Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Riedel Riddle

It's not quite 10:30 in the morning and already I'm feeling happy.

You know, that happiness that numbs you in the face and in most areas because you've been drinking before you've eaten. Maybe it's a sickness or maybe it's just a Sunday Morning Indulgence but I'm feeling quite relaxed already.

Outside of this early morning drinking, I've succombed to one of my Ultimate Temptations - I've bought a pair of Riedel Vinum wine glasses.

It's true, I've been secretly lusting after these glasses for years. Wondering if it's true: does the unique shape of the Vinum really enhance the wine experience? Yesterday evening, while shopping at Beltway Fine Wines, I decided "Fuck it, I'm buying them." Six glasses for one hundred and twenty dollars. Okay, that's a bit rich for me so I settled on the two-pack for forty bucks.

So far, I've only unwrapped one of them since I was a lonely man last night and no one go out with. Lady G was busy at a party, K was still on her whirlwind China Adventure, and things with Ms. V are kaput, I was just left at home with my sexy new glasses, a bottle of wine and a flavorless roasted chicken from Wegman's.

But do the glasses work?

One thing I like about Beltway is that they've got some serious wine guys working there. What started out as a simple question: "What red will knock my socks off for under forty bucks?" turned into a dizzying tour of wines from California, France and Spain. I appreciate the enthusiasm and knowledge, but I only want to buy one bottle. Finally, after a bit more coaching, we settled on a bottle of Chateau Bellefont-Belcier Bordeaux 2000.

I drank a couple glasses last night and a couple this morning (hence my current state of numbness) and I really don't know. The aromas are deep and astringent with black cherries and maybe apricot. Lots of body and mouthfeel with strong spice notes. There's an acidity that dances on my tongue as well.

I'm comparing the wine in a simple wine glass that I keep in my cellars. It's the standard Libbery foodservice wine glass you see at most wineries. Cheap and affordable by the case. To me, the flavor is bolder in the Libbey, not subtle and refined as in the Riedel. While the wine is very good in both glasses, I have to admit that there is a difference. The Bordeaux seems less refined in the Libbey.

So there it is, there is something to this whole Riedel Riddle. Fantasies of cabinets full of Vinum glasses dance in my mind. All it would take is a moment of reckless finance with the credit card and the fantasy could be mine. But I shall exercise restraint, for I could purchase a 36 count case of the Libbey glasses for the price of the two-pack. So dear friends, I apologize that you'll have to enjoy the wines at my house in the Libbey instead of the Riedel.

Unless, of course, you feel so inclined as to remember me on your holiday gift-giving....hint, hint.