Riedel: Wine’s Best Friend
No matter how high-value is the wine, it will reveal its worth only if you enjoy it in a befitting glassware. The perception of aroma and taste of a noble drink depends on the shape of the glassware. The Austrian brand Riedel became the standard of “decent” tableware. The founder of the brand Claus Josef Riedel, an Austrian glassware manufacturer, has gained the insight into how the form consummates perfection of the substance.
The dynasty of three hundred years
The discovery of the Riedel made a revolution in enology in the middle of the 20th century, but there is a long prehistory behind it. The Riedel have been engaged in glass blowing since 1678. Their dynasty, originating from the north of Bohemia, has 11 generations.
Each of the representatives of the family brought something of his own to the family business. The first representative of the family, Johann Christoph Riedel, was a trader and it was he who glorified Bohemian glass across half the world. His son chose the profession of a gilder and glass cutter, and his grandson converted his father’s factories to produce windows, introducing a new technology. As early as in the late 18th century, the Riedel factories already produced bottles, vases, candlesticks, crystal beads and perfume bottles were already produced.
In the 19th century, they devoted their efforts to experiments with the colour of glass, and in the early 20th century, a representative of the eighth generation, Walter, started a thin glass production. Thanks to him, mass production of lenses, prisms and kinescopes was launched in the world.
Four components of delight
Walter’s son – Klaus – was unlucky with the inheritance. During the war, the business collapsed along with the empire. A family friend came to the rescue – the owner of a glass factory, the very Swarovski. He paid for Walter’s chemistry training and helped buy the plant in Austria.
The next representative of an enterprising family invented the Riedel iconic crystal glasses. He closely cooperated with tasters, who were astonished to find that the new glassware revealed new facets and incredibly deep shades of the wine’s taste. The sweetness is felt by the tip of the tongue, the bitterness is felt by its back zone, and the acidity and salt by its lateral parts. Based on this principle is chosen the shape of a glass: it is designed so that the wine of a certain sort is directed to the right areas.
Klaus Josef Riedel created a glass that combines functionality and aesthetics, while his descendant George improved his father’s designs. The laconic design without frills encloses the fantastic properties of the vessel. Riedel products are recognized as one of the best glasses of all time.