Miele + Riedel = Crystal Clear

A Miele masterpiece, soon In Vino Veritas!

 When I received the invitation to attend a comparative glassware Champagne and wine tasting hosted by Maximilian Riedel, CEO of Riedel USA, and Nick Ord, CEO of Miele USA, with my dear friend and colleague Saxon Henry, my favorite roamer, I must say I was quite intrigued. I have spent many years in the restaurant and wine industry, and was taught that Riedel or any fine stemware should never be cleaned in a dishwasher for several good reasons.

First off, residual soap interferes with the aromas and flavors of the wine, and scratches and breakage were always a concern. So of course, I wanted to find out firsthand from the man himself why the company had announced a new partnership with Miele to endorse their dishwashers as safe for their glassware. Lots of rules have been broken in the wine world since I first began to understand fine wines and cuisine as a server at the venerable Gotham Bar & Grill in the early 90s.

We were taught to always hold a wine glass by the stem, never by the bowl, to ensure that our fingertips would not warm the wine. This would also allow us to swirl properly to release the aromas in the wine that were so integral to our overall enjoyment of it. We were also taught the importance of the right wine with the right glass which Riedel touched upon during the event we attended (see a bit of his tutorial in the video below), and the right food/wine pairing.

These revelations have stayed with me for years for good reason. In 2004, everything changed when Riedel introduced the “O” line, a stemless glass series. Really??? Well, it took off like wildfire and stemless wine glasses were popping up in top restaurants and well appointed homes around the country. If Riedel endorses it, what’s not to love? thought those of us who paid close attention to wine and food subjects. The glass was so successful that it increased Riedel’s U.S. sales by $18 million dollars from the previous year. Sometimes, you have to break the rules, as they say.

It was quickly clear that Ord likes to break the rules as well. While shopping for stemware to best enjoy his fine wines at home, of course he was considering Riedel, he was shocked to read on the box that they did not recommend washing their “instruments” in the dishwasher. Well, of course Mr. Ord took this as a personal challenge and set out to make a dishwasher that was Riedel worthy. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The event Saxon and I attended launched the global partnership of the two iconic brands, unveiling the next generation of Miele machines that will be introduced this coming June. The Futura series is made up of 20 models of 18- and 24-inch dishwashers that have features as sophisticated as a super tall bottom trays equipped with fittings that hold extra tall stemware in place and an option for chilling pilsner glasses (beer drinkers everywhere can thank Ord for this fact: he’s an ale man)!

Beyond the tech fun, there is tech genius behind these new dishwashers as well, such as water and energy consumption features, and RemoteVision™ that alerts a technical service team whenever there is a performance issue. Oh, and did I mention we tasted some excellent wine in none other than Riedel stemware, or as Maximilian called them “tools” for making any wine-tasting experience delightful?

It was a tough job but someone had to do it!

Roaming by Design would like to thank Susan Wilber, our guest journalist today, for this juicy post! The dynamic food/wine guru is a freelance culinary event planner who makes the behind-the-scenes rigamarole of handling intimate and large-scale events seem effortless when they are far from it. We’re thrilled to have her as an occasional contributor here. Welcome Susan! For my piece on the event, which I wrote for the kicky new site Food Republic, hop on over to this page (and don’t forget to stay for a while and look around)! Happy Roaming everyone!


I Wanna Be Sated!

Sleek and Chic Scavolini kitchen

A sleek and chic Scavolini kitchen.

Uber-connected blogger Paul Anater turned me on to a great showroom opening in Soho a few weeks ago and the event turned out to be a chic affair with foodie flair. It was the debut of the first U.S. flagship of Scavolini, a hip Italian brand of kitchens with clean contemporary lines and seriously cool color combinations. The space holds 15 kitchens that highlight the customization for which Scavolini is known. Daniele Busca, the showroom manager, and Francesco Farina, the CEO who worked with SpaCe Architects to create the wonderful ambiance achieved, were beaming that night.

Daniele Busca, Daniel Boulud, Michael Boodro and Francesco Farina

Daniele Busca, Daniel Boulud, Michael Boodro and Francesco Farina.

