Posts Tagged ‘which wine glass to use’

Go ahead…splurge a little!

Posted by Ophelia Bradly

Thursday, October 10th, 2019
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By Debbie Trenholm, Sommelier and President of Savvy Company
www.savvycompany.ca

The most asked question at this time of year that I get?  “What wine gadget would you give a hard-to-shop-for wine enthusiasts.”  Honestly, most of my wine gizmos end up in the bottom drawer and rarely get used.  The gift I would highly recommend is giving the gift of really good wine glasses. Splurge a little and the enjoyment of wine can improve a lot.

The Riedel family (pronounced REE-dle as in ‘needle’) has been in the glass business for over 300 years, spanning 11 generations. They have revolutionized the way we taste and enjoy wines with the introduction of their delicate crystal glasses that are specifically designed and crafted to enhance the different characteristics of each grape variety.

In my humble opinion, you can serve wine in any glass, but once you drink wine in a Riedel crystal glass, you’ll be amazed at the difference.  Whether the glass is the traditional slender stemmed glass or the stemless tumbler style, the aromas and flavours of the wine are amplified in a specially shaped glass intended to WOW with each sip.

What is the difference?  

It is both academic and scientific. In the late 1950’s, Professor Claus Riedel recognized that the bouquet, taste, balance and finish of wines were affected by the shape of the glass from which they were drunk.  Understanding this, he focused on developing different shapes of glasses for each grape variety to maximize the individual’s enjoyment of that wine. In 1961, Riedel launched their revolutionary portfolio of glassware with different shapes and sizes.  Now, the Riedel product line has over 400 styles of glasses and decanters that are enjoyed by thousands of wine enthusiasts around the world. 

There are several decanters – the Decanter Horn in particular – is truly a work of art that I wouldn’t even dare serve wine with!  Each are mouth blown crystal and one of a kind.

How does it work?

A wine glass is a delivery mechanism to send wine onto your tongue (or palette).  There are four sensory points on your tongue – sweet (tip of tongue), salty (top of tongue), acid (sides of tongue) and bitter (back of tongue).  When you take a sip of wine, the shape of the glass actually affects how the wine is delivered into your mouth. Riedel glasses are specifically shaped to send the wine directly to the areas of your tongue that corresponds to the characteristics of the grape variety of that wine.  For example, a Sauvignon Blanc typically displays tastes of citrus, herbs and a refreshing acidity. Riedel’s Sauvignon Blanc glasses are shaped to drive the wine straight to the sides (acidic) and back of your tongue (bitter) to amplify these specific Sauvignon Blanc characteristics.

Wine is just wine in a basic wine glass.  When served in Riedel crystal, it comes alive and is more expressive and taste substantially better. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery.  There are now other glassware companies that rival with some similarity and price points.

Riedel’s products were not an instant success.  It took over 20 years for the wine world to embrace the Riedel approach.  In 1987, the tipping point in Riedel’s history was when winemakers such as Angelo Gaja, Robert Mondavi and wine publications such as The Wine Advocate, the Wine Spectator and Decanter Magazine endorsed Riedel glassware.  These endorsements helped to put Riedel glasses onto the tables of the wine world. Under the leadership of Georg Riedel, their crystal became the world’s leading wine glass company, based in Austria.

Those who have tried Riedel, swear by it.  And the good news is that you don’t need to have a secret handshake or be part of a wine club or go out of your way to purchase it.  Often entry level glassware is available at Hudson Bay, Winners, Homesense, even Bed Bath & Beyond. To splurge on the ‘Performance’, “Sommelier’ or ‘Vinum’ line, decanters or to buy a special 4 glass set, visit Chefs Paradis (1314 Bank St) or call us Savvy Company 613-SAVVYCO to see what we have in stock.

The glassware is high quality crystal, elegant yet incredibly durable.  The glasses don’t need extra special care – they can be placed in the dishwasher. It is that easy to elevate your wine enjoyment rather than collect more wine gadgets.

We are doing exactly that! New this year, we’re elevating the tasting experience at our Taste & Buy events in Ottawa and Kingston. All ticketholders who purchase the V.I.T. (Very Important Taster) pass will be provided Riedel ‘Overture’ glassware to enjoy the wine tasting. This is the glass most often used at high end restaurants in town.

