Riedel at the Bluebird
I’m sitting here sipping the leftover ’06 Katnook Founder’s Block Chardonnay from the Guilty Pleasures dinner the other day and I’m really liking it. Could it have anything to do with the Riedel chardonnay glass I’m using? Probably, in my tastebuds opinion. Before the Riedel tasting at the Bluebird, I would have said pshaw but now, I’m convinced they really do enhance one’s wine drinking experience.
I’ll be uploading a video in the next day or two but here is a quick rundown of the wines:
Started off the night with Philipponnat brut champagne. A forest of Riedel champagne glasses were laid out on the bar when we arrived.
It was a comparative tasting of 4 wines and a cognac. The first wine we tried was from Quincy in the Loire Valley, Joseph Mellot ’06 Sauvignon Blanc. In the taster glass it had a very closed nose and muted fruits, seemed a bit flat. In the Riedel, it really came alive, the nose was bouncy and fresh, the fruit really came thru, a sort of lemony sherbert taste with a much smoother mouthfeel and balanced acidity.
The next white was a Napa Chardonnay from Groth, an ’05. In the tester, a bit alcoholic and very oaky. In the proper Riedel the transformation was amazing. Caramel, buttery nose, hazelnuts,quite intense with sweet, ripe fruit on the palate and a nice long finish. A definite transformation.
We then moved onto the reds, the first one, an ’02 Beaune 1er cru from Louis Jadot. In the taster, not a very pronounced nose with definite tannins, it seemed quite vegetal. When we swapped glasses – much more delicate nose, very perfumy with lovely floral notes. Soft and silky.
The last red was an Australian from Platagenet, an ’04 Cabernet. The nose at first was all red chili peppers, it was like walking around a Mexican food market, chewy tannins and pronounced alcohol. In the proper glass, the wine was smoother, less alcohol and the aromas and flavours of ripe black fruits came to the forefront, although there was still plenty of red chili pepper in there.
It was fascinating how the glasses made such a difference. I would definitely not have believed it if I hadn’t gone to this tasting. Martin did give one word of advice when you’re contemplating buying a set of Riedels, “spend on one glass what you would spend on a bottle”. The basic range starts at £6 per glass so that’s not unreasonable and the top of the line? You don’t want to know (oh, ok, I tell you - £100 each!) One day…..In the meantime, watch out for the video of the tasting that I’ll be uploading in the next day or two.