Wednesday, March 28, 2012

InTheCellar - The Art of Choosing the Best Wine Glass & Decanting

Why is the White Wine glass smaller than the Red Wine glass? The table next to us had their wine decanted, should we? Simple answers about different wine glasses, decanting and a few sommelier tips as Christopher Cribb from Marquee Selections and Bonnie Rabicoff from In The Kitchen With Bonnie go InTheCellar to explore wine glassware and gadgets.

For the 1st set of wines today we selected two white wines to showcase why you choose different style and shape wine glasses for each. In our smallest glass for surface area with a taller more narrow bowl similar to a champagne flute, we showcase the Marquee Classic Riesling. The majority of our glassware for today's tasting comes from an industry leader, Riedel Glassware, that was a pioneer in creating wine glasses specialized for different wine types and styles. The Riedel Riesling Grand Cru glass we are using is slender to concentrate the floral and bright acidic aromas of Riesling, we love the lime, passion-fruit and hints of sweetness in this off-dry Aussie. Moving ahead we next taste the Marquee Classic Chardonnay, a tropical fruit inspired white wine that we have in a slightly shorter and winder bowled glass, the Riedel White Wine / Chablis /Chardonnay Glass. The surface area difference in this glass allows additional oxygen to the wine and the shape ensures the wine is delivered to the palate at the best possible location for the wine type.

Moving ahead with our red wine setup we showcase an outstanding Bordeaux style red from Spain, the 2005 Aljibes Red Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc from Fincas Los Aljibes. In an effort to showcase the effect the wine glass can have on a particular wine we taste the Aljibes from 1st - from a plastic tumbler (better than a styrofoam cup or coffee mug, but not ideal, 2nd - from s smaller Riedel Red Wine Glass - The Chianti / Zinfandel, that allows more swirling in the bowl & delivers the wine effortlessly, but as with the tumbler, the nose still seems a bit closed and 3rd - from the Riedel Bordeaux / Cabernet Wine glass, a much larger red wine glass that allows the nose / bouquet to open up and showcase itself as a big, bold beautifully aromatic wine. Hands down, the Bordeaux glass that is specifically made for the Cabernet / Merlot / Cab. Franc blends was the best of these three at showcasing the wines best qualities; as Bonnie describes, "I can't believe that's the same wine!"

Our final tip and showcase in this episode is on decanting and to do so we are using the same red wine we have just tasted, the 2005 Alijibes Bordeaux Blend and decant it first using a classic open mouth decanter and second decanting this wine through a personal wine aerator called the Vinturi - Essential WIne Aerator. For this selection we would recommend decanting this red wine as it is a 2005 vintage that has been properly stored on its side in a cool environment and we are drinking it at seven years of aging. You decant the wine to reduce and eliminate that particulates and sediment that naturally occurs in a wine and also to open the wine up for more air. In some instances with a big young red wine we would also suggest decanting, the 2010 Caligiore Reserve Malbec for example gets more complex and smooth even though you will likely not find any issues with sediment.

In this example; the Alijibes tasted after decanting from the glass device was proved to be more smooth, as if a slight edge was taken off the red wine tannins. Our final piece of today's discussion focuses on a stocking stuffer Christmas present for the wine lover, a personal aerator. The model we selected, the Vinturi retails for around $40.00 and is great for the person that knows a wine needs air to open up, but doesn't want to put half or all of the bottle into a traditional decanter. The Vinturi lived up to its name and opened the wine up, but it was a toss up as to whether it or the classic decanter was overall a better choice. In either case these always make great presents for your wine lover (a nice classic decanter can be picked up for around $25.00, but go well up into the hundreds with Riedel's beautiful collection of art glass).

In the Kitchen and Marquee sends out a special thank you to our friends at The American Restaurant, for participating in this exciting series of shows and in this particular show for allowing us to take a look at their impressive decanter collection! As always it is a treat to work with a crown jewel and institution for Kansas City; Hallmark; and the Hall Family!

Marquee Selections has partnered up with the award-winning chef focused program " In The Kitchen with Bonnie" ( to produce an exciting new wine segment entitled "In the Cellar" with Marquee Selections . During each episode we will unravel the wine world one grape at a time! Each week we invite you to join us for an engaging conversation for our food and wine lovers to see why wine has been a worldwide tradition for centuries and how learning more about it can help bring the stories and flavors to life. Learn more about exciting regions, new wine types, varietals, how to pair wines with food, decanting, proper serving temperature, what wine goes best with pizza and more! A great 10 minute break from your day to learn and "wet" your taste buds for more"!


Christopher J. Cribb, CSW
Marquee Selections - Green, Global, Grapes