Sunday, August 8, 2010

The "King of Crystal" Georg Riedel gives guests at the Central Coast Wine Classic an education on glass and wine at the Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa

The Central Coast Wine Classic strives to educate the public on the symbiotic relationship between food and wine, by offering various wine education classes.

VINO LAS VEGAS attended a stemware class with the man that Wine Spectator addresses as, “The King of Crystal”, Georg Riedel. Mr. Riedel is the 10th generation of the world’s most outstanding glassmakers. The name Riedel represents superb quality stemware producing some 5. 1 million lead-crystal wineglasses a year.

Riedel produces glasses designed for specific wine types. With the correct stemware, one can find the true varietal expression. By designing glasses that enhance the palate, Mr. Riedel pinpoints that variations in the rim shape of his stemware can maximize or minimize the various zones of the palate that enhance sweetness, bitterness, sour, or saltiness.

If a wine is known for strong red fruit notes, a specific wine glass can bring forth the beauty and complexity of those characteristics while minimizing other qualities . The shape and rim of the various stemwares can aid in elevating the different flavors and aromas of a specific varietal. Robert Parker Jr in The Wine Advocate stated, after trying the Sommelier Series "that the effect of these glasses on fine wine is profound

I cannot emphasize enough what a difference they make.” We agreed with Mr. Parker as we had the rare privilege to partake in a tasting with Georg Riedel guiding us through the Vitis Series of stemware. Each participant was given a Chardonnay/Montrachet, a Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot, and a Pinot Noir glass on a piece of white paper that indicated where to place each one of the glasses.

We began with the Riesling a glass with an outstanding Riesling from Claiborne and Churchill. We tilted our glass and swirled the wine to release the esters, we put our nose into the center of the glass to smell the aromas and then took a sip, only when indicated by Mr. Riedel. After trying the wine in the specific Riesling glass we poured the wine into a plastic cup and then poured a bit of the wine into the Chardonnay glass.

The Chardonnay glass diminished some of the minerality and floral notes of the Claiborne and Churchill Riesling. We were sold on the fact that the using the correct stemware for the varietal makes an incredible difference in wine drinking and its experience.

Many people spend a great deal of time and money in purchasing excellent wines. Mr. Riedel ‘s mission is to also bring the understanding that the investment one makes in the purchase and care for the wine, should also be reciprocal in the stemware that the investment is poured into.

As we went through each carefully crafted stemware with the proper Central Coast and Napa Valley wines, we were amazed and delighted that the wine experience can be elevated to such an outstanding and enjoyable experience. We were honored to share time with a true wineglass legend. Georg Riedel’s passion to educate and produce the best stemware available to the public leaves us with a big salute to the man who is truly the “King of Crystal.”

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott