Savour­ing the Glass

DINE and Destinations - - MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE - By Deb­o­rah Pratt

In the late 1990s, In­niskillin co-founder Don­ald Zi­raldo found him­self ob­serv­ing how the in­ter­na­tional wine world was em­brac­ing Riedel Crys­tal’s wine glasses that were de­signed specif­i­cally to en­hance the in­di­vid­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics of each type of wine. It was well proven that the shape and size of the Riedel wine glass did make a dif­fer­ence, but Zi­raldo no­ticed that amid the im­pres­sive Riedel glass port­fo­lio there was no Icewine glass. Zi­raldo trav­elled to the many wine shows through­out the world: Vini­taly, Vinexpo and the Lon­don Wine Fair, where he was in­tro­duc­ing the world to In­niskillin and Cana­dian Icewine. Also present at these shows was the Pres­i­dent of Riedel Crys­tal, Ge­org Riedel. When Zi­raldo met Riedel he ea­gerly asked, “Ge­org, when are you go­ing to make an Icewine glass?” Zi­raldo thought the tim­ing to make a Riedel Glass specif­i­cally for Icewine was per­fect, but each time Riedel re­sponded: there just wasn’t enough Icewine in the world to sup­port it. Fi­nally, Riedel re­al­ized that Zi­raldo was not go­ing to give up, so he agreed to con­duct an Icewine glass work­shop in 1999, which re­sulted in the Riedel Vinum Ex­treme Icewine glass, shown at right, be­ing launched in 2000.

Match­mak­ing the right glass to the wine—even Ni­a­gara’s famed Icewine has one to call it’s own

In­niskillin Icewine is well known and highly re­spected around the world. Its unique­ness as a rich and con­cen­trated spe­cialty wine has taken its place in the world’s best restau­rants, among the cel­lars of col­lec­tors and grac­ing the ta­bles of wine en­thu­si­asts ev­ery­where. The win­ter har­vest to make this wine is cer­tainly ex­treme wine­mak­ing amid ex­treme Cana­dian win­ters and the ul­ti­mate glass in which to en­joy it is iron­i­cally from Riedel’s Vinum Ex­treme Se­ries. It took a glass specif­i­cally de­signed by Riedel Crys­tal to bring out the best of the lay­ers of Icewine’s aro­mas and flavours.

Many of the 250,000 an­nual vis­i­tors are drawn to In­niskillin to taste and buy the va­ri­ety of Icewines pro­duced from Vi­dal, Ries­ling and Caber­net Franc grapes. When posed with smelling and tast­ing the Icewine from two com­par­a­tive glasses—a stan­dard smaller glass and the Riedel Icewine glass—it is al­ways ex­cit­ing to ob­serve the re­ac­tion. Most peo­ple strongly be­lieve that the glass could not pos­si­bly make that much of a dif­fer­ence but they soon dis­cover that it cer­tainly can and does. The dif­fer­ence is dra­matic. The sen­sual ex­pe­ri­ences from the aroma and taste from the smaller, stan­dard wine glass are muted and lim­ited, while from the Riedel Icewine glass, they are mag­ni­fied to the point that the aro­mas and flavours are three di­men­sional. Dur­ing the tast­ing, the Icewine is poured into the stan­dard glass first and the guests are asked to pour half of it into an empty Riedel Icewine glass to make sure that they know they are com­par­ing the ex­act same wine! While it can­not al­ter the wine, it can and does al­ter the per­cep­tion of it.

The shape and size of the Icewine glass, which is much big­ger and taller than one would ex­pect, max­i­mizes the con­cen­trated aro­mas and de­liv­ers the wine to the back and sides of the tongue thereby cov­er­ing the ar­eas of the tongue that best pro­file the bal­ance of the nat­u­ral sweet­ness and the nat­u­ral acidi­ties. With Icewine, it is pre­ferred that the wine not go to the tip of the tongue where sweet­ness is tasted as that would dom­i­nate the taste and not al­low for that proper bal­ance.

In­niskillin also has a des­ig­nated room, The Riedel Room, to host sit-down Riedel glass tast­ings. Unique to this room are table­tops made from the floor of the Riedel glass fac­tory in Aus­tria where the hot molten glass spilled and burned a very cre­ative de­sign into the wood. Where else can you en­joy wine tast­ing off the floor?

A Short His­tory of the Icewine Glass

The world’s first ever Icewine glass ar­rived in Oc­to­ber of 2000 after a year in the mak­ing. In 1999 a group of in­ter­na­tional wine ex­perts gath­ered in Toronto to de­cide on the op­ti­mum shape for the Icewine glass. This tast­ing work­shop was guided by the 10th gen­er­a­tion Aus­trian glass­maker Riedel, Zi­raldo and Karl Kaiser, his In­niskillin Wines co-founder. In­niskillin was known as the Cana­dian win­ery that both pioneered and earned global recog­ni­tion for its ex­cep­tional VQA Icewines. It was In­niskillin’s un­prece­dented Grand Prix d’hon­neur award at Vinexpo in France, back in 1991, which brought world at­ten­tion to both Icewine and the Cana­dian wine in­dus­try. Cur­rent In­niskillin Ni­a­gara Wine­maker Bruce Ni­chol­son con­tin­ues to bring the same high level of recog­ni­tion, hav­ing just been the first Cana­dian win­ery to win the In­ter­na­tional Tro­phy for Best Sweet Wine over 15 pounds (the price, not the weight) at the 2014 De­can­ter World Wine Awards.

Dur­ing the 1999 Icewine glass work­shop, the wine ex­perts sam­pled Icewine from a wide se­lec­tion of glass shapes and sizes, and ul­ti­mately voted on their favourites: the Sauvi­gnon Blanc, Sauterne and Vin­tage Port glasses. The new Icewine glass, an amal­gam of those three, went into pro­duc­tion as part of Riedel Crys­tal’s stun­ning new Vinum Ex­treme de­sign se­ries. The first ship­ment ar­rived in Canada on Septem­ber 27, 2000, and has been in­flu­enc­ing our per­cep­tion ever since.

Max­i­m­il­ian Riedel, cur­rent CEO of Riedel Crys­tal

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.