The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2012

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Page 54 of 124

GLASSWARE A Vessel A by Kent Bearden, CSS / photo by Deed DeBruno t a remarkable culinary experience where the presentation of your surf and turf can be as remarkable visually as it is palatable, why can your selection of a $250 bottle of wine fall short of memorable? Was it that you selected a less than stellar wine, or were you presented with visually impressive yet inadequate glassware? In the world of Food & Beverage we unfor- tunately spend the majority of time and focus on the food aspect and take for granted the beverage component of this relationship. If the quintessential proper sip is, by all accounts, determined to be the perfect accompaniment to an exquisite dish, then we are inherently choosing to do a tremendous disservice to the selected beverage, and most importantly, our consumer. Such is the conundrum that Riedel Crystal would like to bring to the industry's attention through the nationally touring Riedel Glassware Tasting Seminar. Established in 1756, Riedel has been producing glass in the heart of Europe for over 250 years and 11 generations. According to the company, "A Riedel glass turns a sip of wine into a celebration!" Through their well-researched and extensive portfolio of wine glasses and shapes, Riedel has the ability to show the effects of incorrect glassware on the organoleptic quali- ties of a particular varietal. Imagine—your beautiful, expensive and exquisite Bordeaux might taste better out of a plastic cup than out of the "wrong" crystal stemware! According to Georg J. Riedel, corporate head of Riedel Glas Austria, "The depth of wine flavor is as dependent on the glassware as the quality of wine." Honest presentation of bouquet, texture, flavor and finish of a wine is entirely dependent on the shape of the glass and how those qualities are delivered to your palate. For this reason, the same wine poured into different glassware can confuse even the connoisseur as to the true identity of the varietal or style. While an ideal operational environment would provide an endless selection of varietal glassware, Riedel offers a more practi- cal suggestion for optimizing elegance and consumer service within the realistic confines of a restaurant's budget. By selecting a versatile glass such as the Riedel Restaurant XL Hermitage for by-the-glass programs, wine directors can free space on their budgets to stock a larger selection of varietal-specific glassware to support an extensive bottle program. As the makers of Riedel have shown, the creation of a fine wine does not end in the bottle, but rather in the selection of vessel to deliver the beverage on the palate with optimal presentation and heightened awareness of desirable organoleptics. 54 / the tasting panel / june 2012 Kent Bearden, CSS, understands the Riedel experience. "Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used." —William Shakespeare, Othello, II. iii. of Truth

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