Wine Enthusiasts: Why Your Glass Matters

First Republic Bank
December 9, 2021

Please note, the content of this webinar is suitable for those over the age of 21. 

Riedel, the family-owned company that has been producing the world’s finest glassware for 265 years. Discover how Riedel glassmakers have utilized shape and design to innovate glassware over 11 generations. As an additional component, the team will be offering an in-depth sensory workshop. Riedel will demonstrate the relationship between glass shape and how it can affect your experience with wine. Guests are welcome to either watch or actively participate at home.

Read below for a full transcript of the conversation. 

David Bloom - Good afternoon, good evening. My name is David Bloom. I'm a Senior Regional Managing Director with First Republic Bank. Thank you all for joining us today for the Riedel event, "Why Your Glass Matters". Today, I have the pleasure of introducing Doug Reed, Western U.S. territory manager for Riedel. Born and raised in Kansas, Doug has 35 years plus experience in tabletop home decor industry, working for prestigious brands, such as The Leek, Royal Dalton and Faberge. Since joining Riedel in 2009, Doug has continued to excel in a sales management position, working alongside George, tenth generation of the Riedel family and Maximillian Riedel, 11th generation of the Riedel family. He is currently managing the Western half of the U.S. for Riedel as well as annually conducting over 100 of these wineglass seminars. Today, Doug will provide us with an in-depth workshop on the relationship between glass shape and how it can affect your wine experience. Before we start, a quick housekeeping note, you are welcome to submit questions during the discussion. To submit a question, simply use the Q&A icon at the bottom of this screen. We will try to answer as many questions live in the demonstration as we can. Also, this event is being recorded and the replay will be posted on First Republic Bank's website. With that, I welcome Doug Reed. Doug, take it away.

Doug Reed - David, thank you so much. I was so pleased to get the invitation from First Republic to come and conduct this seminar with your group. It's fun to be able to do this virtually. As you mentioned in that kind of introduction, this is a seminar that in a normal year, if we can remember what a normal year used to be like, right? This is a seminar that I would conduct 100 to 120 times a year from groups, from 40 to well into the hundreds. So again, I'm very pleased we're still able to do this virtual format to be able to talk to people about Riedel and how the size and shape of their wine glass can affect the experience with wine. I will tell you this, when I'm doing an in-person seminar or a virtual seminar, I always like to make this promise right when we start. And the promise that I make is that no matter what you've heard about this brand, no matter what anybody might've ever told you about this brand, or maybe this is the first time you've ever come across this brand, I promise you this, It is truly pronounced Riedel like needle. And I bring this up only because wherever I go in this great country of ours, I'm always reminding people that Ridel is the high school from Greece. And I think they make football helmets instead But when it comes to wineglasses in our Austrian company, Riedel like needle, all right? Some quick housekeeping before we go any further. For those of you that are actually going to be participating along with me in the seminar, hopefully you have your tasting mat set. We have your glasses on the appropriate spots. We should have our Performance Chardonnay glass in spot one. We should have our Sauvignon blanc glass in spot two, our Pinot noir glass in spot three and our Cabernet in spot four. We should have our four plastic cups up in front. We should have our four wines that we're going to use today open. I do want to thank the San Francisco Wine Trading Company, for those of you that purchased the wines from him. So we would have the correct varietals we need for this seminar.

We want to thank him for getting those out to you. But we want to go ahead, we should have our wines open, but not poured. I want to go ahead and pour. Before we move any further, we're going to start left to right with our plastic cups. We're going to first start with our Sauvignon blanc we're going to pour about three ounces in our plastic cup. If you can see that, that's what that's going to look like and left to right, we're going to next pour our Chardonet into our plastic cup. The next cup we're going to pour into is our Pinot noir. And then finally our Cabernet sauvignon into our last plastic cup. Okay, so the other very important thing, that's on our tasting mat. If you'll look right in the very center where you see the Riedel logo, you're going to see just below that, it says Riedel the wine glass company, just below that, you're going to see a term that says great varietal specific. And this is very important. And this is the crux of what we're going to deal with tonight. This term, this phrase, great varietal specific. This is the value proposition that Riedel can bring to you as far as how you enjoy wine and how the glass can affect and control and improve your experience with wine. And this is something unique to the Riedel family. And this sort of gives me a chance to kind of segue into some of the history of Riedel family and the Riedel company. When we talk about Riedel the company, we're really talking about a remarkable entity in the fact that as a company or as a brand, Riedel is 266 years old this year. I think more remarkably when we talk about Riedel, we're talking about a company that is in a select generation of continuous family ownership. So when you think about all those beautiful brands that you've come into contact with daily, weekly, monthly, what have you, very few brands on this planet can talk about being in business this length of time and talk about literally being in the same family without being subdivided or traded off or sold or bought, what have you. Always been a Riedel in charge of Riedel. And the Riedels, they've always been glass makers, they've always been innovators, They've always been exporters of their craft around the world. And today they're definitely a global brand.

