Taste of Vail seminar explores the science behind proper wine glassware
Taste of Vail seminar makes believers out of those who doubt glassware matters
“Seeing is believing” is a common phrase used when there’s doubt, but in the case of the Riedel Comparative Glassware seminar hosted at the Taste of Vail this spring, it’s not only the sense of sight but also taste and smell that leads to believing.
“Life is too short to drink from the wrong glass” is one of the mottos at the Riedel glassware company, based out of Austria. Riedel is a family-owned crystal company that has been around for 300 years. It was the first company in history to address how the taste of a beverage has much to do with the shape of the glass from which it’s consumed.
During the seminar in April at The Sebastian in Vail, attendees were able to try some fantastic wines in the proper glasses for each grape varietal. Leading the group were Shelley Sale and Sean Razee, of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.
Reichsrat von Buhl Riesling, ZD Carneros Chardonnay, Saintsbury Pinot Noir and Daou Cabernet Sauvignon were all poured into the glasses appropriate for their varietal and then poured into the other glasses not meant to serve that type of wine. The results were jaw-dropping, even to those who had attended a seminar like this before.
Betsy and Geoff Tryon, of Chicago, return every year for the Taste of Vail and always enjoy learning something new at the seminars. Even though they had done a Riedel glassware seminar previously, they wanted to re-affirm their findings and become believers once again.
“When Geoff talked me into going to this type of seminar a few years ago, I thought it was just a gimmick,” Betsy said. “After the event, I was a true believer and even changed all of our barware at home.”
“We actually built a wine cellar in our great room,” Geoff added. “The left side of the bar is all white wine glasses and the right side of the bar is all red wine glasses, and they’re all Riedel.”
The crowd was dumbfounded by the changes in tastes and smells a certain wine would have when it wasn’t in the proper glass. After each sip, looks of astonishment and glances of incredulity were exchanged between tablemates and the room would fill with a low murmur of comments until Sale would direct the audience to try the next wine.
“It’s amazing how just changing the glass shape changes the whole flavor in your mouth, on your tongue and in particular where the wine hits your mouth based on the glass shape,” Betsy said.
Her advice for those who think this is just a gimmick?
“Attend a seminar, tasting is believing,” she said.