Ravenscroft discovered in 1674 the positive effect of adding lead oxide to the glass composition (quartz, chalk, soda and potassium). Since then the finest glassware, in the highest quality has been executed in lead crystal. Today the word lead has a negative connotation. However the lead oxide in glass is totally integrated into the molecular structure which allows us to continue to use it. Regarding lead leaching, world wide legal standards are met and surpassed. This legal official authorization to continue to commerce drinking vessels executed in lead crystal proves that consumers (including children) may use lead crystal on a daily basis and do not need to be concerned about an additional health risk. We at Riedel believe in the highest quality, which comes with the superior execution in terms of glass color, brilliance and exceptional ring. Mold seams can be gently removed though fire polishing, which gives lead crystal pieces an unsurpassed finish. The microscopic roughness of lead-crystal glass surface allows wine to develop more intense aromas, further adding to its pleasure.
Why Shape Matters
Stemware consist of 3 parts = bowl, stem, base. The length of stem and the width of base is part of the glass design. Grape varietal specific stemware features fine tuned glass bowls and has to translate the "message" of wine to the human senses = 4 sensations in wine:
Bouquet: Grape varietal specific stemware is responsible for wine aroma (quality and intensity).
Texture: Grape varietal specific stemware highlights the exciting variable mouth feel of wine (watery, creamy, silky, velvety).
Flavor: Grape varietal specific stemware creates balanced interaction between fruit, minerality, acidity and bitter components.
Finish: Grape varietal specific stemware offers a pleasant, seamless, harmonious, long lasting after taste.
One Size Fits All?
Wine’s bouquet, taste, balance and finish are affected by the glass shape it is consumed from. A wine will display completely different characteristics when served in different glasses. These differences are so great, experienced wine connoisseurs believe they taste as many different wines as there are glasses. Riedel created shapes that specifically enhance a wine’s harmony and highlight its unique characteristics. Grape varietals carry in their DNA the unmistakable flavor profile, which adds to the importance of selecting the appropriate glass. Wine flavor contributors are associated to the varietal and are the other variance. We enjoy wines which have 2/3 or 4 flavor contributors.
Floral white wines are made of 2 flavor contributors = 1. grape vine fermented juice 2. yeast.
Oak aged white wines 3 = 1. fermented juice 2. yeast and 3. oak influence = gentile wood flavors combined with ageing and aeration.
Oak aged red wines 4 = 1. grape vine macerated skins 2. fermented juice 3. yeast 4. the oak influence.
Serving to Maximize Enjoyment
Serve beverages only in sparkling, clean, odorless glasses. Do not over-chill white wines and sparkling wines, serve red wines below room temperature. Serving per glass is maximum 3 to 5 oz. The ample gracious glass volume offers great wines the room to breathe and to express the unique aroma message.
Caring for Your Riedel Crystal
Riedel glasses are dishwasher safe! To avoid scratches avoid glass contact with other glass or metal. If available use a stemware rack. To avoid stains use soft water (low mineral content). To remove stains use white vinegar. If washing by hand wash the glass under warm water (use detergent and rinse the glass careful). When using glass polish use two towels, never hold the glass by the base to polish the bowl. Avoid glass storage in kitchen cabinets which have occasionally strong aromas which translates into glass.