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December's Sommelier of the Month

Our Sommelier of the month for December 2017 is Manuel Ribeiro, Sommelier at The Manor House Hotel. Manuel has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.

How did you get into the wine industry?

Every year in September my family would help my grandfather with the small production of wine. I always enjoyed helping with the harvest, winemaking and especially tasting. I started working in hospitality on my spare time, on school holidays, and realised that was the path for me.

I started hospitality school and went all the way to F&B Manager but got bored and decided to choose the beverage side of the studies and I’ve never looked back.

Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your hotel/restaurant?

Riedel glassware has a fantastic range of shapes and sizes that allows me to showcase the qualities and flavours of each type of wine. It also helps me enhance the guest’s experience.

What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?

Guests really love the different glasses and often ask why I’ve chose a specific glass, what for me is always a pleasure to explain is the Riedel philosophy on how the different glass shapes enhance the particularities of each grape.

What’s been your biggest ‘wine’ faux pas?

Recommending a great wine using extensive information on the vineyard, producer and flavours of it and how it would work phenomenally with their dish, only to find out that the wine was sold out.

What’s been the funniest ‘wine’ moment in your career?

After doing a presentation on how to open a sparkling wine bottle with a saber for the staff, the hotel receptionist recommended to a guest that I could open their own champagne bottle that same way. In a busy dinner time I couldn’t refuse and end up opening the bottle without checking the bottle and, as I did it, it exploded on me! Champagne was dripping from my hair. Fortunately, no guest was injured, just my pride!

What’s your favourite wine that you are currently serving?

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2000

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posted by UK Editor, 21/12/2017

topics: Blog

November's Sommelier of the Month

Our Sommelier of the month for November 2017 is Diego Muntoni, Head Sommelier at Harvey Nichols OXO. Diego has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.

How did you get into the wine industry?

It was by accident, I started to work as a bartender at the age of 16. I moved to London in 1998 and my second job in 2000 was as a bartender in a small French restaurant in Covent Garden. The Restaurant had an amazing wine list, and as the only “foreigner” in a team completely made up by French guys I had to prove myself, I soon started to get involved in the wine service, and from one day to another I was selling wines in the floor and suggesting my favorite finds.

Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your restaurant?

First of all, they are just stunning, I am a glass lover, and I like a nice glass.  I really like the weight and the balance when you handle them.

For our style of restaurant, they are the best glass you can find, elegant and strong, with a variety that can enhance and show the best characteristics of any wine.

Also, our customers recognize the brand very frequently and they are impressed we use Riedel in the restaurant.

What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?

Many guests are used to it, and they recognize it as a good practice; others are a little surprised at first and they are interested why we do it. It is a great opportunity to engage with guests and enrich the dining experience.

What’s been your greatest wine experience?

It is difficult to pinpoint it to one. Probably one of the most memorable experiences was traveling around Australia for two weeks visiting some of the most iconic regions and meeting some amazing winemakers. It is incredible how many great wines Australia produce that we rarely see in the UK Market.

What’s been the funniest wine moment in your career?

I like to have fun when I work, so I had quite a few funny moments in my career. Recently I was organizing a champagne training session for our sommelier team, the supplier sent us the samples for the tasting a few days before and for some reason we received one extra bottle the day of the training. During the tasting, one of the bottle was extremely hard to open and, as it was a new product, we thought something went wrong on the production line, when we tasted the champagne, it was completely flat, it tasted nice for a wine but it didn’t have any champagne characteristic. The supplier was a little embarrassed and didn’t know what to say, after a little discussion we realized that we were tasting wine from a dummy bottle. It was hilarious, no-one knew that there would be wine in a dummy and it was actually a good wine. Luckily, we had the right bottle as well!

What’s been your biggest wine faux pas?

It was with a regular customer, one day he told me that the last time he was in he loved the Australia Shiraz Amon Ra from Ben Glaetzer. We started to talk about some of the other wines we list from Ben Glaetzer. In the end, he decided to have the same wine, but when I went to take the bottle I was still thinking about a Cabernet Shiraz blend called Anaperenna from the same producer. I took the bottle, presented and served it and then carried on explaining why the Cab-Shiraz blend was better suited for his meal and I was happy that he liked it.

But when he told me that it tasted better than the last time I realized I served the wrong wine, I was so embarrassed but fortunately he enjoyed the wine and took a second bottle.

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posted by UK Editor, 14/11/2017

topics: Blog

Maximilian Riedel at The Waldorf, London

Tickets Now on Sale – The Perfect Christmas Gift for any Wine-lover.