As he should have been! The media sponsor was Elle Décor, and the new Editor-in-Chief Michael Boodro was on hand, as was celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud. To highlight how well the showroom handles cooking demonstrations, which will take place on a recurring basis, a pasta dish inspired by Marky Ramone‘s sauce was prepared during the event. You can find it in the November edition of Elle Décor under Daniel’s Dish. Here are the dets!

Marky Ramone’s Drum Punk Pasta 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced 1 small onion, thinly sliced 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 T capers, roughly chopped 1/3 cup black nicoise olives, pitted and halved 1/2 bunch basil, leaves torn 1 24-oz. jar Marky Ramone’s Brooklyn’s Own Pasta Sauce or other jarred sauce 2 lbs. fettuccine pasta 1 cup sheep’s-milk ricotta cheese Zest of 1 lemon 2 T fresh parsley, chopped 2 T extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Twist and Shout! (Photos by Patrick Butler), Marky Ramone's Pasta Sauce

Twist and Shout! (Photos by Patrick Butler)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, and red pepper flakes with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add garlic, capers, olives, and torn basil, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the garlic is golden. Add tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the fettuccine to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. When it is still firm to the bite, strain the pasta and toss with the sauce; keep hot. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, parsley, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve pasta hot, with a spoonful of ricotta on top of each portion. For other Daniel Boulud recipes, visit the Elle Decor web site. Is it just me, or could the Ramones have used a cooler kitchen in this takeaway video of the day? Happy sauteing everyone, and if you stop in at Scavolini, be sure to tell Daniele that Sax & the City sent you!



Product Peek: John Pomp’s Eloquence in Glass

The Touch by John Pomp

Earlier this year, Newton Vineyard debuted a limited edition decanter by glass artist John Pomp. I have seen it in person and it is quite the transparent beauty! Pomp, who has created glass objects for Tiffany & Co., and installations for Donna Karan, made 100 mouth-blown pieces from 30% recycled glass. He has signed and numbered each decanter in the collection, which he has named “The Touch.” Though the glass piece is substantial, the dimple is so perfectly placed that it’s comfortable to hold in spite of its weight. He describes his inspiration for the design quite eloquently in this video I thought I’d share.

“Coaxing the molten glass into the form of ‘The Touch’ requires a natural sensibility,” says Pomp, who uses all handmade tools and molds in the process. He likens working with the molten glass to winemaking, noting that “every move affects the final product, and every product bears the signature of my handiwork, much like a winemaker’s hand shows in every bottle.”


Lovelier the Second Time Around

Silvia Pazzi wearing the Re-Circle necklace and bracelet

Silvia Pazzi wearing the Re-Circle necklace and bracelet

Roaming by Design caught up with Silvia Pazzi, founder of Regenesi, during the U.S. launch of her chic Italian products, which are notable for the company’s commitment to sustainability, this week. I was blown away by Re-Circle, a necklace/bracelet combo that Pazzi just happen to be wearing when we met for lunch. The ensemble was designed by Kaisli Kiuru from a product called Alicrite, which is normally used to clad surfaces.

It is more than 90% post-consumer recycled content, which includes buttons, bag grips, eyeglasses, car warning triangles and bicycle reflectors, and yet close-up, it has a luminous mother-of-pearl likeness. Kiuru says, “I decided to work with a material unprecedented in the fashion world. It’s great to see that there’s an increasing interest in ‘post-consumer’ objects.” Well, it certainly helps when the objects are as beautiful as these!

Another of my favorites in their line is DesKoffiSet, designed by Giulio Iacchetti and made of 100% recycled and recyclable plastic. There are no additives or resins and each sheet of the material, manufactured by Smile Plastics, has a 40% smaller carbon footprint than one from virgin material. Now that’s what I call sustainable! Iacchetti remarks, “I imagine a world in which the production of goods is increasingly interlocked with sustainability and its values.”

He notes that there is no need to sacrifice style for environmental responsibility. Case in point is his desk set, which includes recycled coffee cups and the moulded liners inside scrapped refrigerators.