Wine, wine lovely wine, what a wonderful creation it is. Human beings have been making and enjoying wine for centuries and it must go down as one of our greatest achievements. Give me wine over the wheel any day. Enjoyment of wine is something can bring people from all backgrounds together. However, there are some people who take their enjoyment of wine to a whole new level, a level that can be a little bit offensive to some.
I put myself in the bracket of keen enthusiast with a little knowledge.
Anyone with an interest in food and drink has, at some point, wanted to learn more about wine, but there is a lot to learn and so little time.
I learn through experience, and so educate myself about by drinking it and hoping something sticks.
A better way to learn about wine could be attending a tasting event; such as the Riedel wine dinner that took place at Hotel du Vin. This was a wine event with a difference as we were not there to learn about wine.
This dinner was about wine glasses, and the way that different shaped receptacles can alter your perception of a wine.
This is because Riedel are one of the oldest glassware producers in the world, dating back to 1756.
Some of you will think that this is the height of wine snobbery.
Not content with telling people they’re not tasting their wine properly, now you’re not even drinking it out of the right shaped glass; and you may be right.
Think about it, however, and it does make sense.
The meal started with an introduction from our Riedel representative followed by a demonstration.
We sampled a Sauvignon Blanc from two different glasses, the first a smaller narrower glass followed by a bowl shaped larger one.
The wine tasted completely different in each. A fragrant nose and fruity flavour in the first, it lacked any aroma and was acidic in the other.
This experiment was repeated, this time with a Chardonnay, and the wine was delightful in the larger glass and overpoweringly boozy in the smaller.
I was convinced, and we still had the reds to go.
Suitably converted I could focus on the meal that had been prepared by the Hotel du Vin team.
This was my second meal here in recent months, and they put on a great spread.
The lamb shank main was a triumph of meaty proportions and went superbly with our Cabernet Sauvignon, this time served via a decanter to emphasis the softening effect this can have.
Wine snobbery can be an extremely unpleasant trait, ruining the enjoyment of a decent bottle of wine.
The appreciation of a quality wine is a thing of joy, and anything that can enhance the experience gets a thumbs up from me.
A good quality wine glass can do just that. I’m not saying run out and buy a different wine glass for every bottle, but it is worth having a think about next time you are popping the cork of your favourite drop.