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Sommelier of the Month- Todd Lipman

Riedel welcomes Todd Lipman to the Sommelier of the Month program.  

Todd has served as Head Sommelier at Boston’s Bistro du Midi since 2011.  During this time, he has been recognized as ‘Boston’s Best Sommelier’ three times, in 2011 and 2015 (Improper Bostonian) as well as in 2014 (Boston Magazine) and his wine program has been dubbed “…one of the City’s most formidable” (Bon Appetite Magazine - 2011).  Additionally, he currently serves as Wine Director for both the Nantucket Wine Festival (Nantucket, MA) and the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival (Newport, RI). 

Q&A with Todd Lipman: 

Riedel:  Food and Wine ? Favorite combos? What do you find to be the hardest/easiest to match up?

TL:  At Bistro du Midi, Grolleau Rouge (Clau de Nell) paired with Roasted Monkfish and Sauce Bordelaise. It's a gorgeous combination.

Easiest pairing/hardest pairing? I always yield to a style of wine that the guest is looking for unless they tell me they trust me entirely or care for my opinion. Some guests have no interest in food and wine compatibility. They simply like to drink what they like to drink, no matter what they are eating and that's okay. My only interest is to make them happy. When they are dead set on a style I always do my best to steer them in the 'right' direction without making the selection about my personal tastes or pairing predilections. When the opportunity presents itself to exercise my tastes and/or experience, I never hesitate to do so confidently and courteously. 

Riedel: Your restaurant - What is your must eat dish on the menu and which wine do you recommend with it?

TL: Our Chicken for Two is a total knockout! It is roasted whole in our brick oven, continuously being basted and cared for. The chickens are brined for two days and then stuffed with ricotta, lemon and herbs under the skin. Depending on the time of year, it is either served with roasted fingerlings or a vegetable cocotte, a melange of sauteed vegetables. It's simultaneously rich but not heavy as well as somewhat rustic with an undeniable elegance...a wonderful achievement by our kitchen team. While red Burgundy is certainly an extremely complimentary pairing, I prefer to offer a white Rhone with some weight, a few years in the bottle and a delicate kiss of oak like 2009 JL Chave Selection 'Blanche' Hermitage Blanc. 

Riedel: Any tips that you have for decanter newbies?

TL: To accomplish the purpose of decanting, that being to oxygenate wine quickly for any number of reasons, any vessel large enough to hold the contents of the bottle will do. However, in a professional dining setting the ritual can only be enhanced by incorporating a beautifully crafted decanter. After all, there was a lot of attention paid to every step in the production of the wine, in the appropriate setting, service should be equally as detailed and polished. In terms of a tip, if you know from experience that the specific wine you are decanting is devoid of any sediment and not particularly delicate in nature, invert the bottle completely and allow the combined physics of gravity and bottle shape to help in the process.

A glug, glug, glug into a decanter is even better, given it meets the above-mentioned parameters.

Riedel:  Can you recommend one red and one white that you find to be crowd pleasers. Suggestions? 

TL:  With a larger crowd, it is unlikely EVERYONE will enjoy a particular wine in the same manner. For Reds, Pinot Noir is generally 'friendly' to a broad array of palates. New world Pinot Noir, for it's (generally) richer, possibly more oak-integrated character tends to be received more positively than old world Pinot which has a higher risk of its pronounced acidity not agreeing with the majority.

For whites, I've found there is a greater division amongst the masses. There are those who prefer rich, barrel fermented butter-bombs and those that prefer a more streamlined, cleaner, more mineral wine that speaks more of place and nature than of elective winemaking. Of course there are myriad other styles in between. For a larger crowd, I'd shoot right down the middle with Chassagne-Montrachet or Viura-based white Rioja. For a more affordable white, Hecht & Bannier's Languedoc Blanc is a very special blend of Picpoul, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne that seems to make most mouths happy.

Riedel: In your opinion, how do Riedel glasses enhance the wine drinking experience?

TL:  I use Riedel stem-ware in our restaurant, as do each of our company's establishments in the US. Not only do they feel and look elegant, as well have a good balance of weight distribution, but the unique, varietally specific options truly enhance a wine's enjoyment when drinking. The right wine and glass combination is truly a match made in heaven.

