The Riedel Roadshow rolled into Dublin again this week, led on this occasion by the ‘Pater Familia’, Georg.
The programme was familiar- a round of interviews, a trade and media workshop and an evening sell-out tasting at €90 a pop for a largely corporate public.
Being first in the queue to meet the most publicised wine glass manufacturer on the planet, I asked him what constitutes a good wine glass.
‘Balance’ he replied, ‘and handblown, along with good quality glass and a bowl which tapers inwards to concentrate the aroma of the wine’
So all Riedel glasses are handblown ?
‘Not at all- it is an expensive process. More than 99% of our glasses are machine blown, but to a very high standard’.
‘But the glass is of very high quality ?’
‘We use the Ravenscroft formula which dates back to the 17th. Century and which creates a glass with a strong molecular structure’.
The English glassmaker did indeed pioneer lead crystal glass which was noted for its brilliance, clarity and high refraction. So are all Reideel glasses made from lead crystal?
‘Not at all. Lead crystal is also very expensive, it accounts for about 10% of our production but 25% of our sales revenue. That gives you an idea of the price.’