With so many different glasses to choose from, giving the gift of Riedel is the beginning of a collection that can be added to with every occasion.  And easily the question of what to give this year’s hard-to-buy-for wine lover just got easier…more Riedel glasses will definitely get a smile – every time. 

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Back to ‘wine’ school – Class #2: Tasting, buying, giving & storing your wine

Posted by Amanda

Friday, September 6th, 2013
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Homework never tasted this good! Here’s class #2 in our Wine 101 series of tips & tricks from our Savvy Sommeliers about tasting wine, buying, giving & storing wines. Grab a glass and unwind as you read these useful tidbits.  Cheers!

Wine 101: Tasting wine

Enjoying wine is not just about the drinking of it…

Look at the way it catches the light; breathe in the multitude of aromas in each glass. Savour the flavours on your palate. Engage all of your senses!  Invite some friends & let your guests exercise their free will! If you’re serving a meal that could go with red or white, let your guests choose for themselves through a mini wine-tasting session.

We can’t say it often enough – always start with sparkling

Popping open a bubbly helps sets the mood, cleanses the palate and gets people eager to discover what’s coming next.

Mark your calendar

Beaujolais Nouveau is released every year on the third Thursday of November. It should be consumed before Christmas if you want to enjoy the wine’s full vibrancy and flavour.

About wine glasses

Some people are skeptical, but we guarantee it’s true: the shape of your glassware does make a difference to the way you experience a glass of wine. From big bowls for reds to flutes for sparklings, each glass pours the wine over your palate in a way that enlivens its flavours. Don’t take our word for it: test it yourself!

Wine 101: Buying wine

Don’t give up…

If your local liquor store doesn’t have what you’re looking for, you can have wine delivered to your home—direct from the winemaker, through a wine club or (and of course we strongly recommend) as part of a Savvy Selections subscription.

A new way to buy wine

Join Savvy Selections– the largest wine of the month club in Ontario. It’s easy and you can sample wines from all the different wineries in Ontario with 3 different wines coming right to your door every month.  Our Savvy Sommeliers hand pick the best wines for you to try every month.

Share a case!

Wineries often ship in volume—six or 12 bottles to a case. So why not order your favourite and share it around: with colleagues, friends or neighbours?

Wine 101: Giving wine

The gift that keeps on giving

We love flowers, but the fragrant bouquet of a brilliant wine can be every bit as special a gift. Celebrate the next special occasion on your calendar with the gift of a great bottle. Giving wine as a gift? Our Savvy Selections wine of the month club is the gift that keeps on givingsign up here for a Christmas or birthday present for your favorite someone. 

Don’t worry about a card with your wine gift

Write a personal message directly on the bottle with a metallic glass marker. It’s the height of personalization.

Wine 101: Storing wine

To fridge or not to fridge?

There are many different type of wine fridges on the market.  The decision that you need to make is mainly about how many you want to store in the fridge.  There are some that are divided into racks for white wine & red wines with different temperatures for the sections of the fridge. You can find basic ones at Canadian Tire & Costco or go fancy with units from Chefs Paradise (on Bank Street) or Wine Cellars Solutions

Which wines to cellar?

Take a cue from the bottle.  Wines in darker glass bottles are intended to keep longer—the coloured glass refracts the light to protect the contents.

Not all ports are the same

Vintage port is the only one that should be aged and a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time.  Frankly, they should be opened once your grandkids are in their 20s. Vintage port is clearly labelled as Vintage port & should simply be stored in a cool dark place – no need for a fridge. All other ports should be consumed & will not improve with age or a fridge.  If you have some Ruby or Tawny ports that are already 15 to 20 years old, their quality is questionable & may have already plateaued.  Best to open to see what they taste like & simply enjoy.

Drink your scotch now

Scotch whisky does not improve with age.  It is already aged & ready to be enjoyed when you are ready to open.

Wine 101: Planning a Party?

Savvy Company can organize your next corporate event or wine tasting with friends. Let us do the work while you sit back and enjoy wine, beer & cheese with your friends & colleagues.  For any  questions relating to wine, craft beer & artisan cheese, email us or call our Savvy Team anytime 613-SAVVYCO  (613) 728-8926.

Cheers!

Amanda

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