Monday, August 3, 2015

Riedel Me This

“Riedel me this,”  Georg said. “What’s the difference between drinking from my specially-designed Sangiovese glass, and drinking your Chianti Classico from an ordinary wine glass?”


“When you drink from my Sangiovese glass, your lipstick leaves a mark—on my ass!”

Inspired by an insipid piece on The New Yorker's website, you'll have to jump over to Tim Atkin's website to read the rest of the inspiring story of Georg Riedel, the guy who put the "ass" in wine glass. Oh, I'm going to catch a lot of crap about this one...



Unknown said...

One can only wait till there's a glass to bring out the best from Franzia's Mountain Chablis.

Paul in St. Augustine said...

^^^ That would be a glass with a hole in the bottom.^^^

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Can't say I've ever had Franzia's Mountain Chablis. Or ever will. Though maybe a cardboard wine glass would be the most appropriate vessel from which to drink it. That way the nose of the wine matches the smell of the glass.

Yup. The new Riedel Dribble Glass™. A million laughs.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Not to BH this too much but....

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Might as well screw the non-drinkers, too, I guess. Riedel, I mean.

I've spent years being amazed at how gullible people are when it comes to Riedel's glassware propaganda. It's always been based on bogus science, and then winemaker testimonials. Can I tell the difference between how a Barolo smells in a Barolo glass as opposed to a Chablis glass? I don't know. Never tried it. Don't care. It's an experiment for idiots, of whom there is no shortage.

Can a glass make a shitty wine smell better? That might be useful. Otherwise, people, don't be jackasses and spend a lot of money on specialized Riedel stemware.

And, Baby, I still don't get an email when you post here! How weird is that. I think you burned out the fuses on Blogger, you're so hot.

I love you!

Unknown said...

This gentleman wouldn't be on HoseMaster's radar screen if he didn't channel artifice into consumer market. Somehow, the (visually) attractive spider's web struck me after I read this piece. Maybe one interpretation of it goes like this: inevitably, any act of greed and insincerity and sham in the wine business runs high risks of getting trapped by HoseMaster's Web in Healdsburg. Smooches.

P.S. HoseMaster, what are the four East European regions after WW II?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Well, Darling, those are kind words. I know that lots of folks in the biz agree with me often about the kind of "greed and insincerity and sham" I write about. But I guess I'm the person who has the balls, or the stupidity, to write about it. I'm OK with that. It's only wine. And if I leave any kind of mark, even with but a few people, I'm fine with that.

I made up the four regions after WW II. It's comedy. It sounded funny. And if Riedel can make shit up, so can I.

Unknown said...

It never occurred to me that a master with stupidity can be charming. Smooches.

Bob Henry said...

The best "take down" of Riedel came from Gourmet magazine -- biting the hand that feed it (display advertising).

From Gourmet “Drinks” Section
(August 2004, Page 72ff):

“Shattered Myths;
Expensive crystal? Coffee mug? Jelly jar?
Does it really matter what you drink your wine from?”


By Daniel Zwerdling

Ziggy said...

I must've swirled, snifted, and spit to much Thunderbird the night I purchased those 16 riddle glasses. (BTW, the pinot noir stem showed the best results). Now I pour Hearty Burgundy exclusively and swoon over those legs.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Darling, as the Zin said to Sutter Home, you make me blush! One has to be a bit stupid to write about sacred wine business cows. It's not exactly the way to the top. But I'm having fun, perhaps even more fun than I had when I was a sommelier--and that's saying something. Loving smooches back at you, Darling.

Not to worry, Love. Just use the Riedels and it won't be very long before they all break and you'll be done with them. They break quicker than American Pharoah.

Aaron said...

I never really believed the whole varietal specific glassware thing. However, I do think that you can get more enjoyment, and perhaps a somewhat different expression of some wines based on generic types, IMO. Think the generic red wine glasses with a wider bowl which allows more aeration compared to the generic white wine glass with a narrower bowl & rim. Then there's the port/sherry glasses which are rather smaller. Partially for presentation, partially because you typically get a somewhat smaller pour. But personally...I think that's about all you need.

Although I do like nicely designed crystal. It just makes the night feel a little bit fancier :)

@Bob Henry
Thank you for that link! Time to go beard the lion in his den and share it on the Books of Faces.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Agreed. Satire, of course, is about comic exaggeration. Nice stemware certainly adds to our enjoyment of wine, and the shape of the glass matters. It's actually Riedel that has comically exaggerated that fact, and successfully sold it to lots of wine drinkers. I'll say this, I know lots of very knowledgeable and talented wine tasters, MWs and sommeliers and longtime wine lovers, and very, very few of them have expensive, varietally specific wine glasses. Almost none of them. Nice glassware, yes. Over the top nonsense--No.

Bob Henry said...


Glad to know someone enjoys these articles from my hoary archive.

W. Blake Gray wrote an insightful piece for the Los Angeles Times "Food" section on decanting wine.

"Call It Aroma Therapy for Wine"


Pay particular attention to the observations by Andrew Waterhouse, chairman of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, about letting sulfur compounds blow off before "nosing" and "tasting" a wine.

On the subject of aerating wine by swirling your glass, see this Wall Street Journal article:

“Breakthrough! Pulmonary Doctor Discovers Key to Wine Breathing”


(Something you can do to enhance your enjoyment of a wine without spending lavishly on Riedel glassware.)

The late investigative journalist David Shaw observed in a two-part front page Los Angeles Times profile of Robert Parker (titled “Wine Critics: Influence of Writers Can Be Heady”):

"Parker is known as a fast taster. ... Parker looks at each wine, sniffs, swirls, sips, sucks air into his mouth and gurgles. (The swirling and gurgling help aerate the wine and give a sense of how it’s likely to develop in the glass.) Then he spits it out. Each wine is in his mouth for maybe four or five seconds."


Begs the question: does Parker allow sufficient time for a wine to blow off sulfur compounds before taking its measure?

~~ Bob

Anonymous said...

I personally never drink out of a glass that I can't stick my whole face in.

Unknown said...

So all that stuff about Riedel saying that I'm kissing his arse while wearing lipstick was made up?!!

Oh, well, now that's clear I'm going to have to buy myself a whole new set of Riedel glasses - and a new shade of lippy.