HdR - excellent report from the Gang of Pour

Hospice du Rhone 2009: Sour Notes But No Sour Grapes

A very well-written write-up from this year’s Hospice du Rhône, with pictures taken by the King of Food Porn himself, Mr. Mel Hill. Most of us are spending less money on wine than we did a year or two ago, but it’s interesting to see how the economic downturn has affected such a large-scale event.

If nothing else, read it to discover Georg Riedel’s take on (and I quote) the difference between the smell of rose petals and chicken shit.

I meant to get some notes up on the seminars but never did. I loved George’s very frank note about ‘chicken shit’. Was sort of…refreshing. :wink:

Indeed, Cris. And nice swag! What did you think of the same wine in different glasses? Did you agree with Riedel’s observations?

There were definite differences. I view this as the cattle prod I needed to dig up my notes and get something up. :smiley: I didn’t always agree with George’s take but the differences in the three wines wee fun to see. Three fairly different Syrahs and I actually liked the Aussie!

Yes, a really good write-up by Boyce Brannock. Some of you may have met him at HdR - very nice guy, and obviously a very good writer! He hangs out at WCWN a lot (as “BEB”), hoping we can get him participating here too.

I’m a bit of a homer for the HdR staff and I feel that the article was a touch too critical. BUT, I’m a bit of a homer for the HdR Staff…

I’m sure it must have been a tough year for the HdR staff without Mat being there. I got the sense from a lot of people that this was something of a “down” year for HdR - and the economy sure didn’t help either. Hopefully things will be more back on track next year, but regardless, it’s still the most fun wine event of the year by far.

I’m not particularly a homer for the HdR staff, but I enjoyed the seminars quite a lot. The Riedel seminar did have some aristocratic, Austrian taskmaster moments that brought out the rebellious child in me (and I wasn’t a rebellious child). But I scored another Riedel Sommelier Hermitage glass (one of my all time favorite glasses), so all is forgiven. The smaller attendance meant there was more room in the seminars as well as the tastings, which was certainly pleasant. But for the health of the event, I hope the attendance increases again. I also missed a number of the usual participants from outside the USA, and definitely hope they return next year.


Al, did you get one of the Oregon Pinot glasses too? I don’t know that I really buy the need for so many glasses, but that one’s well under $20 and it’s become my favorite all-purpose Pinot glass.

Ken, indeed. I’ve enjoyed Boyce’s writing for years, and I’ve really appreciated his recommendations. Smart guy, great palate.

Yes, we kept all four glasses. Apparently, the Oregon pinot glass is from the restaurant series. I like that glass, Bryan Harrington has a few at his winery and I’ve used them a lot.


Very good write up - with the exception of the abscence of Epiphany, the winery I was pouring for [foilhat.gif]

The Reidel seminar was very interesting and educational - each wine did indeed tate and smell quite different in each of the four glasses . . .

What I liked most was Georg’s analogy that his glasses are simply the speakers to the ‘music’ that is the wine - and different speakers can amplify different attributes (or instruments) of the music . . . nice . . .