When we see that term great varietal specific though, this is something that is relatively new to the Riedel family. And when we talk about great varietal specific, we're going to go back to the 1950s, where we want to talk about the ninth generation of the Riedel family, a gentleman named Mr. Klaus Riedel, who was in a position in his life where he could spend this time engaged in his two favorite passions, which were drinking run through Burgundy and making wine glasses. Now imagine things were the only two things that you had to worry about in life, what you might be able to uncover, what you might be able to discover. And something that really amazed Mr. Klaus Riedel was the fact that when he drank his favorite wines from Burgundy, let's just say Pinot noir to make it simple. He noticed that his experience with those wines when he drank from the different sizes and shapes of glasses that he made, changed. And when I say changed, literally how the wines looked, how they smell, how they felt on his palette, how they tasted, everything about the wine changed when he changed the size and shape of the glass. And you have to remember, Klaus Riedel being a scientist, being an architect, being an engineer and being a glassmaker, this intrigued him greatly. So what did he do? He did something very similar to what we're going to do today. And he sat a room full of people with different sizes and shapes of glasses. And he got his favorite wines out and he poured them out into the glasses and he had all of his guests taste and they made notes on what sizes and shapes they liked, what size and the shapes they didn't like. They gave all this information back to Mr. Klaus Riedel. And again, being a scientist, an architect, an engineer and a glassmaker, what did Klaus Riedel do?

He took that information and he actually produced a glass, a glass that looks just like this. And if you're familiar with the Riedel brand, you're familiar with this size and shape of glass. It Riedel Sommelier series Burgundy long crew glass It's a handmade, mouth blown glass. And if you ever see Maximilian Riedel or his father George Riedel, they often talk about this being the mother of all wine glasses, but what was remarkable about this glass when it was designed was this was the very first time anybody had ever taken any consideration as to how the size and the shape of the glass affected the experience of the wine in the glass. And this led the Riedel family, Klaus Riedel and his son, George Riedel and then Maximilian Riedel down this path of discovery that has to do with our senses, all right? Because it's truly through our senses, this is how we come to know and how we come to enjoy wine. Now, I want you to think about something for a second. When you look at a glass of wine, regardless of the volume that's in the glass, you're looking at something that's about 85% water by volume. It's also about 14% alcohol by volume. Now we know wines vary in alcohol, they go higher than 14, they go lower than 14. If we go higher or lower than 14, we're going to move conversely with our percentage of water to get to 99%. In other words, when you look at a glass of wine, you're looking at a beverage that is 99% water and alcohol. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? What does this leave? This leaves 1%, there's 1% of material in our wine glass, in our wine that has all of the information about our wine. The color, the flavor, the aroma, the taste, the mouth feel, everything that makes that wine what it is. Whether it's Cabernet or Mourvedre or Riesling, what have you, only consists of 1%, by volume, in our glass? So what the Riedel family found out and figured out was that the wine glass has to be a messenger. And prior to this glass being developed by Klaus Riedel and being introduced to the world as the world's first varietal specific wine glass, all wine glasses, for hundreds, if not thousands of years, they were really made with only two design influences to them. They needed to be decorative and they needed to hold liquid. That's where the thought process stopped.

Again, it wasn't until Klaus Riedel came along and figured out that the size and the shape of the glass has something to do with how we experience our favorite wines. Now, when we think about our senses, our sense are given to us for sort of two polar opposite sets of reasons, right? On one side of the equation, we use our senses to keep us away from the things that we don't like, the things that might not be good for us, the things that might harm us even. On the other side of the equation, we use our senses to truly enjoy the things that we love about life, all right? The things we love to hear, listen to, look at, see, taste, smell, what have you. Wine is definitely on this side of the equation, right? And it's through our senses that we really come to know and appreciate and enjoy wine. And again, the Riedel family figured out that the glass has to be a mouthpiece it has to be a loud speaker for that 1% so that we can get the information about our wine, so we can really enjoy everything there is to know about our wine. Now, when we talk about information and we talk about our senses, most people don't realize that the very first sense they're going to use anytime they enjoy a glass of wine is their sense of sight. Oh yes. You ever heard the term, that we eat with our eyes before we ever take a bite. We look down at this beautiful plate of food. Well it's the same thing with wine, absolutely. But more importantly, there is a lot of information that we can tell about our wine, simply with our sense of sight. If you look at the four wines in the plastic cups in front of you, we're looking at four different colors. Our two white wines, we have our Sauvignon Blanc much paler in comparison to our Chardonnay. This difference in color gives us clues as to the wine making process because our Chardonnay has seen oak whereas our Sauvignon Blanc has not. Our Pinot noir, a much thinner skin red grape versus Cabernet, a thicker skin, red grape, differences in color. In fact, sometimes these color of the wine that's in our glass can actually give away the varietal before we smell and before we taste, all right? Also with red wines, we swirl the wines or excuse me, with all of our wines, we swirl the wine in our glass, not just red wine, red and white. And we see how the line runs down the inside of the glass. We call these the legs of wine, the tears of wine.

This visually can give us an indication as to the alcohol content, because when we drink a wine or we have a wine in our glass, it has a higher alcohol content. The legs come down thicker and slower versus a lower alcohol content that come down from thin and fast. Again, we probably haven't thought about it this way before, but it's why all of the Riedel wine glasses are designed to be clear, clean, uncut, unadorned. We can see exactly what's in our glass. How many times have we ordered our favorite bottle at our favorite restaurant? Or we pull a bottle out of the cellar, we open it, we pour it to the glass. And before we even need to smell or taste the wine, we know just by the way it looks that it's not good, something is off. And again, sight can be the very first indicator, about our experience with our wine. Now, the second sense we deal with is our sense of touch. Pick up glass number two, your Sauvignon Blanc glass. I want you to just simply notice the balance of the glass, because this is by design. All of our glasses are made so the weight of the bowl, roughly equals out at the stem and the base. Pretty soon, we're going to wine in this glass and you'll see how well balanced that is, how easily it is to manipulate the wine in the glass. And then the third sense we're going to talk about is our sense of smell. But before we do that, I just want to point out that if you didn't get a chance to get your tasting kit you can go to our website,, you can use the code firstrepublic. We will give you a discount on the tasting set. I believe this is going to be taped, so if want to re-watch it. Also, I know that if you get in touch with the San Francisco Wine and Trade Company, they can send you the wines that we're using. But remember, we're dealing with varietals here. So as long as we have the correct varietals in the glass, you can recreate this same experience. What I would like you to do, please, pick up your plastic cup that has the Sauvignon Blanc and I would like you to please our it, all of it, into your glass number two. Now, I want you to pick this glass up and we're going to talk about our sense of smell. Our sense of smell is probably the most underrated sense we talk about when it comes to really with food, but especially with wine.

