I need to preface this tale of a (somewhat-failed) experiment by telling you (aside from the normal disclosure that I received all of the products as samples for possible review) that I have nothing against massive on-line tasting events like the recent #ChampagneDay (or its also recent big-brother #CabernetDay).
I’ve got a long history (since Day One, actually) with TasteLive.com, who kind of started the whole kumbaya-peace-love-and-Marsha-Brady-let’s-all-taste-together-on-line thang in the first place, after all. And I love the communal aspect, and the conviviality, that are at the heart of those tasting events.
It’s just that it doesn’t feel as though Champagne or Cabernet Sauvignon need their own tasting days. I mean, from a brand-recognition standpoint, these wines are like Pepsi or the Chicago Bulls. It’s not like no one’s ever heard of them, or never drinks the stuff, or that they have pricing issues on the high end.
So I’m kind of waiting for the underdog wine tasting day on twitter, myself (#BonardaDay, anyone?) before I get too excited about these grape-themed events.
But the twitter peeps were a persistent bunch, asking me (many times) about participating in #ChampagneDay last week, so eventually I caved into the pressure… of wanting Champagne to pair with take-out sushi for dinner that night (which is a f*cking EPIC food-and-wine pairing, by the way). Because I am a slave to the evil twin drives of surprise and novelty, and because I know my place in the Roberts household (lower on the totem pole than my daughter, but slightly higher than my dog… I think), I decided to to pop open the bubbly and pair it with… samples of cookies specifically designed (or, at least, specifically marketed!) to pair with Sparkling wine.
The results? Not-so-Epic…
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In this episode, I take a break from my busy schedule of eating, napping and playing Infinity Blade during my Tuscany vacation to field test a sample of the VinniBag, a unique inflatable travel bag meant to protect wine bottle from damage and temperature fluctuations.
How did my Tuscan Vin Santo fare in the VinniBag after being left out in the car in Chianti and Volterra, getting dragged in my luggage through the bumpy streets of Siena, and then subjected to multiple British Airways flights and the formidable Terminal 5 in London Heathrow airport? Watch the vid to find out!
Apologies in advance for the low volume during the first part of the vid (screw it, I was on vacation!) and for the jumpiness in the second stanza (the 100+ lb dog was trying to play a bit too friskily with the camerawoman at the time…).
In the latest video installment on 1WD TV, I channel my inner Colonel Hannibal Smith and taste a sample of Emblem’s 2006 Rutherford Cab in order to try out another sample: one of the latest wine aerators to hit the market, the cigar-shaped Nuance Wine Finer aerator – all with some surprising results. Many 80s brain cells are damaged in the ensuing antics. It will all make more sense when you watch the vid. Sort of. I think.
Oh, yeah – there’s a wine involved here as well, of course:
2006 Emblem Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, $50)
On twitter, I called this wine a “dark fruit, spice & black licorice savings bond that hasn’t quite yet come due,” meaning that I think it will need 4 to 5 more years to integrate and soften up. But as noted in the above vid, if you’re the impatient type you can still find a lot to love here, though decanting this kick-ass, beautiful monster from the 4th generation Mondavi clan is a must. For me, the best part about this wine is that it’s kind of deceptive: the fruit comes off all dark on the nose, but opens up to a lovely, pure, juciy red currant on the palate, like eating a big ol’ handful of the stuff right off the plant. Enough acidity to pair with meaty dishes, but proceed with some caution.