By Rick Riozza

Traditionally, the wine business was geared to men; both as to wine and accoutrement. Thank God there’s a new wide world of wine where everyone is included.  Truly, the stats are out that female millennials are fast becoming the largest block of wine buyers in the U.S.!

Indeed, dad may have been the one who influenced the next generation of daughters to get in the game of wine. Happy Father’s Day to one and all!

For those who have browsed the aisles of the wine store are probably familiar with the brand name Riedel, the Austrian glassware company that produces glasses designed to enhance the flavor component specifically for different wine styles and individual varietal wines; add to that, vessels for spirits, beer, and even for different types of water.  And actually most people find the number of glass designs to be overwhelming!


And when it comes to pronouncing the company name, Austrians, purists, sticklers and the like want us Americans to say “Riedel” as if it rhymes with “needle”.  Of course this Austrian stemware by another other name would still provide almost astonishing results.

What really grabs at the wine enthusiast is the claim that the design of a specific glass for a specific varietal actually enhances the wine’s flavor.  We used to use color, bouquet, and taste to get the wine’s message. Riedel assures us and even guarantees that the shape of the glass influences the bouquet and the taste of alcoholic beverages. We all go along with the idea that a decent wine glass can surely increase the enjoyment of your quaff.  However, Riedel carries glass design to the nth degree!

In their research, Riedel found that the same wine displayed completely differently characteristics when served in a variety of glasses. The differences were so great that experienced connoisseurs were made to believe that they were tasting different wines.  Everyone seems skeptical at one point or another, but we all tend to come around with this tasting technology

Content determines the shape: Riedel found that the grape variety is the key factor in determining the relationship between fruit, acidity, tannin and alcohol. Riedel was then able to create shapes in which the wine, vinified from specific grape varieties, seemed to improve. They recognize the complex role that size and shape play in conveying the message of a fine wine.

There are 4 sensations in wine—and for that matter, beer and spirits as well.  Riedel’s technology strives to maximize these sensations, in particular,

  1. Bouquet: quality and intensity of the wine’s aroma.
  2. Texture: highlights the exciting and diverse styles of “mouthfeel” in wine (watery, creamy, silky, velvety).
  3. Flavor: creates a balanced interaction between the fruit, minerality, acidity and bitter components of a wine.
  4. Finish: Grape varietal specific stemware offers a pleasant, seamless, harmonious, and long lasting aftertaste.

For almost as many varietals there are in the world, Riedel probably has a specific glass for your wine.  Check their vast portfolio:

As mentioned above, glassware for beer and spirits are also in their line-up.  Here are some new items in the Riedel collection if you’re still thinking of a gift: The Spirits Glass, Beer Glass and Highland Tumblers. These new shapes are some fun gifts for dads who have a taste for delicious brews, sophisticated spirits, and impeccable style.

Riedel’s Veritas Beer Glass is a classic design and lightweight feel. The ultra-thin crystal allows brews to stay colder longer (because there’s less glass to conduct heat!).  I tried this glass with both a Coors Light beer and a Mexican Bohemia.  All of the flavors of each beer came to life for sure.  The Coors tasted clean and crisp; The Bohemia displayed all of its complexities.  This is what will deliver a new element of style to the beers dad already loves. (, $69/set of 2)

Riedel’s Veritas Spirits Glass is ideal for the connoisseur who appreciates finer spirits and elegance in after-dinner drinks. Made from Riedel’s lightest and thinnest machine-blown crystal, the elongated stem and tulip-shaped bowl enhance the tasting experience for cognacs, rums and most other spirits that dad prefers. It’s a pretty fancy glass, and it’s on the delicate side so keep things fairly calm. Pair the new Spirits Glass with a bottle of dad’s favorite liquor to show just how well you know him. (, $69/set of 2)

The latest glassware collection from Nachtmann (a division of Riedel), is launching just in time for Father’s Day. The colored Nachtmann Highland Tumblers are an easy way to add a pop of brilliance to dad’s home bar.

The new colored tumblers come in Smoke, Aqua, Reseda (green) and Amber, unique colors definitely—kind of retro color and design. With each color packaged individually, readers can pick out the one that best fits their dad’s drinking style whether he’s an Old fashioned kind of man or prefers Mint Juleps.  These cut-crystal tumblers’ own a classic aesthetic.  It’s very sturdy glass that’s actually very fun to hold. I like to use it for everything now.  Available for $19.90 via

Rick is your somm-about-town entertaining and conducting at wine events, restaurant venues, and wine tastings.  Contact