Did you know that about 80% of what you experience on your palette is effected by your nose, right? It's true. I want you to remember back to the last time you had that terrible head cold, or you were battling a bad case of allergies and you were completely stuffed up in your nose. Why does everything tastes like mush? Because when we take our nose out of the equation, it doesn't allow our palette to work. Now we talked about balance, balance of our glass. We have a little bit of wine in here. There's something important we want to do with our wine glass before we bring it to our nose. And that is the swirl. Now I have no idea how far down the wine road, all of you out there watching this are, I will tell you that if you're nervous about swirling up in the air, I want to show you a little trick. Start out on your tasting mat, perfectly acceptable to start swirling on the tabletop. And then we're going to do what we call the helicopter, ready? Bring it right up, just like that. Pretty soon you'll be swirling up in the air like everybody else, right? No don't need to worry about white capping on your neighbor. But we do swirl our wine glass to get a little bit of oxygen into our wine, this helps to open up aroma. This helps to sort of unlock and sort of relax some of the sensations we want to get out of our wines, especially with our nose. But I do want you to go ahead and put your nose into this glass. And I would like you to make some mental benchmarks. As far as the intensity of the aroma, the powerfulness of the aroma. If you can find individual little notes in your glasses, as far as aroma notes, that's fine. I'm not going to talk about the wine in that regard. And then I want you to try something that we've maybe never done before. I want you to try nosing for the right side of your glass, the left side, the very top and the very bottom. Something that's true is we all have a dominant nostril, all right? We want to give our sense of smell of fair shake around the quadrants of the glass. How do you know your nose is in the glass far enough? If you have eye glasses on like I do, you're going to hear that clink. I will tell you ladies and gentlemen, that if you see bubbles in the glass, when you put your nose in there, you're in way too far, come back just a little bit, all right? But anyway, let's take one more nice nose of this wine.

Please join me in a sip. Sauvignon Blanc, delicious acidity, we have beautiful fruit. Sauvignon Blanc, a fantastic wine to start off your evening with your appetizers or with your dinner. I noticed my screen is frozen up. I can't tell if I'm still- Well, I'm willing to continue unless somebody tells me that we're not good.

Marsha Hornbostel - Doug, we can hear you, this is Marsha.

Doug - Can you still see me though?

Marsha - We can see you.

Doug - My screen is literally frozen. So I won't worry about that then. Alright, so again, our first sort of introduction to this wine on our palette, hopefully you found some of the notes lining up from your nose onto your palette. Now we're going to take another sip of this wine, but this time we're going to change something. And what we're going to change, we're going to eliminate one of our senses we're going to keep our eyes open, okay? What we're going to do though, this is going to sound silly, and if you're in a room full of people, don't look at each other when you do this, but we're going to actually pinch our nose shut. And we're going to take a sip of the wine with our nose pinched shut. And we're going to reevaluate our experience on our palette when we take away our sense of smell, all right? Let's try this. And if you give that four or five seconds with your nose pinched, and then release your nose again, reevaluate. We bring our nose back into the equation. I know when I do this, when I eliminate my sense of smell, the wine becomes very flat, very linear, one dimensional, if you will. I lose a lot of the vibrance of the wine. But then again, when I release my nose and I have my nose back into the equation, all of a sudden I have flavor. Flavor is a combination of taste and aroma, the glass must speak to your nose first, before your palette has a chance. Now we have another white wine glass on our tasting mat, glass number one, our oak Chardonnay glass.

Marsha - Doug, can I take a minute here? It looks like you're still frozen on our screen. Can you take a minute and mute and unmute your video to see if we can get your screen unfrozen?

Doug - Yeah.

Marsha -Thank you.

Doug - Always technical difficulties here.

Marsha - Just a few. And I did want to answer one question that we had about the tasting glasses and the tasting mat, and why you start with glass number two, as opposed to glass number one. The reason that we always start with the Sauvignon Blanc glass is because that is how George Riedel has always done it. And you really want to start with the lightest wine first, but George set the tasting map how he wanted. And George has been in charge of his company for a long time. And he has set the rules for the tasting and that's just how we do it. We still don't have Doug on the line yet.

Doug - Oh boy, can you hear me?

Marsha - We can hear you, we just can't see you.

Doug - I don't know what the issue is, it's not letting me- Never had this happen before.

Marsha - That's fine, just keep working on it. I'm going to answer some of these questions live while we wait for you.

Doug - Thank you.

