The Carly Simon song “Nobody Does it Better” comes to mind when I think about Riedel crystal wine decanters. They are extremely efficient when it comes to wine aeration; Riedel puts an inordinate amount of research and development into all of the glassware they produce. From the surface area of the bowl of a crystal wine glass and how it relates to a type of wine, to the shape of the lip, to the height, to the way it feels in your hand–they leave no stone left unturned when it comes to their wares and how they enhance the experience of a fine wine. What is so impressive to me is that they are as visually appealing as they are functional. Case in point: the Amadeo Lyra decanter.
Happy Birthday Mozart
Launched in 2006, the original clear Amadeo wine decanter was not only a commemoration of Riedel’s 250th anniversary, it was also a celebration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose 250th birthday was during that same year. Inspired by the lyre, a u-shaped stringed musical instrument used in Greek Classical Antiquity, the Amadeo looks more like a piece of fine art than a vessel whose purpose is to make your wine taste better. The larger opening on the decanter is where you pour the wine from the bottle, and the smaller opening pours the wine into the glass after an appropriate time of aeration. It’s extremely easy to use and complements the ambience of any environment. A hand-blown crystal wine decanter, no Amadeo is exactly the same.
The Black Amadeo Wine Decanter – a Dark Twist
During 2007, Riedel introduced a variation of the Amadeo–the Black Amadeo. This dark, striking decanter is more difficult to produce, making it subsequently more expensive. When producing the decanter, the glassmakers use manganese oxide, which gives the Black Amadeo shades ranging from deep, dark purple to pitch black. The reason it’s more laborious to make this decanter is that the manganese oxide makes the molten glass cool down much quicker, which gives the artisans less time to sculpt the glass. The Black Amadeo is just as striking to look at as the original clear decanter (admittedly, this author prefers the look of the clear); however, one drawback about the black version is that it is very difficult to see the wine in it. If you prefer the Black Amadeo, you could always guesstimate how many glasses have been poured from it.
The Riedel Black Tie Amadeo
If you like both versions of the Amadeos, you might consider looking at the Black Tie Amadeo, introduced in 2010. It offers both the brilliant clearness of the original Amadeo, but adds a sleek “tuxedo” stripe of the black coloring as an accent. As with the Black Amadeo decanter, manganese oxide is used to produce the black stripe, making this one more difficult to produce as well, which obviously makes it a little more pricey than the original.
Whatever your taste, the Riedel Amadeo decanter is an incredibly attractive, functional choice of decanter.