The Date and Time: Monday, March 13, 2017 1PM to 3PM
The Event: Lunch with Georg Riedel, 10th generation head of Riedel Crystal.
The Venue: Chef's House, George Brown College
The Target Audience: wine writers and editors
The Availability/Catalogue: it was principally a tasting of wines with the red varietal series of Riedel crystal glassware. The wines we tasted may not be generally available through the LCBO, but they were relevant to the exercise.
The Quote/Background: we were "tasting" glasses, and not wines, to find which glass went best with which wine. I remember doing this every now and then, starting about 25 years ago when Riedel began a big push in North America. Their latest glass was in 2015, I think, and it was for Provence Rose. We had no rose today, but we did have –
The Wines: Pol Roger in a Champagne glass (reception wine), Norman Hardie Pinot Noir Niagara VQA 2013, Black Hills Estate Syrah Okanagan VQA 2014, and Stags Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2013. We had a CS glass, a PN glass, and a Syrah glass. Each wine was poured into all three glasses so that we could taste and try. The PN glass had a smokestack shape (high brandy glass style) which emphasized fresh fruity tones; the Syrah had a slightly closed-in top somewhat like an ISO glass that emphasized salt and minerals; and the CS rim was more straight open for intense flavours and acidic for food. So the Napa cab was more aromatic to fit in with dessert, the BC syrah was juicy but with some minerality, and the Ontario pinot noir was upfront fruity. It was a great exercise in discovering the impact of wine and food pairings. Riedel believes in more different styles of glasses for the red wines and some differing ones for their white wines. One of their breaks with tradition is abandoning the flute glass for Champagne; I am all for their current "Champagne" glass. Most of my own tastings are with the basic ISO glass – there is some consistency in using the same glass.
The Food: the food was meant to accompany the wines, so we were expected to taste the salmon against the PN in all three glasses to see how they affected taste. The braised beef short ribs went up against the syrah; the mocha chocolate tartelette went up against the CS. The menu was well-chosen to emphasize the flavours of the wine and the appropriate glasses. Overall, it seemed as if we had tasted 18 different wines (9 with food, 9 without food).
The Downside: I needed more intense concentration to be worthy of the consideration of taste.
The Upside: a chance to talk with Georg Riedel.
The Contact Person: email@example.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 94.