Riedel Crystal, a 258-year-old custom glassmaker known throughout the wine world for its varietal-specific stemware and decanters, has released a glass designed to unfurl Coke’s complex flavors, aromas and mouthfeel.
“World War II was over, but people still were suffering, so to have this sweet taste and effervescence on my palate was a revelation,” Riedel recalled during a phone interview from Napa Valley, Calif.
Last February, Brad Fields from Coke’s worldwide licensing team approached Riedel about partnering on a specialty glass at a tradeshow in Frankfurt, Germany. Riedel agreed to develop his company’s first-ever glass for a non-alcoholic beverage.
“When I asked Georg who my contact would be for the project, he said, ‘me,’” Fields says. “His passion has been incredible since that very first conversation.”
He adds, “Riedel is the Rolls Royce of the drinkware category. We wanted to create a glass that would remind people of the specialness of drinking a
Riedel conducted tasting workshops at Coke to inform the glass design.
The winning design was inspired by the curves of Coke’s original contour bottle. According to Riedel, the combination of the size and curvature of the “bowl” and its rim diameter unleash Coke’s sweetness, spiciness and “bite, along with its more subtle nuances. He hopes the glass -- which he describes with the lyrical flair of a sommelier -- will invite consumers to appreciate the brand in a new way.
“We are accentuating the aromas and details of
Thirsty yet? That’s the idea.
“The effect a glass has on taste is widely underestimated by the public,” he concludes. “Most people see a glass as an aesthetic element on a table, not as an instrument. We hope to change that.”
The Coca-Cola + Riedel glass can be purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond and online at the Coca-Cola Store. Additional retailers are expected to stock the glass in the coming months.