Riedel Sommelier, Vinum, and O series wine glasses
Starting in the 1950s, Claus Riedel was the first person to experiment with how the shape of a wine glass influenced a taster’s appreciation of the wine. He would assemble panels of experienced judges to rate the best glass for a particular type of wine. Then, in 1961, Riedel released his first line of glasses that came in different sizes and shapes, each for a particular type of wine — the standard of today.
The Sommelier series [view at IWA or Wine Enthusiast] was released in 1973, and it was the first series of fine wine glasses. Developed with the aid of the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers (A.I.S.), the Sommerlier series consists of 10 different wine glass sizes and all are hand-made in over 24% lead crystal.
The Vinum series [view at IWA or Wine Enthusiast] debuted in 1986. It was the first widespread, machine-made series of glasses. If you look at the Riedel Vinum series of glasses, you will see that most wine glasses look quite similar to those manufactured and sold by Riedel originally. The Vinum series is also over 24% lead crystal.
The O series [view at IWA or Wine Enthusiast] is the latest line of glasses by Riedel, and these somewhat trendy glasses are “wine tumblers” that don’t have stems or bases. These glasses are well-suited for travel, and they fit in dishwashers, picnic baskets, minibars, or tight kitchen cabinets. The price for these non-lead, machine-blown glasses is half the price of the Vinum series. These come in nice two glass sets… a great gift!