There are few things that people in the wine industry seem to agree upon but one of these is the importance of glassware and its integrity. What does integrity mean in this context? It means that a wine glass was washed with hot water, no soap and dried by hand. At industry tastings and in many wine bars and restaurants, hand washing is nearly impossible but a good wine bar will run its glasses without soap which leaves a filmy residue and can affect the taste of the wine.
That said another point that many seem to agree upon when it comes to wine, is that the glass can make a difference. Most wine bars in New York tend to use glasses from a limited number of suppliers. The premier supplier is the Austrian company Riedel.
Claus Riedel, the 9th generation of the family is credited with being the first to create wine glasses tailored to specific grape varieties. These Riedel series glasses have changed the market irreversibly and have made Riedel number one. Innovation seems to be part of the Riedel gene pool. Maximilian Riedel, the 11th generation of the Riedel has also revolutionized the wine industry when he presented his “O” series. This glass has no stem or base, two elements which are crucial to our concept of the wine glass.
Sometimes it seems as if Riedel is the sole provider of glassware and decanters but this is absolutely not the case. Italy’s Luigi Bormioli for example makes a line of wonderful glasses as do Schott Zwiesel, Anchor Hocking, La Rochere, and Ravenscroft. These are just a few names of the other companies which are well known for their glassware and decanters.