I am notoriously bad about wine PR holidays. This wine and glass came about as a result of Malbec World Day on April 17. Well, it's nearly May, but here goes...
Ridel has unveiled a Malbec glass, tall and with a bowl that is almost egg-shaped with the tip sliced off. It's slender and does not quite fit in any of my cupboards, but is quite elegant. I admire the craftsmanship that goes into Ridel's crystal, though I don't own much of it--I have dozens of unmatched glasses, and over the years some break and get replaced by gifts or samples like this one.
Do you really need a special Malbec glass? For that matter, is it vital to have different Pinot Noir glasses for Burgundy and Oregon?
I am a natural skeptic, and poured the wine into the special glass as well as a regular wine glass, and was prepared to point out to Julia that it didn't make a difference, and then... color me surprised.
I won't say that the wine was better in the Malbec glass, but sniffing it was a much different experience. The fact that you're sniffing in a smaller aperture tends to concentrate and focus the aromas. Going back and forth was a fascinating experience.
2011 Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec
Tulum and Pedernal Valley, San Juan, Argentina
$16, 14.2% abv.
While in the regular glass I got just dark fruit, the Riedel glass focused in on more specific dried plum and leather aromas. Hint of coffee in the background, and great structure from the oak. The taste was not impacted in either direction, though on the palate it was mild with gentle tannins and a long, dark fruit finish. I served it with grilled chicken, and then later enjoyed it with a pepperoni pizza. Perfect match with the latter on a quiet Saturday night, watching a movie and relaxing.
Note: This wine was provided as a sample.