Riedel: Any big trends that you have been noticing in the wine industry?

TL:  Consumers are getting more savvy, though many are still over-interested in scores and swayed by what someone they never met has (indirectly) told them they should or even worse, should not drink. Generally speaking however, people are increasingly willing to expand their horizons and try something new. Over the past 9 months to a year, wallets are tightening little by little, but there is plenty of great wine out there that doesn't rival your mortgage in cost. Additionally, the world over, high-quality, affordable wine is on the rise.

 

 

posted by Vince Sehgal, 12/09/2016

topics: Inspirations

Sommelier of the Month- Raj Vaidya

 

Introducing Riedel Sommelier of the Month- Raj Vaidya, Head Sommelier of Restaurant Daniel and The Dinex Group. Vaidya boasts an impressive history of experience in fine dining working with some of the countries most celebrated wine lists and wine service. Here is our interview with Raj- 

Riedel: Food and Wine – Favorite combos? What do you find to be the hardest/easiest to match up?

RV: I love pairing the fattiness of foie gras with off dry Riesling from the Mosel Valley. Spring flavors can be tough, especially asparagus and peas, but I lean on aromatic whites from Austria or the Loire to pair with those.                          

Riedel: Your restaurant - What is your must eat dish on the menu and which wine do you recommend with it?

RV:  Our signature Duck ala Presse, Roasted duck served with a sauce made from a duck jus and the cooked blood of the bird.  It pairs perfectly with old Hermitage, especially from Jean-Louis Chave

Riedel:  Any tips that you have for decanter newbies?

RV:  Don’t be as shy decanting rich whites, but be more shy to decant very old wines as they can oxidize easily in their delicate aged state.

 

Riedel:  Can you recommend one red and one white that you find to be crowd pleasers. Suggestions? 

RV:  For white dry Melon de Bourgogne from Muscadet. For red Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara.

Riedel:  In your opinion, how do Riedel glasses enhance the wine drinking experience?

RV:  They focus the aromatics of specific varieties and allow wines to breath and change as the guest drinks their wine.

Riedel:  Any big trends that you have been noticing in the wine industry?

RV:  A movement towards consciously grown grapes, be it organic or something of that ilk.

posted by Vince Sehgal, 03/08/2016

topics: Inspirations

The Perfect Serve Cocktail of the Month - Negroni

Built with only spirits and a garnish of orange, the colourful Negroni is not for the faint of heart.

Click through to get the recipe.

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posted by Spiegelau Australia, 01/08/2016

topics: Inspirations

Sommelier of the Month- Jon McDaniel

Introducing Riedel Sommelier of the Month- Jon McDaniel, Corporate Beverage Director, The Gage/ Acanto/ The Dawson/ Beacon Tavern/ Coda Di Volpe. 

Recognized as one of the top wine professionals in America, Jon McDaniel has worked in many facets of the business – from creating high profile wine programs at several nationally acclaimed restaurants, to developing revenue-generating brand recognition for numerous wineries. 

Here is our interview with Jon: 

Riedel: Food and Wine – Favorite combos do you prefer? What do you find to be the hardest/easiest to match up?

JM: Here are my favorite combinations: 

1. Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir and Steak Sandwiches

2. Franciacorta and White Pizza

3. Spanish Mencia and Thai Curry

4. 1982 (my birth vintage) Barolo out of a Riedel Paloma Decanter and anything in my life!

 Pairing with and food is pretty easy if you think of how you can add to a dish. Whenever I’m pairing wine, I think of what the flavors of the wine are and imagine throwing those flavors on the dish itself – does it work?  Would this halibut benefit from having a bit of grassy/grapefruit on it like this Sancerre? If yes, then pair it.

The hardest dishes to pair are ones that already have 75 ingredients in them. If the dish has too much going on already, no one can save it.  Luckily I have a great chef team at my restaurants that they love to highlight the simplicity of the main ingredient.  

