Monday, February 05, 2007

More Riedel nonsense

This from an IPNC press release:

"After two years of research, comparative tastings, and evaluation of prototype glasses, Oregon winemakers and Georg Riedel have arrived at a new shape of wine glass designed especially for Oregon Pinot noir. What began as a wishful conversation between IPNC Executive Director Amy Wesselman and Georg Riedel has now been given form, literally, and the first shipment of the new tulip-shaped glass is currently on its way from Kufstein, Austria."

...and this lovely nugget...

"Ms. Wesselman shipped a selection of some of Oregon's best Pinot noirs to Austria for Mr. Riedel to work with in his own facility. Six months later, an answer was delivered in the form of a large-bowled, tulip-shaped glass that flares out gently at the top. This glass was presented along with 11 others in a workshop similar to the first. Tasters agreed that the slightly narrower opening of this glass seemed to focus aromas. Its flared lip reproduced the mouth-feel tasters had experienced with the Grand Cru Burgundy glass. Every single workshop participant agreed that the new glass offered Oregon Pinot [N]oir lovers the best of both worlds."

[sigh]...I've gone on record as pointing out that mouth-feel isn't affected by the shape of the glass, and I feel this is just more of the same "suggestibility" of the panel participants. But I agree that a slightly narrowed opening helps concentrate the aromas, and the tulip shape bowl for more surface area within the glass will also help on this point...

Now, did we really need this new glass?

Of course not, but it makes a great partnership for both Oregon Pinot Noir growers and the Riedel company - which could now have yet another region recommending those glasses to it's clients. And Mr. Riedel gets to be invited over to be the MC for the whole shebang as part of his reward (see the release).

"This is a significant development in the advancement of Oregon as a premier Pinot growing region," said Tony Rynders, winemaker at Domaine Serene. "It's all about having the right vehicle to show off our wines, and the group of winemakers and wine professionals involved in developing this glass unanimously agreed that it made an enormous difference."

Uhhhhm, right.... So now an appellation won't be complete or validated without a new creation by Riedel to showcase it...? And I suppose of course, that it WILL have to be varietal specific as well... (I think it's obvious from the tone of the quote that this is more of a marketing coup than necessity for the enjoyment of these wines...)

Perhaps next we'll see a Lodi Chenin Blanc glass being offered, or Chalk Hill Malbec glasses, or some other truly obscure wine/varietal pairing glasses showing up in the catalog...

Frankly, this is just another opportunity for the neophyte, uninformed or impressionable to be separated from their cash by buying yet another supposedly "necessary" piece of stemware.



Blogger Farley said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Obviously, some differences are good between varieties, but to focus on regions within varieties? Overkill.

February 05, 2007 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Jerry D. Murray said...

I know many of the people who were at the tasting workshop for this glass. They are wine professionals with reputable pallets and nearly every taster agreed the glass made a difference.
You make the comment that more 'obscure' varital/regional glasses maybe developed. I take issue with you suggesting Oregon Pinot Noir is somehow 'obscure', we have developed a reputation internationally of being THE new world region for this grape. Do I think consumers need to have this glass to enjoy Oregon Pinot Noir? NO! Do I believe that this glass will make a difference in the way the wine is percieved? Because I know and trust the tasters who have tasted with it say yes, I believe yes. What I don't do is jump to conclusions about something from a visceral response, I gather facts and form opinions. You should try it ( both gathering facts and the glass ) before you dismiss the work of people, who I know to have honest and pure motives, as mere marketing hype.

February 06, 2007 2:07 PM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

Hold your horses there, Jerry.

No one called Oregon Pinot "obscure"...
My comment illustrates the fact that Riedel already HAD a Pinot glass on the market, and begs the question "what's wrong with the current offering that they have to issue a new one"?
Will we now begin to see glasses offered for every varietal and every sub-appellation combination on Earth?

You say you don't jump to conclusions, but then you stated your belief the glass makes a difference is based on your knowledge of the participants in the workshop. Sounds like your "belief' in the participants is what led you to your conclusions.
It would have been more effective if you had offered some personal experiences with the glass to the discussion, if such you had available.

Frankly, my point was (and is) that if Riedel continues to make glasses with such specific uses that the logical conclusion is there will be glasses offered for such obscure combinations that they may as well be non-existent. E.g., Lodi Grand Cru French Colombard...etc.

BTW, the fact that Amy Wesselman is the Executive Director for the INPC, and is the one who started the drive for a glass specific for Oregon Pinot (and also wrote the media release) it throws the original motives into question.
Can you adamantly say she didn't do so with any thought to marketing? Are my assumptions from that connection too obtuse to make sense?

Get the chip off your shoulder, Jerry.


February 07, 2007 7:25 AM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

Jerry: One last question that, as a wine professional, I'm sure you considered...

Was the comparitive tasting done blindfolded or did the tasters know which glass was which?


February 07, 2007 9:09 AM  
Blogger pinotguy said...

I tasted through some Oregon pinots and a Burgundy recently with a panel of experienced tasters, using the new Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir glass. Bottom line: Oregon pinot tastes better in the glass than in the Riedel Pinot Noir / Burgundy glass that has been the industry standard for fifteen years. If you have not used it, you have no idea. Read my full notes at:

April 24, 2007 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Meg Hursh said...

I was at the tasting, not part of the esteemed group of tasters but I assisted in pouring the wine. They were bagged and we were careful to make sure no foil was showing. I hope this answers your question. It was a good one.

Meg Hursh

August 19, 2007 11:06 PM  
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September 17, 2007 5:12 AM  
Anonymous pinotgeek said...

I work for an Oregon winery and, before purchasing the Oregon Pinot glass for our tasting room, we held a tasting of our own with five different glasses including two other brands of burgundy glasses as well as the "generic" Reidel burgundy glass. Those that showed the best were the Oregon glass and the Reidel "overture" glass wich is a universal red/white glass used by many tasting rooms in the area. We now use both glasses in our tasting room. I encourage you to try the experiment for yourself.

December 17, 2007 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 06, 2009 9:40 AM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

Allright people, don't bother to post your nonsense ads on this site disguised as comments!

Though I've taken a holiday from posting recently, it doesn't mean there's nobody watching what gets posted.

Cheers to the rest of you who aren't advertising trolls...


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