(Please note that tickets for this tasting are now fully sold out)

Join Maximilian at the Waldorf London and participate in a unique sensory experience as, in a tutored comparative tasting, he guides you through an enjoyable and educational event, which shows the difference the shape and size of a glass makes to our perception and enjoyment of wine.

On arrival, guests will enter the historic ‘Palm Court’, first opened in 1908 and made famous in 1913 as ‘the home of the Tango’ which scandalised Edwardian Britain and again when, in 1958, it featured as the interior of the Titanic in the film ‘A Night to Remember’. A collection of Riedel’s most famous pieces will be on display and a bar will be available for the purchase of pre-event drinks.

The main event will then commence in the elegant and dramatic ‘Adelphi Ballroom’ where guests will be seated for Maximillian’s tasting which will last for approx. 90 minutes.

 

Tickets start from less than £60.00 per person (when bought as a group ticket) and all participants will each take home, free of charge, four Riedel Veritas glasses, worth £110, as used in the tasting.
VIP tickets for two are also available and include (per couple) £220 worth of glasses, plus a hand-made Riedel decanter, worth £395, plus a voucher for Champagne on arrival at the bar.

 

Full details of all available tickets can be found here.

 

The tasting will be held at:

The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, London, WC2B 4DD

On Friday 26th January 2018

 

Why not consider tickets as a Christmas Gift? Tickets ordered before 12 noon on 20th December will be posted in time for Christmas delivery (UK mainland). All orders will be supplied in a ‘letter box friendly’ presentation box.

 

Doors will open at 6.00pm, with the tasting starting promptly at 7.00pm. Aged 18 and over only. Please arrive in good time as we regret there will be no admittance once the tasting has started.

 

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posted by UK Editor, 19/10/2017

topics: Blog

October's Sommelier of the Month

Our Sommelier of the month for October 2017 is Ross Morton, Head Sommelier at Peel’s Restaurant/Hampton Manor. Ross has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.

How did you get into the wine industry?

I started off bartending working in various pubs and Cocktail bars and when I came to be Head bartender at peel’s it was a natural progression to get into wine, where I became Assistant Sommelier to Danielle Carr who went onto Carters of Mosley, I completed my WSET’s then became Head Sommelier working very closely with Sam Olive who runs Wine Freedom a Birmingham based natural wine supplier, He has a lot of industry experience and is a fantastic guide and help in taking the wine list in a direction of my own.

Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your restaurant? What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?

When looking for a range of glassware to use in the restaurant I was immediately drawn to the Veritas range, it was both elegant and practical and fantastic varietal specific shapes. I personally enjoy the expressions of the wine that are magnified by using the right glass with the appropriate wine.

Guests also love the glassware finding it a joy to drink from and matching with the environment of our restaurant, I have many comments about having a range of glasses that fit perfectly next to each other but being very different and varied for a wine flight.

What’s been your greatest wine experience?

Within my role here and others within the restaurant, we are encouraged to tell stories and show the story we have built here. I have a big passion for wine that tells a story; so family run, small producers that have a love of their land are essential. Every time a guest asks questions on a wine flight relating to organic or biodynamic principals it is fantastic because they are showing an interest in something that we all feel strongly about when it comes to wine making. One guest very recently was extremely interested in these stories, I have relayed them onto some minimal intervention wines that they have ordered to have at home.

I also, loved visiting Nyetimber down in Sussex, such a modern take on a very historical estate producing fantastic English Sparkling.

What is your favourite food and wine match and which Riedel glass would you use to serve?

My favorite wine match is LDN CRU Baker’s Street Baccus with Heritage Tomatoes, Burrata and Elderflower. Served in Riedel Veritas Sauvignon Blanc Glass. Fresh and distinctively English summer flavours.

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posted by UK Editor, 17/10/2017

topics: Blog

September's Sommelier of the Month

Our Sommelier of the month for September 2017 is Richard Muldowney at Le Talbooth Restaurant. Richard has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.

How did you get into the wine industry?

From a very young age I fell into the industry and fell in love with it whilst studying at college – then I went on to complete first a diploma and then my BA in Hospitality Management alongside working for MH&R. I have progressed quickly through the company into a senior position benefiting from working with the top goods and products along the way.

Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your hotel/restaurant?

Beautiful range of glassware to suit all needs at many different levels of dining. The shout out elegance to the guest which is very important in an establishment such as Le Talbooth.

What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?