Marsha - Someone wanted to ask about the stemless wine glasses. Yes, Doug will be commenting on them later. He's got a great story how the stemless glasses were designed or developed by Maximillian Riedel when he was working in the United States. The stemless glasses are great fun casual glasses, and Doug will be commenting on those later. You are able to order the wine and the wine glasses and watch the presentation at a later date. First Republic will be posting the video on their website at a later time. So you will be able to do that. Stemless glasses are not out, they are in. If you like them, use them. Here's a good question. If you could only have one type of glass and need to accommodate the usual suspects of red and white wine varietals, which do you choose? Which is the best all-rounder? And if you could only have one for red and for white, what is it? Well, as Doug was saying earlier, the Riedel family has really designed varietal specific glasses. And that's what makes us different from all of the other wine glass manufacturers out there. The most popular glass that we sell is definitely the Cabernet glass, but there are really only four wines that go into that and Doug really gets into this later. And he will tell you that. There really is no one best glass for all of the wine. We do have glasses in a series of price ranges and different series. And we do have some that are considered wine friendly as opposed to varietal specific. So we do have glasses that are just for red wine or for white wine, but we really consider ourselves a varietal specific glass manufacturer. Somebody asked about washing these in the dishwasher. Yes, you can wash all of the Riedel glasses in the dishwasher. Doug will give you washing instructions later. But all of all of our Riedel glasses, including our handmade glasses are available to be put in the dishwasher.

We actually ask that if you're going to wash the glasses in the dishwasher, you put them in by themselves, you don't use soap, they don't need soap in the dishwasher. I put all of my Riedel glasses on the dishwasher and they come out great. We partnered with Miele, the dishwasher manufacturer, it's a European dishwasher manufacturer. And they really have their dishwashers set up with specific racks that hold the wine glasses in. So yeah, by all means, go ahead and put them in the dishwasher. Now, if you spend a hundred dollars on a glass, you may not want to put that in there. Peter has asked, where the glass is made. Our handmade glasses are all made in our factory in Kufstein, Austria. That factory has been in place for years and years. We make all of our machine made glasses in our two factories in Germany. So they all come from Germany or Austria. Looks like Doug is trying to reconnect. So hopefully we will see him soon. There he is.

Doug - I'm back, okay. Sorry about that, I don't know what happened. Anyway, so where we left off was we had just tasted our Sauvignon Blanc. We were going to move our Sauvignon Blanc into our other white wine glass.

Marsha - Hey Doug, can you one more adjustment on your camera please? Can you put the screen down because you are tilted down so we can't actually see you. We just see your ceiling right now.

Doug - I don't know why it's doing this.

Marsha - It's all right, we will be fine.

Doug - And you might want to just take off the background.

JP Ignacio - Yeah, that's what was causing the issue.

Marsha - Yeah, now turn your screen down.

JP - Yeah, tilt your camera a little lower.

Doug - It's weird because the camera's not tilting down. Oh, I know what the problem is, hold on.

Marsha - Tilt your screen down. Got it, thank you. Everyone, thanks for your patience.

Doug - Marsha, going to attest, I've never had this happen before.

Marsha - I can, we do a lot of these

Doug - There we go.

Marsha - There we go, thank you.

Doug - Okay, so I do apologize.

Marsha - That's all right. That is great.

Doug - Okay, back where we started. All right, our Sauvignon Blanc , we have another white wine glass we're going to use, our Chardonnay glass. I would like you to please pour your Sauvignon Blanc into our Chardonnay glass. Now, when I talk about Sauvignon Blanc, I'm talking about a wine that has two flavor contributors to it, which are fermented juice and yeast. And it's exactly the two things that glass number two is designed to balance out, first to our nose and then to our palette. When we pour our Sauvignon Blanc into glass number one, our Chardonnay glass, let's give this a swirl, let's please nose. And think about this experience now to what we just had in glass number two, let's taste. We find maybe some excess alcohol now on our palette or some sort of unexpected acidity on the back of our palette. And I want you to think now some 20 seconds or so after that sip, we have a little bit of burning here that maybe we didn't have out of glass number two. If you're experiencing this, this is exactly what I'm talking about when I'm talking about a wine becoming out of balance. Now I'm not going to talk about good, bad, better, or worse. We're just simply asking the question, did the experience change? Because remember we didn't change the wine at all, but we did change the size and shape of our glass. In fact, go back into your glass number two, please. Let's give this a swirl and a nose to see if our aroma is back. For me, it is. And my favorite part now, what I like to call the repair set. Clean finish, fruit, acid very much in balance. Now our plastic cup. I want you to please pour your Sauvignon Blanc back into your plastic cup. And I use this cup, not just to house and garage our wines, I like the shape of this cup. Because when we look at the whole world of wine glasses that are out there, I promise you you're going to see this bowl shape very predominantly, all right? Oftentimes you'll see this bowl shape, wonderfully cut and edged, wonderful gold and platinum bands, beautiful stemmed edges and bases, beautiful glasses, right?

