Riedel wine glasses spotlight red wines at N.C.'s Hanover Park
By Dathan Kazsuk
It’s been a bone of contention in the Triangle Around Town household for years now. Do Riedel glasses actually change the taste of wine? I always tell people that I’ve drank wine from one side of the U.S. to the other. I've drank a lot of great stuff, but I've never seen one glass that can make me believe there's one all-powerful glass that can miraculously change the DNA of a liquid inside a bottle of wine.
This originally was going to be Jen's blog, but we decided that I am in the minority on this subject, we decided I should take the reigns to prove my point.
I'm so used to hearing people say "My Riedel glass totally changed the taste of my wine!" Buzz ... Wrong! No glass, unless it's God's chalice, can change the DNA structure of a wine.
But then, after a Riedel varietal red wine tasting at Hanover Park Vineyards, Jen and I finally think we're on the same page. Using words such as perception, intensified and muted, Riedel's Northeast Regional Sales Manager, Doug Cohn, helped the two of us come to a mutual conclusion.
The wine does indeed taste different, due to the glassware – but unlike people thinking the glass changes the DNA structure of the grape, we learned that each glass is designed around the DNA structure of the grape.
So in other words, the wine glass, your olfactory system hard at work and a lot of perception – makes the wine's palatableness appear to change.
Doug seemed to do a great job at helping everyone understand. "The vessel you put your wine in ... the shape, the size, the design of the glass ... makes a difference in how you perceive it," he says.
Most people don't know this, but your wine glass can be the least expensive, but most important wine tool in your household.
During our 90-minute tasting and educational class, we experimented with three of Hanover Park's red wines, taken straight out of the oak barrels for the event. While seated in the winery with around 30 other wine drinkers, we sampled a Mourvedre, a red blend (Michael's Blend) as well as a Chambourcin. One by one, pouring each sample in its proper wine glass, as well as the other two glasses on the table, we noticed how everyone's perceptions changed, wine after wine.
Taken straight out of the barrels, we sampled three red wines at Hanover Park's Riedel red wine tasting. From left to right, right to left, we noticed that each wine was either more or less intense as we went down the line. All three of the wines had a long finish, which typically means the wines are good – at least in my opinion. And that held true, particularly with the last wine we tried ... the Chambourcin.
At the end of the event, Hanover's co-founder, Amy Helton asked me if my thoughts have changed. I explained to her that they haven't changed, but that I see the new way of looking at this subject. If people only said that their wine seems to taste different, due to the intricate design of these fine crystal wine goblets – I might be fine with the response.
As I noted to Helton, at one point you even said one of the wines tasted better ... " because [Doug]told me that it should in this glass." Riedel does craft one of the best wine glasses around, hence us having an immense collection at home. And I do admit that these glasses can make sometimes even the cheapest of wines seem a little more palatable. Just watch how you describe your wine in a glass to me in the future.