When changing the glassware dependant on wine selection creates theatre at the table and the sense of professionalism and knowledge amongst the establishment which is highly though of by guests. Guests love the variety of glassware and frequently we can educate them in “why” we have done so.

What has been your biggest ‘wine’ faux pas?

Getting the incorrect Bin no of a white burgundy and opening something for £450 per bottles instead of £35! That was some expensive staff training!

Pouring wine at the table and picking up the wrong bottle (serving someone else’s wine to the incorrect guest).

What’s been the funniest ‘wine’ moment in your career? 

Opening Champagne for a drinks reception on a hot day and the bottle exploded on me and down my grey trousers in a very suspicious looking location! – Very embarrassing but made everyone laugh very much!

What is your favourite wine that you are currently serving?

Hard decision but a couple of highlights currently -

White – 2014  Pouilly-Fume Triptygue, Alain Caibourdin and 2013  Pinot Noir 'Blanc de Noirs', Martin's Lane, Crouch Valley, England - WOW

Red – 2010  Nicolas Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina

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posted by UK Editor, 19/09/2017

topics: Blog

August's Sommelier of the Month

Our Sommelier of the month for August 2017 is Jaroslav Sedlacek at The Tudor Room at Great Fosters. Jaroslav has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.

How did you get into the wine industry?

My interest in wine started whilst I was studying Hospitality Management in Melbourne. I get the chance to work with a few great sommeliers who inspired me and the experience pushed me to take wine more seriously.

Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your restaurant?

I believe that Riedel is like Rolls Royce in the glass industry. In Michelin star restaurants, we are always trying to reach perfection and using Riedel glassware helps us get closer to it.

What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?

Most of the customers are little shocked but pleasantly surprised at the same time. The majority of them have never heard about varietal specific glasses.

What’s been your greatest wine experience?

I was able to work for Trius Winery in Niagara Falls. I had the opportunity to participate in harvest and witness the whole winemaking process on daily basis. Although I contributed so little, it was amazing to be part of something so big.

What’s been the funniest wine moment in your career?

It is hard to think about something really funny that would be suitable and appropriate at the same time. All I can say is that most of the fun always come hand in hand with trade tasting and wineries.

What’s been your biggest wine faux pas?

At the beginning of my hospitality career, I served bottle of Champagne to two sophisticated ladies in Melbourne. Unfortunately, the bottle of Champagne has slipped from my hand, hit the ground and exploded, causing the champagne to end up all over the ladies. One of them had a new Japanese dress on which was worth a fortune. I was a little shaky after the incident but fortunately for me the ladies stayed classy.

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posted by UK Editor, 15/08/2017

topics: Blog

A Comparative Champagne Glass Tasting hosted by Maximilian Riedel

Update 12th September 2017 - we have just a few tickets remining - book now to avoid disappointment.

Join us for a unique opportunity to participate in a Riedel comparative Champagne glass tasting, where we will explore the difference a glass can make, as Maximilian Riedel personally guides you through this special sensory experience.

Tickets start from less than £60.00 per person (when bought as a group ticket) and all participants will each take home, free of charge, a pair of Riedel Veritas Champagne glasses and a pair of Riedel Veritas New World Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo/Rosé Champagne glasses, worth £110.
VIP tickets for two are also available and include £220 worth of glasses, plus a Riedel Amadeo decanter, worth £495.

The tasting will be held at:

The Royal Horticultural Halls (Lindley Hall), Elverton Street, London SW1P 2QW

On Wednesday 27th September 2017

Doors will open at 6.00pm, with the tasting starting promptly at 7.00pm. Aged 18 and over only. Please arrive in good time as we regret there will be no admittance once the tasting has started.

Click Here to Book Tickets

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posted by UK Editor, 14/07/2017

topics: Blog

July's Sommelier of the Month

Our Sommelier of the month for July 2017 is Michal Lebdowicz at The Galloping Major, Oddfellows on the Park. Michal has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.

What is your industry background?

I started my journey in hospitality 17 years ago by working in one of the best fine dining restaurants in Poland “Wentzl” where I spent six years honing my craft!

After then moving to Manchester, I worked at Michael Caines @ Abode Manchester where I have spent five years moving up the ladder from Chef de Rang to Restaurant Manager.

Whilst in Wentlz, I met the person who I would call my mentor, Michal Jancik. He is one of the best Polish Sommeliers and the person who implemented my passion for wines. In the very early days of my career as a part-time student working summer holidays, I asked him  - “What is an appellation?”. He spent almost two hours explaining that to me. He inspired me so much that I have been fanatical about wine ever since then.

