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The Riedel stemware line Wine signals a new era by introducing ornamented glasses. Riedel, famous for the unique concept of making specific glasses to enhance individual grape varieties and styles of wine, has developed a new decorative range of glasses, called Wine, that features a series of eight machine-blown stems that are designed for aesthetic as well as functional purposes. The glasses cater to consumers and restaurateurs seeking beauty at the dinner table and for whom plain glasses are not sufficiently decorative. Wine signals an added direction for the company. The wine glass culture (as opposed to simply containers to hold wine) was introduced by Riedel to North America.

It was endorsed by such authorities as the Mondavi family, The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and many other wine writers when they discovered, to their great initial surprise, that wines tasted better from Riedel glasses. "My father Claus Riedel gained a place in history with his designs featuring the light transparency of glass. He created the perfect wine drinking glass, beautiful in its unadorned simplicity.

Wine is aimed at those wine drinkers who prefer a more decorative glass at the dinner table. Also, while perhaps we should be flattered that Riedel design creations have spawned so many imitators, I feel it is time for a change. As the leader in the field, it is up to us to pioneer new areas," says Georg Riedel, who was responsible for developing the design of the new series.

The Wine design is reminiscent of art-deco, combining a light-catching design and an elegant, lightweight look. The tall, lean stem - four pillars in a clover-leaf arrangement edged by three rings at the top and bottom of the stem - makes for a unique look. The stems give these glasses a completely new image that should appeal to new customers.

The bowls of these glasses, however, follow the Riedel philosophy of form follows function and are copies of Riedel's proven Vinum shapes tested in thousands of comparative wine tastings since their introduction in 1986. The eight glasses in the Wine series are named for the grape varieties for which they are suited: Cabernet/Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz, Pinot/Nebbiolo, Sangiovese/Riesling, Viognier/ Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Champagne, Water.

Each glasses' name basically identifies the wine for which it should be used. However, for those wondering why there are two glasses for Chardonnay, the Viognier/Chardonnay glass lends itself to lighter leaner chardonnays while the Chardonnay glass is better suited to rich, buttery new world wines.

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