Tuesday, May 26, 2009



One of my favorite things about the world of food, wine, coffee and desserts is the unique and pleasurable experience that occurs when your palate is left with an ever-long, smooth and lasting finish. The experience doesn’t happen all of the time and quite frankly it doesn’t happen enough, but when it does, with a great flavor, it is a true joy. Recently I found a couple items that highlighted the magic of the “long finish” and I thought I would take a couple minutes to share them with you. Three experiences, three different items (very literally), but they all shared in common a long and magical finish…

Silver Wings 2004 Vincenzo Old Vine Mourvedre / Shiraz Blend - Estate grown just outside the town of Shepparton in Victoria, Australia, the Vincenzo is a great tribute to Old Vine Aussie fruit complexity that has been hand-crafted by Marquee’s head winemaker Keith Brien. As Keith will tell you, the Vincenzo, is like his fifth child because he puts in all of the extra time and effort necessary to work and age this wine so that it has been cared for delicately from its youth through its long barrel aging and extend bottle aging. A hot year (another in the record of drought years in Victoria), this wine gives you a beautiful balance of dark fruits (raspberries, blackberries and currants) and rich spicy mocha tones. It has a bit of white pepper, but what I keep coming back to when tasting this wine is that its long, drawn out finish has a dark chocolate and licorice fade that lasts for 30 or 40 seconds… Wow, it is ever a delight and a fun wine to share with friends!

Marquee is proud to announce that at the 2009 WSWA (Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association) Convention the 2004 Silver Wings Vincenzo O.V. was awarded the Best in Show prize for the new entrant brand, Rhone Varietal or Blend! I am sure the long, luxiourious finish of the Vincenzo is what won over these judges just as Keith has been wining over our palates with Marquee for years. To have a small house like Marquee wine this prestigious awarda at a huge convention with all of the world’s biggest brands present, Marquee and Keith in particular continues to outdistance the competion by overdelivering on quality! Kudos mate!

Tea Forte – White Ambrosia – OK, so coffee is usually my thing, but I do also really like a good cup of tea, and the folks at Tea Forte know what they are doing. With their signature “tea infusers” and great flavors I usually jump at a chance when I can grab one of these cups if they are in the room. My latest Tea Forte experience was at home on a chilly Saturday morning that just didn’t strike me as a coffee day. Instead of the joe, I picked the biggest cup in my kitchen; got the water boiling, seeped my infuser and when I had my first sips I was amazed at the elegant flavors and aromas, mmmm… wow was this some great stuff or what! Warming my hands on the edge of the mug on the cold day helped as well, but the most memorable part was the long, coconut infused white tea flavors that tingled on my taste buds for an eternity from sip to sip. If you like mild teas, try this one it’s worth the time.

Christopher Elbow Artisinal Chocolates – Christopher Elbow is a small artisan chocolate maker based from my home town, Kansas City, with an international reputation for divine quality chocolates that are both delicious and works of art. Recently I was involved in the March of Dimes fundraiser at Union Station, Winefest pouring wines in benefit of this great cause and had a chance to sneak over to the artisan chocolate makers table and sample a bit of the requisite fair. Lovely these delicious treats are and on another occasion I think I would tell you my favorite is the Passion Fruit, but this evening I tasted the Venezuelan Spice that has a dark ganache base that is infused with a chili spice blend. Oh, my it was a treat and the long crescendo of a finish was at the same time sweet and hot with the chili adding just enough punch to make you not reach for another piece, but savor the long finish of the last before moving on to a sip of vino.

In the same light these chocolates and this one in particular were a great compliment to a number of the lovely wines in the fundraisers Premier Room, I loved pairing the C. Elbow Russian Tea with Dark Ganache and hints of Black Tea, Citrus and Spices with the Caligiore Reserve Malbec, mmm, good stuff, a complimentary batch of Dark Berry flavors and spices.

Yes, you can pair red wines with chocolates, just do so carefully!

Keep searching out those foods, wines, teas, coffees and more that bring a long finish and pass me back some details.

These three are a real treat in that area, but thousands more are out there, we just have to find them and share with good friends!


Christopher J. Cribb, CSW
GM - General Manager
Marquee Artisan Wines - http://www.marquee.com/