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Posts Tagged ‘wine glasses’

Custom Accents for Wine Cellars: Artwork

January 17th, 2013 No comments

Collectors building custom wine cellars often struggle with a question: “How do I make my wine cellar reflect me?” Wine is your true passion, so you want your wine cellar to be more than just rows and rows of bottles. You want it to reflect your personal style, and say a little something about you and your love of wine.

One create way to add that special personal touch to your wine cellar is with artwork. A print, painting or mosaic can speak volumes about you and your taste, helping make your wine cellar unlike any your guests have ever seen before. But where to get started? Here are our top five picks for wine cellar artwork. Have a favorite that we missed? Tell us in the comments!

  1. ESPARANTOstudio print

    Prints: Modern and edgy, graphic prints can say a lot with just a few words. Wine-themed prints are often witty and clever, making them great for the connoisseur with a sense of humor. Try this “Life is too short to drink bad wine” print from  seller ESPARANTOstudio, or these wine-themed graphic prints, uniquely printed on vintage dictionary pages, from Etsy seller TheSalvagedSparrow.

  2. Mosaics: For a piece of artwork that is totally unique, consider a handmade mosaic mural. Mosaics can be made of small bits of glass, fine china, porcelain, or a mix. The mosaic artist composes the pieces into a decorative image, then grouts the pieces and seals the creation. A mosaic can be placed on walls, framed, surround an archway, or cover a tabletop. An artist can create an image unique to you: think your favorite wine region in Spain, or your favorite place to drink a glass in the backyard.
  3. AnnToozeFineArt pastel

    Paintings: A wine painting can add a focal point to your wine cellar, and become a conversation-starter between you and your guests. Whether you’re drawn to soft watercolors or a bold, modern style, you can find a wine-themed painting that perfectly suits your taste. Browse these beautiful original pastels from Etsy seller Anna Tooze Fine Art. For something extra-special, look for art that uses reclaimed materials, such as this wine bottle and glass silhouette painting.

  4. DIY cork art. Been saving your corks for a rainy day? You can use old corks to create a variety of totally original art pieces that would be fabulous addition to a wine cellar. For inspiration, check out this fabulous wall hanging, this cork monogram, or this wine cellar door completely covered with cork halves. Now that’s a unique piece!
  5. Vintage posters. Do you have a thing for all things vintage? A vintage wine ad poster might be the perfect way to put your personal stamp on your collection. Frame one print as a focal point for your cellar, or try a gallery wall that showcases your favorite vintages in style. Check out this Contratto champagne ad, and this Sandeman’s port ad.

What to Look for in Tawny Port

March 27th, 2012 No comments

Unlike its ruby cousin, tawny port’s signature color is a bit lighter, as is its body.  Simply put, it’s a more delicate wine that exhibits some of the softer traits of vintage port.  Unlike expensive vintage port, however, tawny port is available at a fraction of the cost.

a glass of tawny port

Photo by Jon Sullivan

Tawny port is produced by blending older port wines.  Similar to ruby port, tawny port is also aged before bottling.  The time spent aging is usually between two and seven years.  Unlike sweeter rubies, tawny port features flavors of darker fruits and berries, as well as ripe plums.  Comparatively, a glass of tawny is richer with tannins.  And compared to their older, vintage cousins, non-vintage tawny ports are less dry and their tannins, while robust, are more mellifluous.

If tawny port’s tannins are a bit much for you, it’s okay to let a bottle of tawny sit for a bit; its tannins soften substantially as it ages.  Because it’s not as “forward” as ruby port, be sure to serve tawny port in proper port glasses.  Riedel Sommeliers Vintage Port Glasses are ideal because they are designed to reveal port’s pleasant, subtle aromas that are often masked by the smell of alcohol when served in larger glasses.  If you’ve enjoyed ruby port, perhaps it’s time to give tawny a try?  Cheers!

Did you catch our post last week on ruby port?

The Importance of Champagne Flutes

January 3rd, 2012 No comments

Did you ring in the New Year with a flute of Champagne? Honestly, we wouldn’t blame you for hiding your nice flutes from rowdy NYE party-goers, but for quieter occasions there’s no substitute for a lovely flute.

Aside from simply looking elegant, drinking from the right glass enhances your experience of the wine.  Because Champagne and sparkling wines are served chilled, it’s very easy for the heat of your hands to warm them prematurely.  Champagne flutes with long stems allow your beverage to stay cool longer because your hand makes contact with the stem of the glass; it does not cup the wine itself.  Furthermore, the bowl of the glass is specifically crafted to maximize your beverage’s bubbles; the opening is narrow, meaning the surface area is reduced, which makes the bubbles last longer.