Assuming you enjoy using Riedel glassware, do you have a favorite glass or decanter?

My favorite equipment is Swirl Decanters. They are funky, which definitely fits in with Oddfellows, and they are also the most practical decanters I have ever worked with. I just love them.

What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in the different varietal specific glasses?

The reaction from the guests is mind blowing. Guests are shown the difference of the same wine in different glasses, the most dramatic response seems to come from Pinot Noir to Merlot glass.

What is your best experience in your role to date?

I’m passionate about food and my best food experience to date must come from Ian Moss, our chef; he has a scallop ceviche starter which is served with seaweed oil, fresh fennel and Granny Smiths apple granite. I would match this dish with a new addition to the wine list, which is Perrier - Jouet NV Blanc de Blanc Champagne, but in an Oaked Chardonnay glass to enhance flavours the champagne.

I always ask guests at Oddfellows what they drink at home in order to come up with a suggested wine for them. Their response will give me some hints of the flavours they enjoy. A favourite suggestion which went down very well was for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc drinker -  I recommended Picpul de Pinet instead in Riedel Viognierglass which they loved. It has similar notes and when used with Riedel glasses, the wine expresses the lime which connects to the flavours of a Sauvignon Blanc.

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posted by UK Editor, 14/07/2017

topics: Blog

June's Sommelier of the Month

Our Sommelier of the month for June 2017 are Anthony Davies & Zoë Fisher at The Grape Escape Wine Bar & Merchant. Anthony and Zoë have very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with their response.

How did you get into the wine industry?

We’ve been lucky enough to eat in some fantastic restaurants throughout the UK and abroad and would quite often choose the tasting menu with matching wines. Gradually, the wine became as important as the food if not more; we started spending our Saturdays in wine bars, dreaming of opening our own. At the end of 2014 we sold our house, gave up our jobs (Zo – English Teacher, Ant – Marketing) and opened The Grape Escape. We searched for suppliers who imported our favourite wines from our various holidays (always wine related!) and went from there.

Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your hotel/restaurant?

Simply, great wines deserve great glassware! We have always used Riedel glassware at home and saw it as a sign of quality when wine bars we visited served their wine in Riedel. Our customers frequently tell us how much they appreciate our glasses with one woman even commenting ‘If I didn’t love this bar so much this water glass would be coming home with me!’

What’s been your biggest ‘wine’ faux pas?

We held a tasting at the bar recently hosted by Konstantin Guntrum of Weingut Louis Guntrum; the labels on the bottles are all rather similar and Ant ended up serving two of the wines in the wrong order. Luckily for us, one of our more astute customers noticed and we were able to rectify the situation. Konstantin didn’t seem to mind too much - he was still happy to pour the couple of bottles of 1976 Spätlese he had brought with him in his suitcase!

What’s been the best wine moment in your career? 

Our first birthday coincided with the 40th anniversary of ‘The Judgment of Paris’ so we hosted our very own ‘Judgement of Cheltenham’ to celebrate. As well as pitting each side of the Atlantic against each other to discover the best Chardonnay and Bordeaux blends, we also added an extra round for Pinot Noir, which proved to be a great call as Joseph Swan’s fabulous Trenton Estate 2011 was voted wine of the night. California won all three rounds by small margins, by the way.

What’s your favourite wine that you are currently serving?

We were quite upset when Randall Grahm decided to sell off his Albariño vineyard and were delighted to come across Marimar Estate’s ‘Don Miguel Vineyard’ Albarińo as a more than adequate replacement. We love Chris Brockway’s wines at Broc Cellars, his 2015 Vine Starr Zinfandel is an absolute stunner.  Recently we have been really enjoying wines from other parts of the US, Gramercy Cellars in Washington State and Red Hook in Brooklyn being two of our favourites. Outside of America we are loving wines from Vinteloper from Adelaide Hills, Judith Beck in Burgenland and Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein in the Mosel.

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posted by UK Editor, 27/06/2017

topics: Blog

A Sunny Summer Offer from Riedel UK

With the Summer holidays just around the corner, our thoughts move to long al fresco summer afternoons and evenings - not complete, of course, without a cooling drink in hand.

And, if you need to top up your glassware, we are offering 20% off all purchases of Riedel, Nachtmann and Spiegelau made through the Riedel UK Website, using coupon code SUMMER17.

So, why not visit our website now and take advantage of this great offer? But don't delay, this promotion, which is exclusive to subscribers to the Riedel UK newsletter, runs until 30th June 2017 only.

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posted by UK Editor, 22/06/2017

topics: Blog

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