When I received the invitation to attend a comparative glassware Champagne and wine tasting hosted by Maximilian Riedel, CEO of Riedel USA, and Nick Ord, CEO of Miele USA, with my dear friend and colleague Saxon Henry, my favorite roamer, I must say I was quite intrigued. I have spent many years in the restaurant and wine industry, and was taught that Riedel or any fine stemware should never be cleaned in a dishwasher for several good reasons. First off, residual soap interferes with the aromas and flavors of the wine, and scratches and breakage were always a concern. So of course, I wanted to find out firsthand from the man himself why the company had announced a new partnership with Miele to endorse their dishwashers as safe for their glassware. Lots of rules have been broken in the wine world since I first began to understand fine wines and cuisine as a server at the venerable Gotham Bar & Grill in the early 90s. We were taught to always hold a wine glass by the stem, never by the bowl, to ensure that our fingertips would not warm the wine. This would also allow us to swirl properly to release the aromas in the wine that were so integral to our overall enjoyment of it. We were also taught the importance of the right wine with the right glass which Riedel touched upon during the event we attended (see a bit of his tutorial in the video below), and the right food/wine pairing. These revelations have stayed with me for years for good reason. In 2004, everything changed when Riedel introduced the “O” line, a stemless glass series. Really??? Well, it took off like wildfire and stemless wine glasses were popping up in top restaurants and well appointed homes around the country. If Riedel endorses it, what’s not to love? thought those of us who paid close attention to wine and food subjects. The glass was so successful that it increased Riedel’s U.S. sales by $18 million dollars from the previous year. Sometimes, you have to break the rules, as they say.
It was quickly clear that Ord likes to break the rules as well. While shopping for stemware to best enjoy his fine wines at home, of course he was considering Riedel, he was shocked to read on the box that they did not recommend washing their “instruments” in the dishwasher. Well, of course Mr. Ord took this as a personal challenge and set out to make a dishwasher that was Riedel worthy. And the rest, as they say, is history. The event Saxon and I attended launched the global partnership of the two iconic brands, unveiling the next generation of Miele machines that will be introduced this coming June. The Futura series is made up of 20 models of 18- and 24-inch dishwashers that have features as sophisticated as a super tall bottom trays equipped with fittings that hold extra tall stemware in place and an option for chilling pilsner glasses (beer drinkers everywhere can thank Ord for this fact: he’s an ale man)! Beyond the tech fun, there is tech genius behind these new dishwashers as well, such as water and energy consumption features, and RemoteVision™ that alerts a technical service team whenever there is a performance issue. Oh, and did I mention we tasted some excellent wine in none other than Riedel stemware, or as Maximilian called them “tools” for making any wine-tasting experience delightful? It was a tough job but someone had to do it! Roaming by Design would like to thank Susan Wilber, our guest journalist today, for this juicy post! The dynamic food/wine guru is a freelance culinary event planner who makes the behind-the-scenes rigamarole of handling intimate and large-scale events seem effortless when they are far from it. We’re thrilled to have her as an occasional contributor here. Welcome Susan! For my piece on the event, which I wrote for the kicky new site Food Republic, hop on over to this page (and don’t forget to stay for a while and look around)! Happy Roaming everyone!