A Riedel Champagne Glass

A Riedel Champagne Glass

While Champagne saucers are frequently found at wedding celebrations, their large surface area causes bubbles to dissipate rather quickly.  While this may be okay for sweeter sparkling wines, these saucers tend not to do justice to the more-common, drier ones.  Some people also prefer to drink sparkling wine from regular white wine glasses (mainly for the benefit of experiencing its nose.)  Usually, however, good Champagne glasses, like a set of the Riedel Wine Collection Champagne glasses will be perfect for your sparkling beverage.  If you’ve got a good wine, why not use a good glass to enjoy it to the fullest?  Shall we toast?

Musical Wine Glasses

July 22nd, 2011 1 comment
Benjamin Franklin playing on the glass harmonica

Image courtesy of violinstudent.com

When was the last time you ran a moistened finger along the rim of a crystal wine glass, making it sing?  Perhaps, after reading this post, you’ll give it a try tonight! Concerts of “glass music” produced by this same technique used to be all the rage in Europe.  There were even performers, like the blind Marianne Kirchgessner, with entire careers that consisted of playing musical glasses.  Benjamin Franklin, after attending such concerts in London, invented and perfected the “Glass Harmonica,” an instrument made of concentric glasses mounted on a rod, turned by a treadle, the size of each glass determining its pitch.  Touching the rims of the turning glasses produced audible notes, and several glasses could even be touched simultaneously to produce chords.  Although it was something of a novelty instrument, many prominent composers wrote music for it, including Beethoven and Mozart.  In fact, Mozart’s Adagio for Glass Harmonica, K.365, is one of the last pieces Mozart composed. But, like the clear beverage craze in the early 1990’s that faded by the middle of the decade, the glass harmonica’s popularity came to an end around 1815, with few instruments built after 1820.  Today, there are special manufactures who do make glass harmonicas, but professional glass harmonica players are very rare.  Still, the ethereal, haunting, otherworldly sound of the glass harmonica can be heard in several films, including Interview with the Vampire,  Mesmer,  Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and popular recordings like Björk’s “All Neon Like”.  If you want to know what this instrument sounds like, all you need to do is run your finger across the rim of a wine glass.  Crystal wine glasses, like those produced by Riedel, often work best.  Be sure, however, that you use a glass with a stem, otherwise the hand holding the glass will stop the tone.  Have fun!

Riedel Wine Collection Shiraz/Syrah Wine Glasses

Decant, and Taste the Difference!

June 20th, 2011 No comments

In a previous post, Dine With Open Wine, we discussed some of the benefits of decanting wine.  While it’s one thing to read about what decanting does to a wine, experiencing it is another matter.  And what better way to experience the dramatic impact decanting has than to conduct your own comparison of decanted and non-decanted wine at home, or with a group of adventurous guests?  You’ll obviously need a good bottle of wine–try this with one of your favorites to really appreciate the effect–and a decanter such as the Riedel Cabernet Wine Decanter or, if you really want to impress, the Riedel Ultra Magnum Decanter.  Next, make sure the glasses you’re using match the wine you’re serving.  (For instance, don’t use white wine glasses if you’re pouring Merlot, etc.)  Wondering about the variety of wine glasses available? Check out our article on types of wine glasses in the Education Center. Ready to shop? We have a full line of Riedel glassware.

After you have selected your wine, open it and fill a set of glasses with it directly from the bottle.  Next, gingerly pour the remaining wine into the decanter of your choice.  (N.B. Most decanted wines begin to open in minutes, so it’s best to serve them shortly after decanting.)  Have your guests smell and taste their wine which came directly from the bottle.  Now, pour the decanted wine into a second set of glasses, and let your guests compare the boutique, taste, and finished of the decanted wine with that which was not decanted.  It’s a guarantee you’ll see many wide, pleasantly-surprised eyes!   While decanting will not make a “bad” wine into an instant winner, it will certainly enhance the appeal of average wines, and substantially augment the pleasure of exceptional wines.  Still not convinced?  Try hosting a decanting party and taste for yourself!  The reward is worth it!  For more detailed information about decanting, or other wine-related topics visit our Wine Storage Education Center online.  Happy decanting!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Golfers & Wine Lovers (and what dad isn’t one of those?)

