Over our last several cruises we have enjoyed wine in the main dining room from the Riedel Vinum series of wine glasses. Generally the Sommeliers bring them to the table when a passengers has selected a particularly expensive bottle of wine, but we found that if we just mentioned to them that we liked the “special” glasses they would bring them out for any bottle of wine we purchased.
We knew we liked the wine from these glasses, and knew that they were designed specifically for certain styles of wine, but since we had never taken the seminar offered by Celebrity we had no idea what exactly was so special about these glasses. Then on our 2008 Summit cruise I asked the waiter to explain why he was serving Chardonnay in a some what balloon shaped glass rather than a smaller more typical white wine glass. He then did a quick explanation and demo on how the glass was designed specifically for chardonnay. He brought out an ordinary white wine glass and then the Riedel Montrachet Chardonnay glass. He allowed us to taste the wine from both glasses. It clearly had more flavor, taste, aroma and even finish when sipped from the Riedel Glass. The sommelier mentioned something about the shape of the glass and the placement of the wine on the pallet, but it wasn’t until we attended the full seminar on the next cruise that we were fully able to understand the concept.
In December of 2009, we finally attended the full wine tasting class on board the Celebrity Solstice. We had so much enjoyed our wines from those “fancy” glasses on the last couple of cruises we wanted to get a set. The Riedel seminar included a set of 4 glasses for those attending the seminar. Passengers could either choose to carry off the actual glasses or receive a voucher for online ordering. The whole presentation of the glasses was designed to remove skepticism by clearly demonstrating how the shape of the glass affects the taste of the wine on the pallet. The basic premise is that by distributing the best parts of the flavor of the wine to the parts of the mouth that can best taste that flavor, the key notes of the wine are highlighted and any “off” taste is diminished. During the tasting, the wines are poured into the proper glass and tasted. Then the wine is switched to and tasted from a different glass including a “Joker” basic water goblet and other varietal glasses from the Riedel set. I was amazed at how the shape and design of each glass enhanced the taste of each different type of wine.
When we returned home from the cruise we used our voucher and ordered our new glasses. They arrived a few weeks later. Since that time we have added to our collection several of the other varietal glasses from the same Vinum series, and also a few of the stemless glasses from the “O” series. Because these glasses have greatly enhanced our wine enjoyment experience both at sea and at home, we feel that they are one of our best on board purchases of our cruise experiences. You can learn more about Riedel glasses at the Riedel Website.