Riedel glass guru David Sanders: Polishing 101 - Tim Pawsey photo

Every few years it seems we go to a Riedel glass presentation of some kind. And every time we come away surprised and once again delighted—this time from an event as part of  Taste: Victoria.

Riedel’s supremacy as a stemware producer is no surprise: we’ve been a convert for years, and have a not too shabby lineup of their glasses for everyday tasting at home.

Yet, these experimental exercises, where you taste the same wines from different styles of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ glasses (including a plastic Dixie Cup) are always emphatically convincing. It’s almost like renewing your marriage vows again (we’re assuming):  Maybe you don’t really have to be convinced again but it sure feels good.

Riedel’s man in Western Canada is the charming and sartorially snappy David Sanders (who, incidentally, also donated his time and receipts from the event to the BC Hospitality Foundation).

Not only does the very polished Mr. Sanders look the part of a glass guru but he more than knows how to put his point across—and turn around what can start out as a slightly skeptical group of food and wine  industry pros.

Plus, he always has some good one liners:

“The only difference between rose petal and chicken shit is the size of the molecule…”

“When it comes to decanters, even a jam jar will do—as long as there’s no jam in it!”

We won’t go into all the details here but one of the several ‘aha’ moments arrived when the Averill Creek Pinot Noir finally wound up in the Riedel Vinum XL Pinot Noir glass—which almost but not quite defies the mantra that you should never drink from anything as big as your head.

If you ever have a chance to attend a Riedel seminar, we can’t recommend it too highly, especially if David’s your man. Not only will you come away understanding why choosing the right glass to properly show off (and enjoy) a wine to its best is so important but you’ll also pick up a whole lot of other tips about serving, washing, polishing and a wealth of drinks trivia.

Now, excuse me while I dash out and upgrade my Pinot Noir glasses …