June 17th, 2011 No comments

Dads deserve appreciation all the time, but it’s especially important to make Father’s Day the one day that your dad will remember forever—or, at least, until next June. And today, you’re in luck: if your dad is into sports or wine, you can sit back and let Vintage Cellars take the work out of shopping for the perfect Father’s Day gift.

Sporty Dads

mulholland leather golf bag

If your Dad spends most of his weekends on the golf course, check out our line of Mulholland Leather Bags and Golf Equipment. Help Dad relax and have fun with the Endurance Sunday Bag, an all-leather bag designed for the practice range, short-yardage courses, and casual games of weekend golf with buddies and brothers. Or, if he wouldn’t part with his current bag, a Golf Ball and Tee Holder might be a good bet. This beautiful piece holds three balls and four tees, and the leather loop and buckle allow Dad to easily attach it to his favorite golf bag.

If your father isn’t into golf, the All Leather Shoe Bag or Endurance Shoe Bag can be used to carry shoes for all sports: cleats for football or baseball, running sneakers, bowling shoes, or even wrestling and volleyball shoes. And, of course, both bags work well for golf shoes, too.

 

 

Wine-Loving Dads

Rogar Opener

If your father isn’t the most athletic of men, Vintage Cellars has you covered. Help Dad create a relaxing environment with our Rogar Estate Wine Opener with Antique Bronze Finish, Hardwood Handle, & Table Stand. This magnificent showpiece adds style to any wine room, kitchen, living room, or den. If Dad liked to keep things simple, our Rogar Estate Pewter Wine Opener would make a perfect addition to his wine accessory drawer. For other ideas, our complete collection of Rogar Accessories is worth a look.
Riedel O glass
If fancy wine openers aren’t Dad’s thing, try our Riedel “O” stemless glassware. The Complete Stemless Wine Glass Collection is a set of 12, each specially designed to enhance the flavors of a separate wine varietal. If Dad doesn’t need a large set, you can get him the set of 2 “O” wine glasses that is suited for his favorite wine, such as these”O” Cabernet/Merlot Stemless Wine Glasses.

If your dad’s perfect Father’s Day gift isn’t featured here, you can always contact us with questions as you browse the rest of our online catalog.

Happy Father’s Day from Vintage Cellars!

Riesling: The Chameleon Grape

June 10th, 2011 No comments

Rieslings are fantastic wines that wear many hats.  Often referred to as being a “chameleon grape”, Riesling grapes really do play many roles.  In fact, the wines they produce range from those that are completely dry to wines that are insatiably sweet!  While “Zinfandel” makes us think of California, “Riesling” instantly brings Germany to mind, though good Rieslings can be found elsewhere, too.  Dry Rieslings, Rieslings packed with fresh citrus and peach flavors, Rieslings containing honey scents and fruity notes, and spectacular dessert Rieslings utilizing the same grapes are waiting for you at your local wine store!

Riedel Riesling wine glass

To further demonstrate the delightful versatility of this grape, we compare two different Rieslings: the C.H. Berres Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese 1997 (produced in Germany), and the Montinore Estate Almost Dry Riesling 2009 (produced in America).  Using Riedel Sommeliers Riesling Grand Cru Wine Glasses for optimal visual comparison, we find the appearance of both wines strikingly similar.  Each has a crystal-clear, pale-to-golden yellow color, bordering on cream.  This, however, is where the similarities end.  Though the nose of each wine can be described as clean, fine, and sufficient, the Riesling Spatlese contains notes of violet, iris, honeysuckle, and a touch of berry, while the Almost Dry Riesling possesses a rich citrus fragrance of oranges and lemons, and also sports a soft peach aroma.  While both wines are smooth and delicious to taste, the Riesling Spatlese is much more round; the Almost Dry Reisling is light-bodied and lean.  The Riesling Spatlese is also quite sweet, while the Almost Dry Riesling (true to its name) is nearly void of any sugary taste.  Although both wines are harmonious, elegant Rieslings, the Riesling Spatlese can be described as being more “velvety” when compared to the “sincere” nature of the Almost Dry Riesling.  Though these two wines are delightfully similar in appearance, their distinct personalities are made apparent by comparison.

As in our previous Red and White Zinfandel blog post, it’s quite amazing how the same grape can yield two very good-but-different wines!  But, no matter how sweet or dry, Rieslings are a perfect wine to enjoy on a hot, summer day! Why not conduct your own Riesling comparison this season?

 C.H. Berres Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese 1997Montinore Estate Almost Dry Riesling 2009

Look at Those (Wine) Legs!

