Since we were the first non-hospital residents, we went on random scavenger hunts in the spooky old place (think Saw I-VII). Often we'd turn up a prize - a discarded piece of medical gear one day; old charts the next.
Me? I discovered a cache of unused (thankfully) urine sample cups that quickly became my wine glasses.
Seriously. I was a poor college student and these plastic cups worked fine for my Paul Mason burgundy and Opici Lambrusco. Of course, it added a little wang to the wine...BaDaaBOOM...thank you, I'm here all week.
But what the hell did I know? Turns out, not much.
It took the nice folks at Riedel to show me just how much I didn't know about wine glasses.
They invited Miss Charlotte and me to a comparative wine tasting where they explored how the shape, size and clarity of glassware truly affects how we enjoy wines - including their aromas, taste, balance, and finish. To say it was an eye-opening experience would be like saying Saw I was a Disney film. The difference these glasses made to the wine was mind-blowing.
Riedel expert Tommy Leman showed us how its stemware helps improve the overall wine-drinking experience. He should know. The Riedel family has a 250-year legacy of making quality, "wine friendly glassware." Tommy rolled out Riedel's benchmark Vinum series to a small group and led us through a tasting that included Riedel stemware and a "joker" (think Libbey) wine glass.
Like a lot of people, I believed a good wineglass was really any glass with a stem and a bowl large enough to "swish" the wine around and aerate it. That's not the whole story.
A great wineglass concentrates the aroma of the wine so you can appreciate it before that first lovely drop hits your palate. Then, its shape directs the wine to just the right areas in your mouth so you can savor the unique taste. That's why white wine glasses are shaped differently than red wine glasses - and champagne "flutes" are, well, shaped like flutes.
The Riedel glasses made ordinary wines taste extraordinary and turned good wines into GREAT wines. I've been to plenty of tastings, but this "glass tasting" topped them all. If you've never had the pleasure of drinking from a Riedel glass, you don't know what you're missing.
If you want confirmation, I recommend ordering a couple of glasses from Riedel and then conducting your own taste test at home. Sample some wine from the Riedel glass and then from the wineglasses you're using now. If you don't prefer the Riedel glass after this taste test, let me know. I can hook you up with some urine sample cups.
Where to get them