 

Riedel: Your restaurant - What is your must eat dish on the menu and which wine do you recommend with it?

JM: At our newly opened Beacon Tavern, our Chef Bob Broskey has a Grilled Bacon Sandwich that he braises in Root Beer with pickled peppers – it is absolutely mouth-watering. I pair this behemoth of a sandwich with a ½ bottle of Vietti Barolo ‘Castiglione’.  The wine brings out another layer of juiciness in the sandwich and this vintage actually has some hints of sarsaparilla, which is perfect with this sandwich. 

 

Riedel: Any tips that you have for decanter newbies?

JM: If you are unsure of whether or not to use a decanter on a wine, taste it first. If you think that it is a bit flat, too tannic and needs to wake up – then go ahead and decant. Too many people get wrapped up in how long to decant it for, whether it be 10 minutes or 2 hours, you will be surprised how much just the action of decanting will help your wine out. Decanting is also a personal preference. If you like your wines to be a bit more dry, tight and broad shouldered then pour from the bottle. If you want to highlight the aromatics, the fruit, elegance of a wine – try decanting it.

 

Riedel: Can you recommend one red and one white that you find to be crowd pleasers. Suggestions?  

JM: My favorite white of the moment that everyone needs to try is Masseria LiVeli Verdeca from Puglia, Italy. It combines this amazing minerality of the Adriatic Sea, tropical and citrus notes and flavors of ginger/pickled ginger that go great with crudo and watching people go by on the patio at Acanto.

For a red that both my guests and my staff at The Gage are crazy about is “Rubeo” by Penner-Ash in the Willamette Valley. It is a unique blend of Pinot Noir and Syrah that brings these really lush flavors of raspberry and blackberry together with a touch of jam and Santa Claus spices.  I can’t keep it in stock because it goes great with BBQ, burgers and grilled fish.

 

Riedel: In your opinion, how do Riedel glasses enhance the wine drinking experience?

JM: A Riedel glass truly offers the guest the complete drinking experience. From picking up the glass, you notice the balance, the lightness of the glass without feeling fragile. When you take advantage of using the correct Riedel stem, your nose fits in the right place for enhanced aromatics and the taste – somehow hits the very perfect part of the palate. A Riedel glass offers my guests the ability to taste a wine the way that the winemaker truly intended it to be.

 

Riedel: Are there any big trends that you have been noticing in the wine industry?

JM: As more young professionals join the ranks of sommeliers, I find many of them ignore the classics because it’s not “cool” or “the next big thing”. So many lists that I see ignore Napa Cabernet, classic Italian Pinot Grigio and some of the other old-school wines. These are wines that are experiencing a resurgence of their own and they are shunned because they aren’t “somm” enough.

 

posted by Riedel, 27/06/2016

topics: Inspirations

Sommelier of the Month- Beth Hussey

Please enjoy our interview with Sommelier of the Month, Beth Hussey of Pop's for Italian in Ferndale, Michigan. 

Riedel:  Food and Wine – Favorite combos? What do you find to be the hardest/easiest to match up? 

BH:  That always depends. At Pop's, we don't like to put our food 'in a box’ and we certainly don’t like to follow the rules.  We feel the same about our wines. The weather, your mood (my mood), the company you are keeping at the time. All of those things would play a part in my answer to this question. 

Pop's Riedel Flight

Riedel: Your restaurant - What is your must eat dish on the menu and which wine do you recommend with it?

BH: Almost as hard to answer as “what’s your favorite movie?”, but at least I can narrow it down a bit: 

First and foremost, as pizza is my “desert island food”, I would have to say our true Neapolitan Pizza is my very favorite, and more specifically the classic Margherita pizza, which pairs beautifully with Tres Sabores Porque. Red Blend from Rutherford in Napa Valley. 

Our Antipasto platter is another favorite dish of ours, which I love to pair with Cieck Erbaluce di Caluso from Piedmont, Italy, as this wine just begs to be paired with cheese. 