Let's see what a bowl shape like this does for a very aromatic wine like our Sauvignon Blanc. Let's put our nose in here and what we will the find, not much. We know there's wine in there because we can see the wine, but I'm not getting anything on my nose. And why is that? Because there's no architecture to this shape. There's no ability for this glass to be able to bring aroma to our nose. So when we sip from this glass, again, we know it's wine, but there's no real story here. In fact, it reminds me of when I drank from the Riedel glass number two, and I held my nose and I knocked out my sense of smell. So again, the glass needs to be in conjunction with all of our senses to be able to give us that true story of our wine. Okay, leave your Sauvignon Blanc in your plastic cup for now. We're going to talk about our Chardonnay. And I would like you to please pour your Chardonnay into your empty glass number one. Now, when I talk about Chardonnay, especially Chardonnay of this style, I'm now talking about a wine with three flavor contributors to it, right? Just like our Sauvignon blanc, we have fermented juice, we have yeast, the third flavor component is oak, all right? The wine maker takes the wine, puts it into oak, when he does this or she does this, it gives the wine a very specific, first of all, color, but two, aroma, flavor, mouth feel that we don't get when a wine doesn't go into oak. So we pick up glass number one with our Chardonnay and our three flavor contributors. Let's give this a swirl and let's nose. And we get this wonderful richness, this toastiness, this almost butteriness to this wine. Let's taste. Pay attention to the very back of our palette, it's the very last of our sip. And again, find this wonderful toastiness, this richness. When I call again, sort of this butteriness, for lack of a better term. This is precisely what oak brings to this wine. Now, one of the fun things I get to do quite often is I get to talk to restaurateurs about wineglasses. And it's interesting because all the times when I'm talking to restaurateurs, guess what? They want to have one of two conversations. First conversation they usually want to have.

They want to talk about buying one wine glass one wine glass for all their wines. And this is when I jokingly ask them, if they're a golfer, often they say yes or they won't understand that joke. And then if they say they're a golfer, I say, great. The next time you play nine holes, what's the one club, you're going to put in your bag? My point is, I don't necessarily have that 7 iron for you that we would use in the world of wine glasses to get you around for every shot. Now we do produce a whole range of glassware that's called wine friendly. Oftentimes when you go into a restaurant, they'll have our biggest series or they'll have our overture series, which are not varietal specific, but they are wine friendly. So it's going to elevate the experience a little bit, but not like drinking out of a varietal specific glass. But anyway, regardless, this now leads them into the second conversation they want to have, which is they want to buy two glasses now. And what do they want? They want the small glass, like glass number two for all of their white wines. And then they want the big glass, like glass number four, for all their red wines. I'm sure you've seen this, the big glass for the reds, the little glass for the whites. But this is when I ask them to please bring a bottle of their Oak Chardonnay, their best selling Oak Chardonnay. Regardless of price, regardless of region, regardless of vintage, bring the bottle. I'll have to bring the bottle and we will taste it out of the glass number one. But then I will have them taste it out of the glass they think they want for their white wine, glass number two. Please pour your Chardonnay into your empty glass number two. Let's give this a swirl. Let's nose please. What did we miss? And if you don't know right off the bat what you missed, pick up your empty glass number one and just nose to compare. We missed this beautiful oak. And tastes please from glass two. Not bad, but again, where's that beautiful back palette story? Where's the story of the oak on this wine? The glass has no way to tell us that story, all right? So we're missing part of the information.

Again not here to talk about good, bad, better or worse, but was it different? Because all we did was change the size and shape of our glass. And when we changed the size and shape of our glass, we got a different story, interpreted the information differently, all right? Please go back into your glass number one. Let's give this a swirl. And again, a nice nose of this wine and that beautiful oak is back and let's taste. And on our palette, fruit, oak, wonderful mouthfeel we love with Chardonnay, beautiful wine. Okay, please pour your Chardonnay back into your plastic cup. And I want to briefly talk about this here, the set of glasses we're using tonight or this afternoon, this is called Performance. This is a relatively new range for Riedel, but I want you to pick up your glass number one. And I want you to just to feel the inside of the glass, and you're going to feel these little ridges, and you may have seen that in the glass when you pick the glass and gave it a little twirl. These little ridges in the glass, that's not a fault, that's by design. What this does for us is it gives us a little bit more surface area inside of our glass. So when we're swirling, we're swirling against more surface area, we're opening up aroma quicker. Remember when I talked about flavor being a combination of taste and aroma. So more aroma for your nose, more flavor for your palette, all right? So this is by design. This is sort of mid-tier for us, mid price point. But the fun set of glasses that I always enjoy talking about and was brought up, I think, when we were having that technical glitch is our stemless glasses, our opening price point. Our stemless collection called O. And I love talking about this glass because for us it's an extremely, extremely important glass, very good seller for us, very popular glass. Most people's experience with Riedel starts with this glass. But one of the famous things that Klaus Riedel, and again, I was told this, I didn't hear it myself, used to say was that he was going to continue to pull the stems of his wine glasses longer and longer until the Americans learn how to properly hold a wine glass by the stem. So we're wondering, how did we get to a stemless wine glass? Well, the early 2000s, Maximillian Riedel, the 11th generation of the Riedel family.

