Thursday, March 8, 2012
RIEDEL SOMMELIER TASTING AT WILLOW PARK WINES AND SPIRITS
"How many people think that a wine glass makes a difference in the taste of a wine"? David Sanders, agent for Riedel for Alberta and British Columbia begins. Along with Michael Bigattini of Willow Park Wines and Spirits the two presented a lively and enthusiastic tasting, lauding the efficacy, innovation and brilliance of Riedel glasses. So enamoured is Sanders of the Austrian glassware, he even carries a portable stemless glass in his carry on luggage when traveling.
Sanders and Bigattini led a group through a tasting of three wines in their respective and appropriate glasses noting that we use all five senses in the wine tasting process. The difference in taste can be attributed to the 'architecture' of the glass. "It's simple physics", Sanders explains.
Three Riedel glasses were used: Sommeliers Montrachet/Chardonnay, Sommeliers Burgundy Grand Cru/ Pinot Noir, and Sommeliers Bordeaux Grand Cru/Cabernet/ Merlot. Contrasting the taste of the wine in the Riedel glasses with a plastic cup and regular tasting wine glass, it was remarkable how the taste of each wine morphed.
In the Sommeliers Montrachet glass Bigattini served 2006 Joseph Drouhin Pouilly Fuisse. The low wide shape was dubbed an "acid-finder" by Sanders.
In the Sommeliers Burgundy Grand Cru Bigattini served 2005 Joseph Drouhin Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru the fluted lip dubbed "the magic glass" or affectionately as "the bucket." It is a gorgeous glass with artistic lines (no wonder it is a museum piece).
In the Sommeliers Bordeaux Grand Cru Bigattini served 2004 Croix de Beaucallou St-Julien where the foot of the glass balanced the wine inside.
What was interesting is the way each wine changed according to glass or plastic cup becoming at times thin, flabby or less pronounced on the palate.
How does Sanders recommend cleaning these beauties? Miele glass cleaner, with warm water. Polishing the glasses requires a light hand, supporting the bulb of the glass, never holding the stem.
So now instead of the popular toast cin, cin heard round the table, with Riedel, the message will be a resonant, bellowing clink clink!
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