I guess being the 11th generation of exceptional wine glass makers, one’s nose is simply bred to distinguish the flavors in a wine bouquets. Viennese bred Maximilian Reidel of the legendary Reidel crystal glassware did not disappoint when I recently attended a wine and fine chocolate tasting hosted by Noka Chocolates.
Looking around guiltily, since I’d gobbled my two thumbnail-sized chocolates long before I was told
to save them until after the wine tasting, I quickly forgot my lack of couth as I watched Max at work. The stylish Max plastered the entire mask of his face into the roundest chardonnay glass I’d ever seen, a glass I would have sworn was designed for cabernet had Max not corrected my ignorance, pulling out an even bigger glass, a glass I’d describe as a vat. He insisted the bell-shaped colossus, which holds an entire bottle of wine, is the correct cabernet glass, not the round bowl, he says is suitable for a chardonnay.
With only two fingers of wine resting in the chardonnay glass, the amount Max insists is the correct portion per glass, there was plenty of room for almost anyone’s schnoz to fit handily into the bowl without drowning or inhaling oakey liquid.
“A hint of vanilla,” Max spoke as he removed his face from inside his man-made wine cave. He snorted more fresh air before diving back in. “Honey, melon, a hint of tropical fruit. 2007 was the best of years for whites in California.”
I had no idea what ju-ju he was smelling that so eluded me, but when Max instructed us all to pour the wine into a cheapo little standard-issue wine glass and taste again, I’ll be a liar if I didn’t tell you that damned if Max wasn’t right. The wine was tasteless and tawdry in the cheap glass, mysterious and elegant in the Reidel chardonnay vessel. What happened? I couldn’t taste honey or vanilla, but the wine did taste significantly better in the Reidel glass, not a little bit better, a whole lot better. Magnums and magnums better.
Which was exactly the point. Blissfully, I left with a Christmas present, a wedding present, a small set of wine glasses for my self, and three boxes of chocolates-as well as a belly full of wine.