He comes to North America to take over the North American market. He moves to New York and with him he brings his trunks full of his beautiful Sommelier glasses, hand made, mouth blown, very tall. And he's unpacking one day. And he's trying to put these into the cabinets of his New York apartment, and guess what? It doesn't fit his wine glasses. So our friend jokingly suggests to him, look, why don't you snap off the stems and stack the bowls? It's the bowls that do the heavy lifting, right? Well, Maximillian Riedel, just like all of us I'm sure, had grown up in the tradition that wine glasses have stems. So the idea about a stemless glass, was something he was not comfortable with, but he was intrigued. And as the story goes, he actually designed the stemless glass and he took it to his father, George Riedel, and I've heard this story a thousand times, I wasn't there. So I was told tales, right? George Riedel looked at that design and said, "Oh my Gosh, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of, a stemless glass." But there's always another part of the story, right? The Riedel family were very connected to the wine industry and they had noticed that at the turn of the last century, wine was going through some very significant changes. Wine was becoming very casual. Wine was becoming very fun and wine was becoming very affordable, all right? These three changes were happening. In fact, if you think back to that time period, all right? When we look at how and why and when people were drinking wine prior to the year 2000, guess what? Fine wine, prior to the year 2000, was mainly consumed on the weekends, all right? Well guess what? After the year 2000, we were drinking our fine wines Thursday through Sunday, Sunday through Thursday as well, right? But also prior to the year 2000, wine was primarily consumed in celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, dinners with the boss, things like this. Well, now guess what? After the year, 2000, we as the wine loving public, we were drinking very nice fine wines in the parking lot at our kids' baseball games before, after and sometimes during the PTA meeting, right? So it changed. But most importantly, when you think back to how our wine stores evolved after the turn of the century, all of a sudden our wine shops had these big beautiful displays of very high quality wine from around the world at historically low prices, more than we had ever had access to before.

So to the Riedel family, this meant that the world needed a fun casual glass for those fun casual times when enjoying fun, casual, fine wines. So George Riedel sent his son, Maximillian, back to the drawing board and what did he do? We have a pattern in our collection called Vinum. This is our Vinum Cabernet glass. Many of you, if you have Riedel, you probably have Vinum. It was sort of the first large skewed varietal specific pattern introduced to North America almost 30 years ago. But this is the Vinum Cabernet glass. So what did Maximillian Riedel do? He redesign all of the Vinum bowl shapes, but without the stem and without the base. So the bowl remained the varietal specific shape, but we lost the stem and the base, the price dropped by half. All of a sudden we had this new low price point for a varietal specific glass. It opened up this idea to a whole new broad demographic of people and it's sold extremely well. In fact, today about 38% of our entire business is devoted to stemless glasses, well why? It's a very popular subject, but it's the most divisive subject. And I'm constantly reminding people, fun, casual wines, fun, casual times. That's all you have to think about when you're thinking about O. All right, now we're going to talk about washing and drying and polishing later. But these are so fun, you just put them on the top rack of your dishwasher and you don't think about it too much after that, right? We're going to get into that later. So that's the opening price point for us because we have a philosophy at Riedel. We want to be able to produce for you a wine glass that costs you roughly the same amount of money that you would pay for your favorite bottle of wine. So wherever you like to drink on the scale of price, always buy a wine glass from our collection, that sort of correlates to what you're paying for your favorite glass of wine. That's the opening price point, Performance for us is mid-tier price point and at the very top of our range, our handmade series, our Sommelier wine glasses, mouth blown, handmade, or the last producer of varietal specific, handmade, mouth blown wine glasses in the world. Invest in our Sommelier glasses, they won't let you down. They are a very, very effective tool for you to have for you to really enjoy wines at this level. All right, let's move on to red wine. Now, when we talk about red wine, we're now talking about wine with four flavor contributors to them.

We're going to jump up one for Chardonnay. And when we talk about red wine, the four flavor contributors we're going to talk about the first three are the same as Chardonnay, fermented juice, yeast and oak. But with red wine, you add a fourth component, which is called tannin. Tannins come from the skins of the grapes. It's the skins of the grapes that give these wines their color, okay? It can be a very powerful flavor contributor. It's something that we don't want to overshadow a lot of the other intricacy of our wine, but something we want to be part of the story. So again, I call our red wine glasses, the hardest working wine glasses we make. Now we're going to start this discussion with Pinot noir. And I'd like you to please pour your Pinot noir into glass number three. Now Pinot noir, also, in addition to four flavor components we just talked about is often times this beautiful battle of soil and fruit, fruit, and earth, if you will. And in fact, when we're talking about old world Burgundy or new world Pinot noir, Willamette valley, what have you, we're still talking about the same grade, the same wine, but just sort of differences in intensity, right? Let's pick up glass three, give this a swirl. Let's please nose. And what do we love about Pinot noir? Wonderful red fruit and that beautiful earthiness and oak. Let's taste. And yes on our palette, fruit, earth, oak, all these things we love. And if you're getting that little bit of a stringing stay on the backs and sides of your palette, this is what the tannin brings to the equation. Now make sure your glass number one is empty. And I want you to hold your glass number one in your left hand, empty. And I want you to pick up your Pinot noir glass, glass number three, with your right hand. Let's bring these side by side so the bottoms of the bowls are the same level and let's focus on these for a second. Now you should notice some similarities because if we were to cut the Pinot noir glass down just a bit, we would have the Chardonnay glass. So hopefully you see this because this is exactly how we make them, all right? But we notice that the Pinot noir glass is a little bit taller and it has a little smaller rim diameter. So a slight bit of difference in the height of the bowl and a slight bit of difference in the rim diameter. I want you to please pour your Pinot noir into your empty glass number one. Let's give this a little swirl. Let's put our nose in here. And when I do this, I notice two things.

One, the wine becomes a little hot and by hot, I mean, all of a sudden we get a lot more alcohol in our eyes and our nose. But two, where did that beautiful red fruit go? Definitely good oak, all right? Let's taste from this glass please. On our palette, all of a sudden, the tannins become very pronounced. For me, much more pronounced than anything else I'm experiencing with this wine, certainly drowning out any of that beautiful, bright, red fruit or that wonderful oak tannin becomes a dominant story. But my point is, we made a very slight change to the size and shape of our glass, for me, huge difference in the story of this wine. Go back into glass number three, please. Just to make sure we didn't scare away that wonderful red fruit from this wine, let's give this a swirl and a nose. It's back on the nose but let's taste. Oh yes. Pinot noir in the Riedel Performance Pinot noir glass, fruit, oak, a wonderful earthiness we love and just that hint of balanced tannins. Marsha, do we have any questions under this point?

