The perfect glass for the perfect wine

“Where should I pour the red, the white, the rosé?”
In the past, wine tended to be served too warm and these days it is served rather too cool. Both inhibit the wine’s ideal development.

In the past, wine was poured into extremely thick-walled, often coloured glasses, which were sometimes ground or engraved so that one was unable to see very much of the wonderful tones of a wine.

"Where should I pour the red, the white, the rosé?" - How should the perfect glass be procured and also becoming of the perfect wine? 

The question is complex, and the answers are provided by experienced sommeliers and wine connoisseurs in Vinum Hotels South Tyrol.

The bouquet of a wine unfolds best in glasses whose bowl narrows slightly at the opening or remains at least the same width. Colourless glasses best reveal the colour and clarity of a wine. The thinner the wine glass, the more immediate and intense the taste experience - but of course there are certain limits to the latter in the home and in restaurants.
Georg Riedel, probably the most important glassmaker in the entire wine world, never drinks wine without simultaneously working on the shape of a glass. To be never fully satisfied is one of the aspects that distinguishes Georg Riedel:

"Today, all glass designs are, in a way, Claus Riedel-inspired. They all come from the idea that, while we glassmakers cannot improve the wine - no, we cannot do that - we can direct it to the palate in such a way that the emotion is heightened. The smallest variations lead to the most incredible results. And the fascination is that this effect is not an individual one, but that everyone has the same emotion.” 

Tenth-generation glassmaker

Georg Riedel from Kufstein heads a company that is represented in 125 countries worldwide and achieved a turnover of approx. 300 million Euros last financial year. Dozens of national and international awards line the path this Tyrolean entrepreneur has taken; he is a tenth-generation glassmaker! If the Nachtmann and Spiegelau brands are also taken into account, Riedel provides employment for over a thousand people.

The experienced sommeliers at Vinum Hotels South Tyrol have a simple formula for finding the right glass size:

The ideal amount is always 100 millilitres, regardless of the size of the glass. 

The rest is resonance space and encourages a different release of aromas. A young, crisp South Tyrolean Pinot Blanc, for example, demonstrating primary fruit and fine yeasts aromas, certainly does not need a large glass. The same probably applies to the typical South Tyrolean Rosé, which has been called "Kretzer" since time immemorial. But a matured Chardonnay Riserva, aged in small oak barrels, asserts itself much better in a larger glass. An even larger chalice is required for a so-called "heavy" red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc or a Merlot - because the larger "resonance space" of the glass allows extracts from the fruit skins to be better discerned and enjoyed.

Why do we often need carafes?

"Traditionally," teaches Georg Riedel, "carafes are used to separate the sediment. However, today we often drink wines that have been aged reductively, therefore they have an enormous amount of dormant carbonic acid (dissolved CO2). And carbonic acid tastes sour. During decanting, carbonic acid is exchanged for oxygen making the wine rounder and its aroma is changes."

Santé! Cheers! To your health!

Images © Riedel
The Vinum Hotels - March Wine Letter:
"Wine-Hikes in the Alps!" - The best tours in South Tyrol's wine regions

"wein.kaltern" is the first successful venture between the food service and wine industry in South Tyrol - one of its remarkable initiatives has been the creation of a signposted wine hiking trail through the village's vineyards.

On "Wine Hiking Day" more than two dozen wine producers in Caldaro open up their cellars and taverns from …o’clock. These are the partner wineries of the wein.kaltern consortium, who on this day offer their guests a cosy and at the same time very interesting place to stop for refreshments, insights into cellar architecture, wine tastings on site and culinary delights; experience a spring day here with family and friends: it’s the Caldaro Wine Hiking Day. Children will also get their money's worth and in some places, there are even culinary delicacies on offer.

The VINUM-Hotels South Tyrol March Wine Letter is dedicated to the best tours in South Tyrol’s wine regions!