Riedel crystal has a history dating back some 250 years. It has always been a family owned business and is currently in the hands of the 10th and 11thgenerations of the Riedel family since the business was founded. It was in the late 1950’s that Claus Riedel, the current owners’ father/grandfather, started the development of glassware that was ‘friendly’ to wines. And since then Riedel have been developing stem and other glassware, usually working with producers, focused on delivering the bouquet, taste, texture and finish of wines at their best.
I have to admit to having a healthy degree of scepticism when asked along to a spirit tasting using Riedel stemware. Could the shape of a glass make a difference to different spirits? I wondered. Surely a slug of whisky (or Whiskey) or indeed any other spirit, would smell and taste the same no matter what vessel it was served in. So I arrived at the Vinopolis complex, by London Bridge, for the tasting thinking that this might be a load of bunkum. Could I be wrong?
We were invited to taste three different spirits; a tequila, a single malt whisky, and a cognac, each from four differently designed glasses. Three of the glasses had been designed to give the optimum tasting experience for one of the specific spirits, the other, a classic large brandy snifter, was also included for comparison. We sat at the table and Maximilian Riedel (the 11th generation family member) led us through the tasting.