The Traveling Steve's

Riedel me this?

No, this is not a riddle from one of my favorite childhood movies, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory.  In the movie the Oompas sing a similar song with a riddle throughout the movie when one of the kids misbehaves. 

I thought Riedel (as in glassware) sounded enough like riddle to qualify as a post.  And besides, red wine goes great with chocolate, especially when its served from Riedel stemware!

For the last couple weekends, Steve (DOS) and I have been trying to re-arrange and find home for our many wine and other glasses we have collected over the years.  Many are from wineries we’ve visited, mugs from ships, glasses from breweries, but our favorite’s of all are our Riedel glasses.  Indeed many of the better wineries now use Riedel stemware in their tastings, and we have bought quite a few Riedel glasses with the wineries logo on it.

So what’s so special about Riedel glasses?  Until a few years ago, we would have said phew – what’s so special about an expensive or different shaped glass?  And then we took a $95 wine seminar on one of the Celebrity Cruise ships way back when, and are now hooked on Riedel!  The $95 tasting fee included a sampler set of four Riedel glasses that would be shipped home to us: a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot, and Cabernet Sauvignon which was quite a bargain for Riedel.

The tasting went something like this: there were five glasses placed on a white table mat, identifying each glass type.  Four were Riedel, and the fifth was a ‘Joker’ glass.  Hmm, this riddle thing is starting to come together!  The ‘Joker’ glass was a typical regular (non-crystal) wine glass with a rim, typical of what you would get in the ship’s dining room or a chain restaurant.  We would go thru the different samples of wine, served in their respective stemware type.  After tasting, we would then have some wine fun!  We would pour some of the wine into the ‘Joker’ glass and try it out.  And then we would pour some wine, say a light and citrusy Sauvignon Blanc into a Cabernet glass, and/or a Pinot or ‘Joker’ glass.  The idea was to see if the stemware enhanced or detracted from the wine.  And surprisingly it really did!  Riedel has done studies on the taste pallet of the lounge and of course sense of smell, and the right type of glass can actually improve the wine experience, due to the placement of the wine on the tongue (Sauvignon Blanc glass as it places the wine on the tip of your tongue),  the aroma from the glass (i.e. Cabernet and Pinot especially), and especially the lack of rim on the Riedel stemware.  I never really thought about it, but that rim on regular wine glasses basically splashes the wine into your mouth, whereas Riedel glasses due to their shapes, delicately places the wine on the appropriate part of your tongue for the most pleasing taste to your pallet.  And for you skeptics out there, if you don’t believe me, try it!  And no, I’m not a paid advertisement for Riedel; just a fan. Here’s a photo of a December dinner we had with the Riedel  glassware set on the table.

Anyway,  last weekend and this weekend, DOS and I put together three glass cabinets to store and showcase some of our many glasses, as we are literally running out of room to store them. We bought four cabinets from Ikea, and have put together three so far.  It’s definitely a two man project, holding the cabinet up while the other inserts the glass, screws in the bolts etc.  We actually followed the directions and it worked!

But leave it to DOS – we couldn’t just have ANY glass wine cabinet – no it had to sparkle!  So DOS added some LED lights to the cabinet, and it really made the cabinet a show piece.  DOS is always looking online for some type of lighting, and these flat LED lights were perfect for lighting up the cabinets.  We set and arranged several glasses in the cabinets, and with the logos from the different wineries, I must say the cabinets really sparkled under the lights!

On Sunday evening, we had a leisurely outdoor evening on our pool patio with our neighbors Kenny and Mary.  They brought over Charlie, the adorable Yorkie pouch, who always kisses me on my ears and neck.  While we were having our wine and cheese, Ranger – the German Shepard from next door came by, and you would have thought Charlie and Ranger were lost life-long friends from all their whimpering.  We let Ranger in our screened enclosed porch, and he and Charley had some fun play time together, while later Henry – our next door neighbor and Ranger’s boss came by.

Yes, another weekend came and quickly went, but as always it’s great to be home! 

Now, we anxiously await the delivery of our ‘wine barrel’ we ordered (last post) from Exotic Wine Barrels in St. Augustine.  Until then, Cheers!

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