Riedel is a manufacturer of high-quality crystal wine glass
Wine glass
A wine glass is a type of glass stemware that is used to drink and taste wine. It is generally composed of three parts: the bowl, stem, and foot...

es and related glass
Glass is an amorphous solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives...

 products based in Kufstein
Kufstein is a city in Tyrol, Austria, located along the river Inn, in the lower Inn valley, near the border with Bavaria, Germany, and is the site of a post World War II French sector United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration Displaced Persons camp.Kufstein is the second largest city...

, Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...


Originally established in Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 in 1756, the company has been owned by the same family for more than 250 years. Georg Riedel
Georg Riedel
Georg Riedel , is a Swedish double bass player and composer. Riedel migrated to Sweden at the age of four and went to school in Stockholm....

 (11th generation) and Maximilian Riedel
Maximilian Riedel
Maximilian Josef Riedel is the CEO of Riedel Crystal of North America, a branch of the glassmakers who, in the 1950s, introduced the concept of varietal specific wine glasses...

 (12th generation) currently head up the €265 million per year glass business.

Riedel is the originator of the concept of having many different glasses with characteristics designed to enhance specific types of wines. These range from the short, narrow-mouthed port
Port wine
Port wine is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine, and comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties...

 glass, holding around 250 mL, to the balloon-shaped Burgundy
Burgundy wine
Burgundy wine is wine made in the Burgundy region in eastern France, in the valleys and slopes west of the Saône River, a tributary of the Rhône. The most famous wines produced here - those commonly referred to as "Burgundies" - are red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes or white wines made from...

 glass, capable of holding an entire bottle of wine. In theory, the different shapes direct the wine to different parts of the mouth, emphasizing the best characteristics of the class of wines. Another characteristic of Riedel glasses is that they are designed to hold a small amount of wine relative to the volume of the glass, allowing the aroma of the wine to collect in the bowl. Typically a normal "glass of wine" will occupy about a third or less of a Riedel stem.

The handmade mouth-blown crystal wine glass collection, Riedel Sommelier, is regarded as the finest in the world by many wine professionals. The critic Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. is a leading U.S. wine critic with an international influence. His wine ratings on a 100-point scale and his newsletter The Wine Advocate, with his particular stylistic preferences and notetaking vocabulary, have become very influential in American wine buying and are...

 says, "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." While the product line started with the Sommelier series (which has earned its place in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York), it also now includes significantly less expensive machine blown-crystal as well as ordinary glass. The principle of specialized stemware having been firmly established by Riedel's keen design sense and marketing, similar glasses are now widely available from other manufacturers.

Riedel's latest releases include the "O" collection of varietal-specific stemless wine glasses and the Vitis and Tyrol range (Tyrol being introduced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Riedel being in the Austrian Tyrol, where they relocated to, following WW2).

In 2004 Riedel acquired the F X Nachtmann Group and, with it, one of its biggest rivals at the time, Spiegelau.

Sommeliers Glassware

The Sommeliers line was introduced in 1973 initially with 10 sizes and changed the world of wine glasses. The Sommeliers collection are touted as "more than wine glasses" and "precision instruments". Each piece is hand-made and mouth-blown with over 24% lead crystal. Riedel claimed to have perfected the science of wine tasting by perfecting the shape of a wine glass. When served in different wine glasses the same wine displayed completely different characteristics. The differences were so great that experienced connoisseurs were made to believe that they were tasting different wines.
The Burgundy Grand Cru glass (which holds 37 oz.) was developed in 1958 and is displayed in the New York Museum of Modern Art.


The Vinum, Vinum Extreme, Sommeliers, Grape, Vitis and Tyrol series and most decanters are 24% lead crystal, while the Ouverture, Wine, Vivant and O series are free of lead.


In 2004, Gourmet Magazine reported that "Studies at major research centers in Europe and the U.S. suggest that Riedel’s claims are, scientifically, nonsense." The article states further evidence from Yale researcher Linda Bartoshuk, saying that the idea of the "tongue map," claimed by Riedel to be an important part of their research, does not exist. According to Bartoshuk, “Your brain doesn’t care where taste is coming from in your mouth ... And researchers have known this for thirty years.”

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