Marsha - We do actually. Can you explain the difference between the Sommelier Pinot glass and the performance Pinot glass?

Doug - Sure, so the original workshop that was done with Klaus Riedel to develop this glass was done with very traditional old world Burgundy. Whereas the Pinot noir glass we have in our Performance, this was done, actually this shape was workshopped with the Oregon Pinot Growers Association. Because the Oregon Pinot growers, and again, this is a good segue into how all of our varietal specific shapes are designed. It's not the Riedel family sitting down and sketching out of shape, and assigning a wine to it, no, no. We actually work with wine makers, people who will know these wines and understand these wines, we work with them and workshop with them, the wine picks the glass, all right? Because the wine makers are the ones that know exactly how the wine should appeal to our senses. And again, the wine picks the shape, the wine picks the glass for lack of a better term. So this shape was actually a workshopped shape that was done in a workshop with the Oregon Pinot Growers Association and it became really our new world Pinot noir glass. So hopefully that explains the differences between these two glasses. Anything else, Marsha?

Marsha - I'm answering one on the Winewings. What the difference between the flat bottom-?

Doug - Oh yes, yeah. It's a great new glass for us, the Winewings, I should have had one here to show you. But yeah, basically Winewings takes our Vinum bowl shapes and adds a beautiful flat bottom base to it. So what does this do? Much more space for the wine to hit oxygen for more aeration. When we get that air in more wine quick, more aroma, more aroma equates to more flavor, all right? So beautiful new collection designed by George Riedel, Winewings. All right, I would like you to please move on now to our best-selling glass, the Cabernet glass. And it's interesting to me because in all of our collections, whether it's handmade, whether it's machine made, whether it's stemmed, whether it's stemless, our Cabernet glasses, are our best selling shapes. Which tells me one of two things. That one, it tells me, you guys are drinking a lot of Cabernet out there or two, maybe you think you found your seven iron and I hope that's not the case. Because what's interesting about the Cabernet glasses. When we think about which wines go into each of our glasses, the Cabernet glass is interesting because it's our best selling glass, but there's really only four varietals that go correctly into this glass, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rollo, Petite Verdot, Cab Franc, everything else goes into a different shape, all right? So basically four out of your five Bordeaux varietals go into this glass. Let's go ahead and pour our Cabernet into glass four, and let's give this a swirl. And let's put our nose in here. Oh yes. Everything we love about Cabernet, right? That beautiful dark tannin fruit, that wonderful hint of oak and then we taste. And in our palette, yes. Fine rediness we love about Cabernet Sauvignon. I'll give you a little secret, I'm a Kansas City guy. I'm actually broadcasting from my little man-cave here in Kansas City where I live and anytime I get this beautiful Cabernet on my palette, I'm thinking where my huevo grill and who's bringing the porterhouses over, right? Because this wine, this beautiful wine just screams for that type of a pairing.

Okay, here's what I would like you to do. I want you to take your Cabernet Sauvignon. You're going to pour it all into your empty glass one. You're going to swirl, you're going to smell and you're going to taste. You're going to take the wine from your Chardonnay glass you're then going to move into glass two, your empty glass two, and swirl, smell, taste. I want you to take it from two to three. If you still have your Pinot noir in glass three, just put it back in your plastic cup. I want you to try this Cabernet in all of the Riedel shapes, all right? Just to see how dramatically this wine will change. Because remember, we're not changing the wine, but we are changing the size and shape of our glass. So if the experience changes, it's the glass controlling this, all right? While you're doing that, I'm going to talk to you about a very important subject. And that is how do we wash, I should say correctly wash dry and polish our Riedel wine glasses. First of all, every glass we make, stem, stemless, machine made, man made can be put into your dishwasher with some rules, all right? We have some specific rules, we want to follow if we want to put them into the dishwasher. If you want to hand wash, that's fine. Handwash with some mild detergent and as hot of water as you can stand in the sink. But if we're going to put it into the dishwasher, here are the three rules. Rule number one, stemless glasses go on your top rack, stemmed glasses, go on the bottom rack. And I'll explain these rules here in just a second. Rule number two, nothing else in your dishwasher, if you're going to put your wine glasses in the dishwasher. Rule number three and honestly the most important rule, no soap, okay? Now I say this all with an asterisk, because if you have- We partner globally with a beautiful company called Miele and Miele is the only true dishwasher that we recommend because they have perfect glassware technology in order for you to not have to worry about putting your glass in the dishwasher. If you don't have that machine, then these three rules are going to apply to you, okay? Again, stemless go on the top rack, stemmed go on the bottom rack, nothing else in your dishwasher, rule number three, no soap, all right? Now why rule number one?

