Monday, February 15, 2010

Appreciating Good Stemware

On our recent trip to Maui, we made the decision to bring a case of wine with us instead of buying wine or beer there. This was a great decision, except for the fact that the stemware in the place we stayed was horrendous. Olive Garden has better stemware. They were small, maybe holding 4-5 oz total, and very heavy and durable. I probably could've thrown one of these on the ground and had it not break, which was probably the point. There was no opportunity to swirl or sniff, unless I wanted to refill my glass after every taste. At one point, I even poured some wine into a keg cup to see if it was any better. It wasn't.

The trip really made me miss good stemware. Good stemware (like the Riedel Oregon Pinot glasses we have at home) really changes how a wine tastes, and definitely alters the level of enjoyment derived from drinking the wine. We took 3 bottles of Archery Summit Premier Cuvee with us. Drinking it out of the little glasses provided, it tasted like box wine, and was almost undrinkable. There definitely wasn't any enjoyment derived from drinking it, and you couldn't decipher any of the depth or complexity that the wine has. As soon as we got home, we opened a bottle of wine and drank it from our glasses, and there was an immediate reaction of "now this is how wine is supposed to taste."

Going forward, unless I know there is going to be at least adequate stemware, I'm not going to be bringing wine on any trips we go on. I'll just have to be satisfied with either beer or a cocktail. It just doesn't make sense to take a good bottle of wine and not enjoy it.


Robert said...

We stayed at the Honua Kai in Kaanapali, and our room did have Riedel Bordeaux and Chardonnay glasses. I assume, but can't verify, that all the rooms are similarly equipped.

Since the Honua Kai has full kitchens (see trip advisor for reviews), we made a stop at Costco near the airport. Costco has a good wine selection with prices similar to the mainland. Perhaps not as good as an Archery Summit Cuvee, but decent. We got an Erath pinot noir and a selction of Pinots from Carneros, Australia and New Zealand. I was on vacation, so I didn't take notes, but it was fun to compare the wines.

Costco is a painful way to begin a stay in paradise, and perhaps the kids didn't need 55 hot dogs, but if you have a full kitchen, it is a good way to save money and get some wine and alcohol.

Oregon Pinot Country

John P said...

We hit up Costco as well, and ended up with more food than we needed. Luckily, the day we were leaving we ended up finding somebody who had just arrived who took our extra food, so it didn't go to waste.