, and embrace the sensational flavours that Victorian wine has to offer.