I like drinking wine out of nice stemware. I have a large collection of Riedel glasses at home. And I taste out of Riedels for my day job. Georg Riedel always called them "tools" or "instruments," and I think he is right, although perhaps his nomenclature is less elegant than some.
I was thinking about this the other night in Los Angeles, when a friend organized a dinner with some people at Breadbar, and we drank a number of excellent bottles, including a magnum of 1999 Corton Charlemagne, 2005 Austrian Riesling and a 2005 Arbois red, not to mention a couple of Arizona wines from Maynard James Keenan. BUT we had to drink the wines from small water glasses. The Dead Bar (I mean Breadbar) did not have wine glasses! And no, we were not there to just eat bread.
Chef Ludovic Lefebvre, who worked in Vegas and before that at L'Orangerie and Bastide, is doing a limited run as guest chef five nights a week at Breadbar, until the end of August. I remember him from L’Orangerie, where he had a deft hand in producing flavorful yet refined food. Alas, his hand was not put to good use on my visit. It was all pretty bland, to say the least, from a starter of juiceless beef stew to a main of slightly watery cassoulet of cod. His heart just wasn’t into cooking at the Breadbar, I guess. Bread was good though.
My favorite wine of the night was the 2005 F.X. Pichler Riesling Loibner Oberhauser that showed amazing mineral, flint and honey with hints of apricots and peaches! It was rich, deep and gorgeous. 92 points, non-blind. I just wish I had had a wine glass to drink it out of, in order to enjoy it better. Call me difficult. But I need a "tasting tool" to enjoy a great bottle of wine.