I have been sent a prototype wine glass for the Riedel Biodynamic range to be launched later this year. I can only presume that I was selected for this honour because I have blogged so much on biodynamic wine, but if they had actually read my posts they would have realised that I am not exactly one of biodynamics’ biggest cheer-leaders.
You might have imagined that Riedel would have aimed to produce different shaped glasses in their biodynamic range – fruit shaped for fruit days, root shaped for root days etc. But no. Riedel are sticking to the tried-and-tested, and in fact used the classic Vinum Chianti shape for their prototype. You might have noticed that Tesco no longer only hold press tastings on fruit days, this one for example was on July 5th 2011, a root day, and it is rumoured that they are already using these special biodynamic glasses, masquerading as Vinum Chiantis, to compensate.
The special thing about the new range is that Riedel are adding components of standard biodynamic preparations to the molten glass. For the prototype they are eschewing the more exotic red deer bladder and cattle peritoneum, and limiting themselves to the ingredients of preparation 500: cow horn and cow manure. But don’t let the manure put you off – they only use homeopathic concentrations, and the high temperature of the molten glass will sterilise the manure. According to Riedel, the difficult bit was designing equipment that would stir the molten glass sufficiently fast to create a vortex.
If, as Riedel say, they use a 100g of cow horn and manure in every 10 tonnes of molten glass, it is easy to do a back-of-the-fag-packet calculation to show that there are only 1 or 2 cow molecules in each wine glass, and as likely as not they will finish up in the stem or foot of the glass rather than the bowl. We cynics might take that as proof that they could not possibly have any effect, but apparently that is to miss the point. Even if there are no cow molecules in any particular glass, the additions will continue to energise the whole batch of glass, and focus astral forces on the wine contained within it, which naturally improves the flavour.
Ever the scientist, I put the prototype glass to the test. I poured the same wine into the Biodynamic Riedel and an ordinary Vinum Chianti, and had my wife hand the glasses to me without saying which was which. Of course, the wine tasted identical in both glasses. Quelle surprise!
But if you are a believer, and want a chance to win my prototype Riedel Biodynamic, add a comment to this post starting with “I would love to own a Riedel Biodynamic glass because…” Only entries received before 12 noon today will be accepted. Unfortunately, after my trial I don’t know which glass is which, so I would have to send out the Vinum Chianti as well. Please return the non-biodynamic glass when you have figured out which one it is.