2010 Trend: Sommelier Challenge

Sommeliers love to talk about fruit—extolling a wine's grapefruit scent, say, or its jamminess. So F&W decided to ask three Washington, DC, wine pros to blind-taste different supermarket grapefruit juices and raspberry jams. And, because wine can also turn to vinegar, we had them rate that, too.
A juicy, jammy taste test: (l to r) Colavita red-wine vinegar ($3.50), St. Dalfour strawberry jam ($4) and Simply Grapefruit grapefruit juice ($4). Photos © Burcu Avsar, Courtesy of Colavita/St. Dalfour
A juicy, jammy taste test: (l to r) Colavita red-wine vinegar ($3.50), St. Dalfour strawberry jam ($4) and Simply Grapefruit grapefruit juice ($4). Photos © Burcu Avsar, Courtesy of Colavita/St. Dalfour

The pros: Kat Bangs, Komi; Jill Zimorski, Cafe Atlantico; Kathryn Morgan, Citronelle

Red Wine Vinegar

Taste-Test Winner:

Colavita
The panel found this aged Italian vinegar had a robust, tangy, sandalwood-flecked flavor that tasted the most like red wine. $3.50 for 17 oz; colavita.com.

Runners-Up

Spectrum Naturals
The nutty flavor of this organic bottling reminded the sommeliers of sherry vinegar from Spain. $4 for 8.5 oz; spectrumorganics.com.

Eden Select
This organic, unpasteurized variety is made from naturally fermented red wine. "A nice, rustic vinegar," said Morgan. $2.50 for 16 oz; edenfoods.com.

Raspberry Jam

Taste-Test Winner:

St. Dalfour
"The dark fruit and smooth texture resemble an Alexander Valley Merlot," Bangs said of this French conserve. $4 for 10 oz; stdalfour.us.

Runners-Up

Bonne Maman
The fresh taste reminded Bangs of jam-making with her family. "It's got the best texture, not too thick," said Morgan. $5 for 13 oz; bonnemaman.us.

Smuckers
The American jam had the richest, most spreadable consistency. "It's fresh and fruity, like a California Cab," Bangs said. $3 for 12 oz; smuckers.com.

Grapefruit Juice

Taste-Test Winner:

Simply Grapefruit
The Coca Cola Company's new juice had "the best balance of sweet, bitter and tart," said Zimorski. $4 for 59 oz; simplyorangejuice.com.

Runners-Up

Tropicana Ruby Red
"Great fruit flavor, but it could use more zing," Morgan said. The sweet Ruby Red breed was patented in 1929. $3.50 for 64 oz; tropicana.com.

Florida's Natural
Produced by a cooperative of Florida citrus growers, this juice "has a nice herbal component," Bangs said. $3 for 64 oz; floridasnatural.com.

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2010 Trends

PUBLISHED January 2010

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