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.
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.