Lastly, our Gnocchi (sausage, cream, red pepper flakes) is perhaps the most delicious and decadent dish on the menu which I have paired with a few wines.  Of course a big, bold Napa Cab is a great compliment to this dish (or any dish as far as I’m concerned).  If you asked me which is my favorite Napa Cabernet, I would have to say the one that’s in my glass!  But the Cabernet that is currently pouring from our Wine Preservation system is the ever so sought after Plumpack Estate from the Oakville region of Napa.  A crisp white wine also pairs beautifully with the richness of this dish; in fact, just last night I enjoyed a glass of Angelo Negro 'Onorato' (Favorita del Roero or Vermentino) from Langhe, Italy with the creamy and delicious gnocchi.

Riedel: Any tips that you have for decanter newbies?

BH: Practice, practice, practice.  Don’t worry so much about which wines to decant, just do it.  At Pop’s we have a saying, “if you think you decant, we say you deCAN!”

Riedel: Can you recommend one red and one white that you find to be crowd pleasers. Suggestions? 

BH:  For a 'crowd pleaser' I like go for styles rather than specific varietals. For a white, I find somewhere between a Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc style works for most. The Domaine du Pouy Blanc from Cotes de Gascogne, France (a 50/50 blend of Ugni Blanc & Columbard) is a great little value white. For reds, you have a bit more room to play with. A few of my favorites right now are the Marques de Grinon 'Caliza' (blend of Petit Verdot and Syrah) from Castilla La Mancha, Spain. A great summer red would be the Simone Scaletta Dolcetto d'Alba. This guy (Simone) is the Chris Farley of Barolo. Living out of his van for 8 years until he could afford to build his dream winery. 

Pop's Riedel Wine Glasses

Riedel: In your opinion, how do Riedel glasses enhance the wine drinking experience?

BH:  As a wine-concept that takes a unique and unconventional approach to wine and the way it’s presented on our ever-rotating menu, choosing to use Riedel Varietal Specific glasses was by far the best and most important decision I made.  The message that it sends to our guests; and more importantly to our employees, is that we are serious about wine and aside from the juice itself, the glass it’s delivered in is the most important element.  After having attended a few Riedel Seminars where I had the chance to experience the difference between a wine in the right glass, side by side with a wine in the wrong glass, I was sold. The difference is Night and Day.   At a seminar hosted by Georg Riedel himself, he said “you would be better off serving wine in a paper cup that to serve it in the wrong glass.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Riedel:  Any big trends that you have been noticing in the wine industry?

BH:  The biggest trend I have seen most recently in our part of the world (Metro Detroit/Ferndale/Michigan) is curiosity, adventure, an appreciation for the finer things in life. There has been a food and beverage renaissance in our market in the last three years. A move from the 'comfort brands' to the lesser known. It is incredibly exciting for someone like me. There will always be a need and a place for all of the 'go-to' brands, but I love seeing the little guys get their day in the spotlight too. 

 

posted by Vince Sehgal, 29/04/2016

topics: Inspirations

Celebrating 260 Years - Leading Chefs and Sommeliers Discuss Riedel Glassware

Hear what leading sommeliers, chefs and restaurateurs have to say about Riedel glassware. Celebrating 260 years of Riedel glass.    

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posted by Riedel, 03/03/2016

topics: Inspirations

Sommelier of the Month- Belinda Chang

We have selected Belinda Chang as the March Riedel Sommelier of the Month, here are highlights from our interview. 

Riedel:   Food and Wine – Favorite combos? What do you find to be the hardest/easiest to match up?

BC:        Caviar, Potato Chips and Champagne!

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posted by Riedel, 01/03/2016

topics: Inspirations

VIDEO: Myth Busting: Decanting Wine

Riedel Australia's Managing Director Mark Baulderstone, and top Australian sommelier Joe Valore, discuss the why, when, and how you should use a decanter.

Click through to see the quick video!

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posted by Riedel Australia, 06/01/2016

VIDEO: Myth Busting: Champagne Glasses

As the debate over Champagne glassware grows (flute or glass?), Riedel Australia's Managing Director Mark Baulderstone, and top Australian sommelier Joe Valore, discuss the ins and outs of all the options.

Click through to see the quick video!

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posted by Riedel Australia, 06/01/2016