June 8th, 2011 No comments

wine glass

With appropriately-matched, quality wine glasses like Riedel Sommelier Wine Glasses or Riedel Vinum Extreme Wine Glasses, it is not only easier to notice the characteristic fragrances and tastes of your selected wine, it is also easier to see the beauty of your delicate beverage.  With a clear wine glass, the clarity, color and depth of your wine are highlighted like never before, allowing you to more accurately judge your wine’s age, the types of grapes used in its making, and even the climate of the vintage.  You can even learn about your wine when swirling to open it.  When swirling, your wine will create “legs” (or, in the more poetic French, “tears”).  These are the small droplets that form in the ring above the surface of your wine while you swirl it.  It was once believed that the more legs a wine had, the better its quality.  However, this is untrue, as various atmospheric conditions (and physics!) have expunged this myth.   What is true is that the speed of falling legs can tell you about the wine’s sugar concentration and richness.  Generally, slower falling wine legs denote richer wines high in sugar content as opposed to thinner wines with less sugar.  Try examining the tears of both a sweet and a dry Riesling with Riedel Sommeliers Riesling Grand Cru Wine Glasses.  You’ll be in for an educational treat!  While aroma and taste play such an important part in wine appreciation, paying attention to appearance, too, greatly enhances the tasting experience.  In fact, visual cues can even suggest additional possibilities to your palate you may have initially filtered out!

Riedel Sommelier glasses

Wine Glasses 101

May 23rd, 2011 1 comment

typical red wine glass shape

In addition to looking sophisticated and fun, wine glasses come in various shapes and sizes to bring out the best in your wine.  For instance, a typical red wine glass is larger and more rounded than a glass designed for whites.  A prime example of an excellent red wine glass is the Riedel Vinum Classic Burgundy. This allows more air to come into contact with the wine, provides additional space for adequate swirling when opening, and also better accommodates your nose when enjoying the complex scent of a red.  Some stemless red wine glasses, such as any from the Riedel O Wine Glasses collection, have even larger openings and are particularly nice for these reasons!

White wine glasses, being thinner and taller, keep wine at a cooler temperature for longer.  A good example of a typical white wine glass is the Riedel Sommeliers Chablis/Chardonnay. Sparkling wine glasses, also called flutes, are very narrow.  Even if you’re new to the world of wine, you’ve probably used them at least once when drinking a toast at a wedding.  The Riedel Sommeliers Vintage Champagne glass (right) is a good, typical example. Their narrow shape helps to preserve the wine’s carbonation.

Lastly, dessert wine glasses are almost always smaller than the others.  Designed to rush sweet wine to the back of the tongue so its sweetness is not overpowering, they typically range from near shot glass size to a little smaller than a sparkling wine glass.  They also tend to have shorter stems.  Crystal-clear wine glasses are often ideal, especially when visually inspecting your wine.  Though it’s hard to tell from the picture, the Riedel Sommeliers Vintage Port Glass is a good example of a dessert wine glass.

Blown glass, which is particularly thin, is quite good for both visual inspection as well as tasting; you can take smaller sips of wine because the lip of the glass is not as thick.  (Remember to be gentle if toasting with thinner glasses, though!)  Although it’s not essential to drink wine from the proper glass, choosing the right type of glass to complement your vino will definitely enhance your overall experience.

Categories: Tasting Wine Tags: ,

Wine Gift: Riedel Wine Glasses

December 4th, 2010 No comments

Riedel has been making the world’s premiere wine glasses for more than 250 years.  For the serious wine collector, they’re almost a necessity.  For the more casual wine enthusiast, they’re a beautiful, classic way to enjoy great wines.  Riedel glasses make great holiday gifts for anyone who has a special place in his heart for wine.

Riedel makes a wide variety of glass styles.  One great choice is the Riedel Sommelier line.  Their graceful shapes and long, delicate stems make them an elegant choice for the holiday season. Even better, these lovely glasses are on sale–check Facebook, Twitter or the latest VC newsletter for coupon codes for Riedel Sommelier, Howard Miller and WineKeeper products.

Glasses from the Sommelier line are perfect for the serious wine lover.  For someone who’sriedel o a little more casual about wine, a perfect choice is the “O” Stemless line.  These family-style glasses are great for casual gatherings, dinner parties with friends, and just sitting around and enjoying a glass.

Don’t forget if neither of these lines are what you’re looking for for the wine lover in your life, Riedel makes many more choices.