Treating Coca-Cola like it's high-end wine is ridiculous—the stuff of parody. And yet the world's most popular sugar-water brand has graciously partnered with luxury glassware maker Riedel for your smirking bemusement.
The product of their collaboration, a $20 glass that the brands claim is specially designed to favor Coke's flavor profile, may in fact make your $1 soda seem to taste better.
Or, for free, you can enjoy the surreal experience of hearing Riedel CEO Georg Riedel talk about Coke as if it were just like a rare wine for which his company also produces special crystal. "This glass starts with the introduction of the aromas, beautiful lemon, citrus, lime character, malt characteristics, the mouth feel, the effervescence," he tells Fast Company."The glass orchestrates the sweetness on the palate."
In theory, the campaign is a clever nod to the lore that says Coke is better in its classic glass bottles. Over on Coke's website, in the brand's interview with itself, Riedel also spins a yarn harkening back to his youth, when he rationed a 12-pack of the soda as a rare treat in the midst of post-WWII scarcity. That is a nice story. It is no longer the 1950s. Coca-Cola does not want you to ration soda. It wants you to buy more. Lots more.
In reality, Coca-Cola isn't snobbish or even fancy. Coca-Cola is populist. It's accessible. Pretending otherwise comes across as a bizarre form of self-mockery. Unless the whole exercise is a form of trollish performance art—in which case, Coca-Cola has already won.
Also, wine is probably better for you.