Thursday, 5 January 2012

Champenois ditching flutes for wine glasses

Champagne houses are moving away from using traditional flutes for their fizz in favour of white wine glasses, according to glassware manufacturer Georg Riedel. “The Champenois are starting to serve their sparklers in white wine glasses as the larger surface areas gives more pronounced aromas, complexity and a creamier texture,” Riedel told the drinks business.

“Flutes are too narrow and don’t allow the aroma and richness of the Champagne to shine as there isn’t enough air space,” Riedel added, revealing that flutes are often mistakenly filled to the top, leaving the wine no room to breathe. Ideally, a flute should only be half full, or, better still, a third full in order to release a Champagne’s aromatic potential,” he said.

In response to demand, Riedel has started making bespoke glasses for several Champagne houses and has developed a new sparkling wine glass more akin to a white wine glass. “Our new glasses don’t look anything like a traditional flute. They’re much bigger and rounder,” Riedel enthused.

Meanwhile, the Austrian has his sights firmly set on China, where he is keen to grow the Riedel brand. “China is a new market for us and our hopes are high for it. We’ve been established in Hong Kong for a while, but it’s time to move our marketing subsidiary to the mainland. “We want to get into the top hotels and restaurants in China, and start branching out into department stores,” he said.

Riedel is confident that the Chinese will embrace the idea of buying different glasses for different wines. “Contrary to what has been said, the Asian palate doesn’t differ from the Western palate. Wine is new to them, but they understand it. You start life as a milk drinker, then you evolve. An understanding of the complexities of wine comes with a certain age. It’s a celebration, and people love to toast in Asia.

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