We had a fine Spectator Winemaker Dinner just before Christmas, hosted by the inimitable Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Cave at the equally inimitable Dom Pérignon.
Richard brought with him ample amounts of his spectacular fizz: the 2005, the 2004 Rosé and the P2 1998. We ate and drank royally and there wasn’t a person there who wasn’t seduced by the magic of Dom Pérignon. It might not be as exclusive and as rare as Moët & Chandon (whose prestige cuvée it is) would have us believe, but my goodness it’s a belter, up there with the very, very finest.
Richard insists that his champagne be served from red wine glasses. He believes the saucer or wide-brimmed coupe, supposedly modelled on the breasts of Marie Antoinette, allows the bubble to dissipate far too quickly while the more traditional narrow flute can make a wine taste too lean and mean. An ample red wine glass, on the other hand, gives champagne every opportunity to stretch out, show off and taste, well, ample.
The DP dinner came hard on the heels of a tasting I had with Maurice Hennessy, who told me that his fine cognac should be served in a sherry or white wine glass rather than a brandy balloon which he reckons is better suited for goldfish.
I’ve since had a massive clear out. Gone are the flutes and brandy balloons. Gone, too, are my swanky Riedel glasses, each tailored to a particular grape variety. Fine wine – even ordinary wine – undoubtedly tastes better drunk from fine glass, but why clutter up the cupboards unnecessarily?
I’m sticking to Berry Bros & Rudd’s Wine Merchant’s Glasses: the Red Bordeaux Glass (£52 a pair) for all fizz and all reds and the White Bordeaux Glass (£47.50 a pair) for all whites, sherries, ports and cognacs.
And as for the water glasses, well, water tastes ghastly whatever the glass.