In a Riedel glass, wine is art

At the recent San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, the premier wine glass company in the world, Riedel, with the eloquent Maximilian Riedel at the controls, wowed the audience with a sweeping and poetic message that an elegant glass will enhance the taste of wine.
Now I do admit that I wasn’t certain that a premium value glass could make a significant difference in how wine will taste.  I was delighted when it was proven that it makes a significant improvement in aroma and taste.
The Riedel family has been in the glass industry for 300 years, having started in Bohemia in what is now the German/Check/Polish border area. Riedel studied glass quality from the Venetians who had been doing it since 1000 AD. Today, the premier quality Riedel glass is all hand-blown and made in Austria. Machine made glasses are made in Bavaria, Germany. The Riedel trademark is cut into the base of the glass for authenticity. It was Klaus Reidel who from 1925 to 2004 developed the style of beautiful, simple, thin blown, long stemmed wine glasses, articulating the effect of shape on the character of wine varietals. The shape is responsible for the flow of the wine and where it touches the taste zones of the tongue.
The tongue perceives temperature, texture and taste. Riedel allows “more pleasure for your nose and more zest for your palate.”
There were four distinct shapes in the selections at the seminar. The glasses chosen brought out the best in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. The most visually dramatic is the Sommeliers Black tie with a sophisticated and refined fish-bowl like shape, mouth blown and made for Burgundy, know as Pinot Noir in new world wines. It is a tall 10 and seven-eighths inches with a capacity of some 37 ounces of wine, more than a standard bottle.
A starter selection for a versatile shape that could be used for both red and white is Riedel’s Vitis (tall in Latin) Riesling model which stands tall with a capacity of 17 and a quarter ounces. Wine should only be poured into about one-third of the glass to allow for aerating by swirling, which would be the standard 5.25 ounces per pour, a comfortable amount for this glass.
Follow the four Ss of wine tasting: see, swirl, smell and sip and for a superior vessel for your wine, your wine journey will take on a whole new meaning in a Riedel.  Learn more at www.riedel.com.
 Primo Italian vino at the Bice Tasting
Bice Restorante in the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego again provided evidence of why Italy is the No. 1 importer of wine into the U.S.
Brittany Carlisi, the Italian wine specialist of the Henry Goup of fine wines, showcased the new fall/winter releases, mostly 2008 and 2009s. Most were from Piemonte and Tuscany. I found myself applauding for the lineup of Barolo and Barbaresco and of those selections, the older vintage the better. Names like Damilano, Produttori and Broglia stood out. In Tuscany, a name to know was Castello Dei Rampolla, 2004. See more at www.henrywinegroup.com
Wine Bytes
— Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula presents an unforgettable New Years Eve party, “Give our regards to Broadway.” Four-course gourmet dinner, dancing to live music and Wilson Creek champagne bar. Cost is $160 per person, $144 for wine club members, inclusive. RSVP at (951) 699-9463.
— Thornton Winery in Temecula has its New Year’s gala, Casino Night. Four-course dinner with Thornton wines and the Mark Sage Band. Cost is $125 each. RSVP at (951) 699-0099.

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