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September 08, 2008


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Interesting - that glass is billed as being best for Sang. & Zin..!

Yes, it has a red connotation but also a white one. For some reason, Riedel seems to market them separately, but I think they are the same glass. If you click around the site, the same glass will come up as riesling & sauvingon blanc (I think).

The Riedel system of stemware is very large and complex and not necessarily user-friendly without some prior knowledge. Of couse, since it's all about wine why wouldn't it be?

Jason, I found my experience at the tasting to be very similar to yours in that I went in open-minded and left with a greater understanding of the true enhancement that a carefully designed glass can bring to the wine tasting experience. It was great to hear of Georg's adoration for the region's wine and its people. I would venture to say that he is quite protective of the Riedel Crystal reputation and its image as a quality glassmaker and his taking an interest in the wine here says a lot for the Finger Lakes region's profile and inclusion among the top wine regions of the world.

Actually, the glass that we chose in the winemakers-only tasting is labeled 416/15, and is called Riesling Grand Cru. It is made of lead crystal. The one you chose is its non-lead crystal version, 446/15. Interestingly, we compared the two at the end of the main event. There was a profound difference in the aroma of the wine. Georg explained that lead crystal glass has microscopic striations, which agitate the wine as it's being swirled. Sounds like marketing hype, but it's not, as we found.

Peter--I will pour over my notes again, but I distinctly remember Georg telling us that we chose the "same" glass and not going into such distinctions at all. Am I missing something or did he gloss over the difference between the morning and afternoon tastings, as I assumed that there were few.

Well, you *did* choose the same glass, only it was a different material. He most likely didn't use the lead crystal one for your group. I will demo the two for you sometime.

Thanks for your help clarifying this situation, Peter. Since Riedel was giving away about 40 sets of tasting glasses to the public at the second tasting, he likely refrained from giving us the finer crystal. Also, I wonder if the company makes glasses that skirt on the edge of "safe" lead levels...

Regardless, we did choose the same configuration in terms of design, but the materials varied.

I have tasted wine from fine crystal (Steuben, actually) and I realize that the lightness and presence of the glass is entirely different. I would look forward to doing a tasting from the glass I took home and the fine crystal one that you recieved from the morning tasting.

Thanks for your help!

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