The Proust Questionnaire: Max Riedel

1st June, 2012 by Lucy Shaw

Born in Vienna, 34-year-old Maximilian Riedel is an 11th-generation member of the Riedel glassmaking dynasty and CEO of Riedel North America. He lives in New York.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

Living in the moment.

What is your greatest fear?

Going out of business and becoming dependent.

Which living person do you most admire?

Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, because my dream as a child was to be a racing driver – they’re so engaged with what they do and have such flair.

What is your current state of mind?

Connected – to people and my surroundings.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My Ferrari F40 in Riedel red; it’s an animal.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Comfort and support.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Fantastic.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My mother Eva. I have a lot to thank her for – she stands by me no matter what, and I’ve yet to find that in a woman, despite desperately searching.

When and where were you happiest?

Relaxing in my retreat in the South of France on a sunny afternoon with the crickets trilling and a bottle of rosé nearby.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could draw better – I’ve never been to design school. I like the idea of it. It’s romantic.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My star sign. Being a Virgo, I’m a perfectionist, which can drive me, and other people insane. I have to force myself not to be too nerdy about it.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is yet to come, but so far I’d say it was the creation of the “O” series for Riedel in 2004, which became the fastest selling new collection in our company’s history. If I do nothing else, I’ve left my footprint.

Where would you most like to live?

In the South of France permanently.

What is your most treasured possession?

My family’s friendship, which is very rare when you’re in business together.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My extreme perfectionism. I like everything to be nice and neat, I can’t concentrate if it’s not.

Who are your favourite writers?

Franz Kafka. He influenced me a lot growing up – I really related to his Letter to My Father about the angst between father and son and how his relationship with his father shaped who he was as a person. I’m also a dreamer who thrives on fear, so I’d have to include Hemingway.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Batman – his cave would be a great place to store wine. Also, Batgirl is really attractive, I like her outfit.

What is it that you most dislike?

People who are late, disloyalty and dishonesty.

What is your greatest regret?

I’ve yet to have a great regret – I always learn from my mistakes.

What is your motto?

Carpe diem.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what wines would you serve them? 

Angela Merkel, as I admire her tremendously, Mark Zuckerberg, to scratch his brains about how he created the biggest country in the world, and my father as he’s a fantastic host. I’d serve them vintage Champagne and old Pinot Noir from around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Proust Questionnaires

The Proust Q&A: Daniel Pi

The chief winemaker of Trapiche in Mendoza on the importance of perseverance, more...

The Proust Q&A: Christian Seely

AXA Millésimes managing director Christian Seely on his fears, loves and hates more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Tim Atkin MW

The award-winning wine writer speaks of his voracious appetite for literature, more...

The Proust Questionnaire: André van Rensburg

Vergelegen winemaker André van Rensburg on his loves – from Château d'Yquem more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Michel Chapoutier

Biodynamic trailblazer Michel Chapoutier on his love of love, fear of more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Brent Marris

New Zealand wine pioneer Brent Marris on his admiration for Bart Simpson, fear more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Nicolas Joly

Biodynamic wizard Nicolas Joly talks of his dislike of fiction, awaiting the more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Chester Osborn

This week, the gregarious chief winemaker of d'Arenberg Chester Osborn talks of more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Randall Grahm

This week, the original Rhône Ranger Randall Grahm talks of his admiration for more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Adolfo Hurtado

In a new series on db.com, we put famous winemakers through their paces more...

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Brand Ambassador – Santa Rita Estates

Santa Rita Estates
London or Hertfordshire but with flexibility to travel, UK

Sales Executive - Wine and Spirits Awards

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

On-Trade Channel Manager

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Trade Marketing Analyst

Delegat Europe (UK)
London, GB

Key Account Executive

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Senior National Account Manager

Conviviality
London, UK

ON-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

OFF-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Judging Week Runners

Decanter World Wine Awards
ExCel Centre, London E16, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Retail Commercial Executive

Laithwaite's Wine
Theale, Berkshire

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 31st March 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more