To enjoy wine, champagne, cognac and many other drinks one needs the ideal glass to bring out the original flavor of each drink. The only company in the world that specializes in producing glasses for each drink is Riedel.
So Amura Yachts & Lifestyle brings you an exclusive interview with Maximilian Riedel, one of the youngest CEOs in the world and the leader of the most important wine glass manufacturing companies.
• How do you maintain a balance between the art of making glass and the speed at which the industry changes?
As you can imagine, maintaining a balance is very challenging, but we have a concept, which is to produce the most sophisticated glasses. Our glasses are made to enjoy the flavors and the aromas of the wine. This is something that my grandfather perfected; he was the first man in the world to identify the fact that a glass can influence the flavor and the perception of wine.
We are currently developing new glasses for new grapes and drinks. We have developed a glass for Tequila and one for Pisco (the national drink of Peru) , which we will launch this year, side by side with our classic champagne and martini glasses. We try and keep pace with the wine industry since Riedel is linked more to the industry than any other company.
• What is the difference between a Riedel glass and the rest?
Riedel invents. There are approximately 200 different shapes of glass for different types of greape and drinks, as well as being able to rely on wine producers and enologists because our glasses are not designed on the drawing board but instead in conjunction with the wine producers themselves. We obtain the opinion of the experts of each region, as well as the producers indicating how to obtain the best results and that is what makes Riedel unique; therefore we call ourselves “the wine glass company” and it is also a reason why our glasses are little more expensive because we use a lot of resources to conduct tests and then the competition merely copies of the final result.
• What advantage does the Riedel tequila glass offer?
We made this glass at the request of the Mexican government, which felt that the idea of drinking tequila was being lost. It was being drunk as a mixed drink solely for the purpose of getting drunk and not to enjoy the inherent flavor of the drink. Today, companies are spending millions of dollars to produce tequila, so it must be accompanied by a great glass.
• Where is Riedel heading as a company, what does the future hold?
In 2004, we quadrupled our business when we acquired our closest competitor, which means that now we produce 60 million glasses a year, as well as producing for other companies such as Lalique Micasa and Baccarat.
• What is your favorite grape?
The Pinot Noir
• So the Riedel Pinot Noir glass is your favorite is well?
No, in terms of look, it is the Chardonnay glass.
• What do you think about what Mexico is doing in terms of wine creation?
Mexico is in its infancy in the wine industry, so there is a lot of potential and I am very happy to be connected to the country through Riedel.
I have to tell you that I was very surprised when I tried Mexican wines; at the moment there are 30 wine producers and I have sampled seven. Obviously all these produce red wine because the areas where the grape is cultivated have much more favorable climates for the red grape but I’m sure that due to the size of the country there must be areas where excellent white wine can be produced and Mexico has found in me an ambassador of wine because whenever I go I will talk about Mexican wines.
I am certain that there will be some excellent wines produced in the next two or three years; however, what Mexico is still lacking is an “emblem” grape. Every country, every region needs and has an “emblem” grape and up to now you have tried with the Tempranillo, Cabernet, Merlot and the Shiraz , but you must find the grape for Mexico.
• What message would you like to send to the Amura readers?
I think that Mexico has great potential and will be a great market for our brand. It took me a lot to finally get to Mexico but I hope to return on many more occasions.
Text: Enrique Rosas ± Photo: Riedel.