Riedel Wine Glassware Buying Guide

Riedel is a world-leading manufacturer of wine glasses and decanters. They're dedicated to creating unique, hand-crafted glassware that will never disappoint.

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About Riedel

Riedel has been producing wine glasses for over 250 years. Their ranges extend from entry-level to top-quality, with, of course, a range of price tags!

Popular Riedel ranges

Which is the right Riedel glass for me?

There isn't a simple answer! Riedel produces both varietal-specific glasses and more wine-friendly glasses for casual drinking.

Riedel suggests spending as much on a glass as you would on a bottle of wine!

Use The Riedel Shop's (our!) Match the Glass tool to find which Riedel wine glass is perfect for the wine of your choice.

Keep reading to find our Riedel wine glass range comparison table below!

How does wine glass shape make a difference?

The shape of the glass affects the wine's taste, balance and bouquet, and wines will show very different characteristics from different glasses!

Riedel wine glasses are designed specifically for the wine, so that you can enjoy it to its maximum.

Some wines need a larger bowl to show off their complex aromas, others will fare better in a smaller glass, some benefit from a glass lip that flares out a bit, while others show better with a wine glass lip that curves in a bit.

Varietal-specific glasses are designed with three variables: shape, size and rim diameter, all of which affect the bouquet, texture, flavour and finish of the wine. Depending on how close or far your nose is from the wine itself, you will taste the wine differently. Depending on how narrow or wide the rim of the glass is, will affect the aromatics of the wine and then its flavour.

We think the most dramatic evidence of the importance of glass size and shape is drinking a Sauvignon Blanc out of a large "Oaked Chardonnay" glass, you can barely taste it. The same wine out of a much smaller, appropriately shaped bowl comes to life with bright, fresh citrus and green apple flavours.

Are Riedel wine glasses worth the money?

Of course, the answer is yes, but let's provide a bit of context. Our glasses range from £11 each (or less if you buy a Value Pack) to £100 each. Whilst a £100 glass cannot change the quality of a cheap, poorly made wine, a terrible glass can reduce the appreciation of a very good bottle of wine.

Producing Riedel glassware

Riedel glasses are all hand-crafted from lead-free crystal at their factory in Austria. This guarantees a high quality of each individual glass, however it does mean there may be small blips in the size and weight of each glass - this is an acceptable part of the process!

The Riedel factory is in the idyllic Austrian town of Kufstein, about 4km from the border with Germany. The company has invested heavily in its machine production and has two systems of production lines that are capable of making approximately 91,000 pieces per day and 28 million glasses per year. The mesmerising, whizzing, fire-breathing machines that blow 1500-degree non-lead crystal into moulds, mechanically attaches the stems, laser-trims and fire polishes the glasses for a final time before they are inspected for any flaws. Imperfect glasses (approximately 30% on a good day) are destroyed, crushed and re-melted into the crystal mix, a process that helps improve the quality of the crystal itself. Interestingly, if there is not enough recycled crystal content added to the mix each day, additional recycled glass will be added to perfect the recipe.

Decanting wines

Why should I decant my wine?

  1. For older wines, to separate it from its sediment.
  2. For younger wines, to increase oxygenation and thereby enhance aromas and flavours.

How do I decant my wine?

For young wines (up to 10 years old), open them 8-12 hours prior to drinking, or decant it as this speeds up the aeration process.

Decanting reduces the amount of carbon dioxide (a preserving element), and matures the wine, enhancing its flavours.

When decanting young wines, pour the wine into the decanter and let it splash around the vessel.

For older wines, slowly pour the wine into the decanter and don't let any sediment leave the bottle!

How do I clean my Riedel decanter?

Georg Riedel says, "After use, rinse the decanter thoroughly with warm water until the water runs clear. Do not use soap. No one has drunk from the decanter and alcohol is a natural disinfectant."

