2010 Trend: Sommelier Challenge
Red Wine Vinegar
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.
The nutty flavor of this organic bottling reminded the sommeliers of sherry vinegar from Spain. $4 for 8.5 oz; spectrumorganics.com.
This organic, unpasteurized variety is made from naturally fermented red wine. "A nice, rustic vinegar," said Morgan. $2.50 for 16 oz; edenfoods.com.
"The dark fruit and smooth texture resemble an Alexander Valley Merlot," Bangs said of this French conserve. $4 for 10 oz; stdalfour.us.
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.
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.
The Coca Cola Company's new juice had "the best balance of sweet, bitter and tart," said Zimorski. $4 for 59 oz; simplyorangejuice.com.
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.
Produced by a cooperative of Florida citrus growers, this juice "has a nice herbal component," Bangs said. $3 for 64 oz; floridasnatural.com.