25% Off New Riedel Glasses

There are two or three things I want to talk about this morning, a new small range from Riedel, an electrical meander and a visit to Birmingham.

But first things first, on Wednesday morning this week, Andi* and I turned up at our Cobham shop to restore light to the ailing Riedel display. Sally and Jeanne** have been asking us to do this for quite some time, so as guilt was beginning to mount, I’d determined that we were going to get this slightly grizzly job done this week come hell or high water.

And to share out the grizzle I’d asked Andi to help because he’s good company, and also one of those practical people who can turn their had to almost anything, redesigning a website, wiring, woodwork and sailing across the Atlantic are just a few of the things he’s accomplished in his 50 something years, with nary a hair out of place.

The lighting involved is 12 volt LED powered, so armed with a couple of new transformers to replace the old ones, we set to work.  By 12.00 we’d replaced not only the power source, but also the ‘distracting’ white cabling which ‘stared’ rather. The new black wiring we installed blended well into the background, becoming almost invisible.  We finished with the shelves brightly lit and the contents sparkling again.

We got fed chocolate biscuits, washed down with good black coffee from our Jura Ena 8*** for our trouble, and Jeanne and Sally seemed pleased with the result that we achieved, so all was well with world as I pointed the car back in the direction of the M25.

* Andi is our Website Development Manager, based at the warehouse in Redhill.

**Sally has been largely running Cobham in Jeanne’s absence (whilst Jeanne was working in and training our newish team in the Redhill warehouse) and my thanks go to her (Sally) for her ever cheerful attitude and helpfulness, and regularly having to “man” the place by herself. Jeanne is now back in Cobham which is a relief all round.

***You are very welcome to pop in and ask for a coffee made from one of these wonderful machines in either Cobham or Reigate  

A visit to KitchenCraft

Whilst in a reminiscing frame of mind, last week I drove up to Birmingham to meet with Matthew Canwell, the Managing Director of Kitchencraft (which was bought by Lifetime Brands, an American outfit quite some years ago now) and two of his colleagues, David Morrison and Gary Porter.

I got there around 3.00pm, was offered coffee and cake (which of course I accepted) and was shown round their impressive 10,000 square feet showroom. They are now stockists of KitchenAid tools (and if I understood it correctly, instigators/designers of the new ranges) in a number of materials including Stainless Steel, Birch wood and of course, Plastics.

Compared with the horrors that KitchenAid (used to?) produce (in stark contrast to their superb stand mixers et al) mainly for the American market, these tools were well designed.  For instance, items like peelers, can openers, garlic presses all feeling both good quality and very usable.

They are also now making really good quality forged knives and a beautiful range of Damascus bladed knives at eye watering prices…. quite a change from the past!

I’ll be surprised if you don’t find me writing more about these in the next few weeks.  After spending quite a while in the KitchenAid section, I then spotted, in KitchenCraft’s own Mikasa brand, a good, well priced range of white porcelain dinner ware, which was nice quality and very well priced.

These two alone I felt justified the trip, the coffee and cake of course were icing on……. the cake!

At the end of the afternoon, I went off to my hotel (kindly booked and provided by Kitchencraft). I then had my first trip in a BMW iX. An impressive machine which didn’t appear to have an engine at all and seemed to waft around the place in silence. All to do with this new fad of saving the planet…. apparently it uses batteries!

I’d like to deride it, as I’ve been known to do on the odd occasion with Nick Squires’ BMW X5 (the 2nd ugliest car in the world), but as this thing achieves 60 mph in about 3 seconds and looks lovely compared with the X5, I think I’ll retire gracefully and accept that my somewhat slower 2004 BMW E39 Touring is, if nothing else, a car of character, and I just love it.

Anyway, back to the reason for my lift in this piece of modern wizardry. Having discussed with Matthew, where I’d like to eat that evening, I’d suggested that I’d be very happy to be surprised where we were going for dinner. So, I was delighted when we found ourselves in an excellent Indian Restaurant a few miles down the road from the hotel, where Matthew was greeted as an old friend by the owner and his wife. We sat down to a beautifully cooked meal, which I’m sorry to say I cannot name (restaurant or the food).

Suffice to say it was a very good evening with subjects covering business, politics and our families.

A real treat.

KitchenCraft Mini Spoonula

Whilst on the subject of Kitchencraft, our number one top selling product from them is their Colour Works Silicone Mini Spatula £4.99. We have 5 or 6 at home and at the end of a typical day, a quick glance at the draining board will reveal that at least 2 or 3 of these have been used and very often more. They are just invaluable in the kitchen for getting the last drop of sauce out of a frying pan, a saucepan, juice out of a jam jar, a bowl, or off a grater…….

We’ve been out of stock for a while and to celebrate now having loads of stock back in again, we’re doing an offer of buy two for £7.98.


And so now back to Riedel.

My chums at Riedel have come up with a very nice small range of three grape specific wine glasses, which I hope will tempt the “cautious in you”, to try out Riedel’s concept of matching wine glass bowl size and shape to a particular grape or grapes, if you haven’t done so already.

You never know you may be surprised by the difference in taste. And if you’re not, just return them (washed up preferably) and we’ll give you a refund.

This guarantee applies to 99% of what we sell.

Riedel Grape Cabernet / Merlot glasses (Pair)

The first one is the Cabernet / Merlot glass (also suited to cocktails apparently….?) which happens to suit my beloved Bordeaux. But it will also do justice to Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaux, Merlot, Medoc and wouldn’t be bad for Shiraz and Syrah, and some of the heavier New World reds.

What I wouldn’t drink out of this glass is Pinot Noir / Burgundy (it gets lost in the big bowl) and nearly all white wines, ditto.

Riedel Grape Pinot / Nebbiolo / Aperitivo Glasses (Pair)

Next up is the Pinot Noir or Burgundy glass. This glass’s other uses, besides the obvious Burgundy, Pinot for both new and old world, are Barbaresco, Barolo, Nebbiolo, Beaujolais Cru. I’d avoid putting the heavier reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Shiraz in this glass as it will, to an extent, just underwhelm.

Riedel Grape White Wine / Champagne / Spritz Glasses (Pair)

This, out of the three glasses is the least specific, really, and it would probably be easier to say what I wouldn't drink out of it. But first to give you an idea, I’d happily use it for Dry Chardonnays, Viognier, Rieslings, Champagne (much better than a flute), Chenin Blanc, and also for red Cotes du Rhone, Valpolicella, Chianti etc.

I would not use it for the heavier, sweeter oaked Chardonnays (they, I think, would be better in the Pinot glass, oddly!).

I suspect that Sauvignon Blanc might be ok out of this, but I’ve not tried it.

The offer

These glasses all have an RRP of £30 a pair. For this weekend only, I’m going to tempt you into sticking your toe in the wonderful world of Riedel and finding that that bottle of Cotes du Rhone you’ve been ‘enjoying’ for years actually has more character than you thought.

So, I’m reducing them to £22.50 a pair.

Tell us who you are if coming into Reigate or Cobham, or use code GRAPE24 if you are buying from us online.


We are still looking for a marketing bod who is good with social media but can also turn their hand to helping out in the warehouse when we’re busy at Christmas and to provide occasional cover for colleague’s holidays during the year.

The job description is HERE and the application form is HERE.

Please do pass this on to anyone you know who fits this bill and loves cooking.

That’s it for this week. I’ll leave Thomas Edison with the last word.

“I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Warm regards


Andrew Bluett-Duncan


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