Shop Riedel Decanters

About the Riedel wine glass ranges

Range Price range Our opinion
Vinum From £38 per pair High quality glassware for everyday use
Veritas From £44 per pair Perfect for wine lovers, unique design and worth the investment
O From £22 per pair Stemless alternative, great for a gift or for casual drinking
Extreme From £31 per pair Featuring large bowls and long stems, intensifying the wine flavours
Sommeliers From £96 Add an extra level to the drinking experience, perfect for enjoying fine wines
Performance From £45 per pair Unique optic impact, enhances the wine's aromas
Ouverture From £22 per pair Great starting range for wine drinkers, can be used for any varietal
Superleggero From £99 per pair Extremely lightweight and ultra-thin, for the most fine dining
Winewings From £27 An unusual design, but perfect for advanced wine drinkers

Riedel Vinum

Introduced in 1986, Riedel Vinum was the first varietal-specific machine-made glass, and today is Riedel's best-selling range.

Our most popular Riedel Vinum glass is the Vinum Bordeaux, which comes both as a pair and as a set of 8.

This glass is perfect for young, full-bodied, complex red wines that are high in tannin.

It emphasises the fruit and allows the wine to achieve a balance that would normally take years of ageing to acquire.

Shop Riedel Vinum

Riedel Veritas

High-quality and unique, Riedel Veritas is also machine-blown, and features unparalleled thinness and lightness.

You may not believe it, but this makes a huge difference to the drinking experience.

Riedel Veritas glasses, introduced in 2014, are crafted with perfection, and are certainly worth the investment, if you can afford them.

Shop Riedel Veritas

Riedel O

Ideal for everyday use, Riedel O glasses have a modern look, and are easy and comfortable to hold.

They are also great for serving soft drinks, so are worth having in the cupboard!

Introduced in 2003, the shape is based on the Riedel Vinum range.

If you think you might snap a stem, Riedel O will be perfect for you!

Shop Riedel O

Riedel Extreme

Riedel Extreme Riesling / Sauvignon Blanc Glass

Designed to pack flavour into your wine, Riedel Extreme glasses feature large bowls and long stems.

This helps to intensify the aromas, and allow the wine to breath, reducing the carbon dioxide, and emphasising the softness and fruity flavours of New World wines.

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Riedel Sommeliers

Riedel Sommeliers Tinto Reserva Glass

Introduced in 1973, Riedel Sommeliers take wine drinking to the next level.

They offer a supreme tasting experience. If fine drinking and dining is your thing, Riedel Sommeliers is yours too.

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Riedel Performance

Riedel Performance Pinot Noir Glass

Riedel Performance is the first wineglass range ever with an 'optic impact’ to enhance the aromas and flavours of your favourite wine.

The range is certainly eye-catching, and is perfect for a more advanced wine drinker.

Shop Riedel Performance

Riedel Ouverture

Riedel Ouverture Champagne Glass

Riedel Ouverture glasses are ideal for beginner wine drinkers, as they can be used for any grape variety.

They are also lower priced than most other Riedel ranges. However, the quality is still excellent for a wine glass!

Shop Riedel Ouverture

Riedel Superleggero

Riedel Superleggero Oaked Chardonnay Glass

Featuring extremely lightweight and ultrathin crystal, Riedel Superleggero glasses are at the top of the range.

If you're someone who'd like a unique wine glass collection to enjoy with the finest wines, then Riedel Superleggero will suit you.

Shop Riedel Superleggero

Riedel Winewings

Riedel Winewings Pinot Noir Glass

Introduced in 2010, Riedel Winewings glasses feature a more unusual design, yet are still excellent in terms of their functionality.

The flat bottom of the bowl increases the surface area, enhancing the intensity of the flavour of the wine.

Shop Riedel Winewings

How do I look after my Riedel glassware?

Riedel glasses are dishwasher safe.

To avoid stains, use soft water, and avoid glass contact with metal or other glass to avoid scratches.

White vinegar can be used to remove stains.

Washing by hand

Riedel Microfibre Crystal Clean Cloth White

Wash with warm water, using detergent, and rinse carefully.

Never hold the glass by the base when polishing, as the stem can snap.

Riedel sell a Microfibre Polishing Cloth to add extra shine!

Storing Riedel glassware

Keep your glassware away from kitchen cabinets which may have other aromas that could translate into the glass!

Popular Riedel ranges