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Friday 24 February 2023

Tulips get the flick as Jansz and Riedel search for the perfect glass

Tasmanian sparkling wine has become a standout sector of the Australian wine industry over the past two decades - with the top brands offering quality that has impressed even Champenoise producers. 

Now leading Tasmanian Sparkling winemaker Jansz Tasmania has partnered with internationally renowned glassmaker Riedel to select the ideal glass to enhance enjoyment of Tasmanian Sparkling wine.

It was my great pleasure a few years back to visit the hand-blown Ridel glass factory in Kufstein, Austria, and to dine with family patriarch Georg Riedel and his wife Eva. 

Such a treat as Riedel is recognised worldwide for designing and producing the highest quality glasses and decanters for wine and spirit enjoyment, with an emphasis on varietal-specific glassware.

Jansz Tasmania winemaker Jennifer Doyle (below right) and 11th generation Austrian glassmaker Maximilian Riedel (left) recently were joined by a panel of wine experts to taste the Jansz Tasmania Vintage Collection in a variety of Riedel glassware. The panel also included Reidel's Mark Baulderstone and Jessica Hill-Smith, whose family owns Jansz.

Riedel presented the Jansz Cuvées and Rosés in 12 different glasses, where each member of the panel was asked to make their individual assessments of wine aroma, taste and appearance, as well as the weight and feel of each glass, finally listing in order of preference.

“It was important to us to consider every feature in finding the perfect glass, so having our panel of specialists in varying fields – from winemakers and writers to sommeliers, proprietors and marketers – gave us broad research through personal knowledge and experience,” Doyle said.

“For winemakers, it was important to see the aromas and flavours in a wine, remaining true to region and variety. 

"First and foremost, we want to amplify those unique Tasmanian sparkling characteristics - the elegance and vibrancy, the crisp, pristine acidity, delicate lemon citrus and sea spray notes in our chardonnays and the softer Turkish Delight flavours in our pinot noir.

“For sommeliers, it's also about the theatre of the bead, coupled with practicality of service. 

“While Tasmania shares similar traits to Champagne in France, the unique terroir brings a new dimension to our wines which allows the fruit flavours to shine.

“Most people are familiar with the Champagne flute, and some may even be familiar with the coupe and tulip glasses. We felt the flute compressed the wine, not allowing the beautiful aromatics and expressive qualities of Tasmanian sparkling to really shine in the glass.

 Our vintage sparklings, and particularly our aged wines, are extremely complex in aroma and flavour and demanded a glass that allowed those characters to emanate.” 

By the end of the masterclass, the panel had narrowed the selection to three strong contenders, which will undergo final assessment before the quintessential Tasmanian sparkling glass is revealed.

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