Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Riedel Redux

In a recent post (Super Tasting Tools II), I tried to make a case that good stemware was a worthwhile investment for every day wine drinkers that could make ordinary wines extraordinary, and extraordinary wines an epiphany.  Well, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a product review in the February issue of Wine Business Monthly of said stemware!
Saying it much more eloquently than I could, WBM asserts that “wine glasses play important roles as stylish conduits for sensations which tease the senses:  aromas and bouquet (there is a difference – the subject of a future post) to dazzle the nose; complex flavors, texture and mouthfeel to seduce the palate; and, liveliness, persistence and the overall cohesiveness of the finished product that lingers at the end of each sip.”  Wow – if I could write like that, I could give up my day job.
Going into an absurd level of detailed analysis of a glass that only true Wine Geeks can appreciate – “how the glass felt to maneuver” and “the ease of motion” – the tests finally got to the one factor that matters in my hedonistic perspective, the “olfactory sensations in the nose (where else does one perceive olfactory sensations?) and perceived palate of the wine” – how the glass affects the darned taste of the wine.
The review focused on affordable stemware, that is those generally machine rather than mouth-blown.  The winners, by varietals, were the Riedel Restaurant Series for Cabernet Sauvignon, the Stolzle Classic for Chardonnay, and the Stolzle Grand Cuvee for Pinot Noir.
Check them out – by spending a little more on the glass and a little less on the wine, you’ll come out ahead every time.

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