We have the longer prongs on the bottom of our dishwasher rack, right? And it keeps the glasses from wobbling excessively because we don't want our glasses knocking up against each other and possibly scratching the bowls. Rule number two, why nothing else in your dishwasher? Because we don't want our glasses knocking up against pots or pans or plates or flatware or whatever else you might have in your dishwasher, because we don't want to scratch the bowls. Rule number three, why no soap? Because soap can, number one, scratch our glasses but also over time they can stain in the glasses. The glasses can become foggy or milky or scaly, all right? If we follow these rules correctly, there's still something else we need to pay attention to and that is how we correctly dry and polish, all right? Now we have this lovely habit and I say lovely, sarcastically, all right? We have this lovely habit where we like to take our glasses off the drying pad next to the sink or off the bottom rack of the dishwasher. And what are we all instinctively like to do? We fill our polishing cloth into the glass and we all want to twist. Now for you cringers out there, I'm not putting any pressure on this, all right? But for the rest of you, we don't ever want to twist a stem glass like this. When we twist a stem glass, we're putting stress and pressure and torque, on a part of our glass that was not designed to receive that pressure. And if we're not careful, pretty soon we'll snap that glass. And if we're not paying attention and when you have a lot of pressure this way, not only will you break the glass but we can drive that broken stem right into our palm or forearm. I always challenge people to go talk to your favorite bartender, to your favorite wine bar and have them show you the scars in their palm and their forearm, where they were quickly training glasses polishing them incorrectly, broke a glass and injured themselves and needed to go and get stitches. It happens, it's a big issue in the industry. How do we safely and correctly dry and polish our glasses?

First of all, always hold your wineglass in your microfiber, I do recommend a microfiber cloth. We do sell them on our website, they're fantastic. Hold your glasses by the widest part of the bowl, because structurally, this is the strongest part of the glass. And if we've hold it by the widest part of the bowl, again, we're putting pressure on the wider part of the bowl, again, the strongest part of the glass. Three steps, step one, outside of the bowl, just like this. And you can't see, I'm turning the glass in my hand, as opposed to by the base. The other part is step one is pushing the cloth up into the bowl to catch the inside. We flip the glass over, we catch the stem and then it catch the base. In other words, at no time, am I torquing on the glass like this, all right? Hopefully you got that, all right? If you don't, send Marsha a note and she'll repeat it for you. But once we have our clean, dry, polished wineglasses there's another issue we run into. And that's what we're going to put them into our cabinet, or our wine glass rack, and what do we always notice? We notice something on the rim of our glass, right? Lipstick, chapstick, hard water stain, it can be a lot of things. And sometimes we get that need to, we go back to grabbing by the base and polishing like this incorrectly. And why is this incorrect? Because number one, we're still torquing here and number two, now we're putting a tremendous amount of leverage on the lip of our glass. And if we're not careful, we'll break the stem, or we'll break the bowl. So what do we want to do? Just go back to how we started just a second ago, grab the glass by the widest part of the bowl. Use the loose end of the cloth to catch the rim. Let the glass free flow through your hand, all right? But we're putting much less leverage, much less pressure on the rim of our glass, all right? Now, regardless on how you decide, you want to wash, dry and polish, the number one rule when it comes to maintaining your glass collection, is you never, ever want to wash, dry or polish after 10:00 p.m. That one rule will save you a lot of shrinkage of your glassware collection, what we call it in the industry. I always tell people, if it's after 10:00 p.m put the glasses on the counter, put some water in the glass put the cat in the garage and then get to your glasses the next morning, all right?

Okay, hopefully you made the journey with your Cabernet into all the Riedel shapes. Again, just to simply see how dramatically that Cabernet will change. And again, for me, I'm not here to talk about good, better, bad, or worse, simply the question, did it change? We know the wine didn't change but did the experience change? And if the experience changed, the glass is controlling the experience. Okay.

Marsha - Hey, Doug.

Doug - Yes.

Marsha - We have about five minutes and then we need to sign off here.

Doug - All right, make it one last thing, and then we will be done. So there's one last sense we didn't talk about tonight. We talked about sight, the fact we want to see the wine in the glass without any interruption. We talked about touch. We talked about aroma, the flavor is a combination of taste and aroma. The last thing we haven't talked about today is our sense of hearing. And I will tell you that glasses don't talk to you, they're not designed to do that, right? If they do, set them down and go to something else for a while. But when we toast with Riedel, we always want to toast the widest part of our bowl to the widest part of our other bowl. And when we do it correctly, I have a nice, lovely ring to it and that will commemorate your evening, your party, whatever you're using your Riedel glasses for. But anyway, sorry about the technical glitch earlier. I can honestly tell you that in 13 years, well, I've only done virtual tasting now for two years. But at least for the last two years of virtual tastings and Marsha, my assistant will attest to this. We've never had that happen, so I don't know what happened here. But anyway, I apologize for that. But I want to thank all of you for tuning in today. Thank you very much, if you're a Riedel fan. If you don't have some Riedel, use that code to get yourself some Riedel off of our website. Hopefully you've been able to experience how the glass can make a difference in your wine experience and why size and shape of your glass is very important. And why Riedel is what you need to get the most out of your experience with your favorite wines. So, anyway, thank you very much. I want to thank First Republic again for the invitation to come and talk to you. I am now going to turn this back over to Valerie from First Republic. But anyway, thank you very much, cheers and good evening. All yours, Valerie or Noelle or somebody.

Noelle Schulenburg - All right, thank you so much Doug for being with us today. We really appreciate your time. Thank you for sharing how Riedel glassmakers have utilized shape and design to create a unique experience with wine and demonstrating why your glass matters. And to our attendees, thank you for being with us today and thank you for your patience. As a reminder, this event was recorded and the recording will be available on our website towards the end of next week. A follow-up email with the glassware kit and 20% off discount code will be sent to everyone tomorrow morning. Please visit our website for a schedule of our upcoming webinars. Thank you and be well.

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