Microwave Cooking for One by Marie T Smith
Setting the Table: Glassware
There is only one glass-maker who puts as much passion into developing the
finest tools to capture wines' full potential as do their wine-makers. This man is Georg Riedel
and his mission is to provide precision tools in the service of wine so that each wine's finest
elements are the ones highlighted by the glass.
Riedel has been known for over four decades for designing the most finely
tuned instruments for every level of wine sophistication as well, today, as the finest wine
glasses in all price categories. While a glass cannot alter a fine wine or spirit, it can and
does dramatically alter our perception of it. Try it and see for yourself! Robert Mondavi says,
"I never dreamed my wines were this good!"
In 1958, Riedel introduced the Burgundy Grand Cru glass, the only stemware
on permanent display in New York City's Museum of Modern Art. Since then, Riedel has designed
over 100 glasses. As a connoisseur of fine wines and spirits (Georg was named Decanter Magazine's
1996 Man of the Year), Riedel develops new glass shapes to enhance the world's most exciting and
complex beverages at tasting workshops with leading international wine and spirit producers rather
than on a drawing board or by computer. Most of Riedel's glasses — in a myriad of shapes
ranging in size from thimble to fish bowl — were created to highlight the finest characteristics
of the particular liquids they would direct onto the palate. That is, each glass was developed for
a single individual beverage and therefore has a specific purpose.
Why such a broad selection of glasses? According to Riedel, "Better wine is
being produced today by more people in more places than ever before in history, with world-class
wine being made by literally thousands of wine-makers. Wine enthusiasts go to great lengths to
discover these wines, buy them in sound condition, store them properly, serve them at the correct
temperature and in surroundings that enhance them. Shouldn't they also drink them from glasses that
bring out their maximum beauty?"
In his highly regarded wine journal, Robert M. Parker Jr. of The Wine
Advocate, says, "The finest glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes are those
made by the Riedel company. The effect of these glasses is profound. I cannot emphasize enough what
a difference they make."
Riedel Crystal was founded in 1756 — over 240 years and ten generations
ago — by Johann Leopold Riedel in Bohemia.
Riedel's Glass Collections
O Collection — For the uninhibited wine connoisseur looking for an edge,
the Riedel O collection offers an innovative twist: stem-less tumblers. The tumblers live
up to the name O by presenting rounded, compelling shapes that fit sensuously into the hand.
Exclamations are sure to be elicited when these modern glasses make an appearance at a party
or fireside tête-à-tête.
Ouverture — Ideal for everyday use, the Ouverture series offers perfectly
shaped lead free wine glasses at competitive prices. Introduced in 1989, Ouverture is Riedel's
uncomplicated beginner series for customers who appreciate good, reasonably priced wine. Six
sizes are made for drinking pleasure, covering the main types of wines.
Sommeliers — In 1973, in Orvieto, Italy, Claus Riedel presented
the world's first gourmet glass series developed with the help of the Association of Italian
Sommeliers. Since then the world of wine has changed radically. Today, regions and continents
are producing wines that didn't exist or were unknown 25 years ago. The Sommeliers series was
developed further by Claus' son Georg, into an all-embracing state-of-the-art wine glass
collection. Praised in 1991 by Robert Parker, Jr., publisher of The Wine Advocate, as "The finest
glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes are those made by Riedel. The effect of these
glasses on fine wine is profound. I cannot emphasize enough what a difference they make."
Vinum — Introduced in 1986, Vinum was the first machine-made
series of glasses to be based exclusively on the characteristics of grape varietals. Functional,
high-quality Vinum has had a permanent impact on wine glass culture. These glasses have proved
to consumers and restaurateurs that the pleasure of consuming wine starts with the glass. The
Vinum collection, developed by Georg Riedel with the idea that the content commands the shape,
is superb for every-day use. Vinum is made of over 24 percent lead crystal.
Vinum Extreme — Vinum Extreme, made of over 24 percent lead
crystal, is the latest development in the machine-made "Gourmet Glass Concept," which was
first launched in 1986. The inspiration for this development was the steady improvement in
wine quality and the discovery of the positive health effects of moderate wine consumption
caused a wine boom during the '90s. As wines become more dense and more concentrated, they
call for the development of new shapes. This glass range reflects the progress that has been
made in the quality of machine production.
Wine Series — Expressly designed to enhance the enjoyment
of tasting fine wines, each distinct glass in the Wine Series collection is designated for
particular varietals. Crafted from lead-free crystal with machine-blown stems, the glasses
share the same bowl shape with the Vinum line. However, for those who admire a more decorative
aesthetic, the Wine Series incorporates a square-shaped, art deco stem flanked by a
three-tiered ridge which encircles the base and top of the stem, gracefully capturing the light
and offering a beautiful presentation.
Wine Decanters — Made in Austria by the world's most
renowned wineglass maker, Riedel Crystal, founded in 1756, these decanters are blown
from 24 percent lead crystal.
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