Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tasting party

I threw a "tasting party" this past Sunday with some friends. Each couple or person bring a few varieties of a certain food for us all to taste and compare. (For example, 3 blue cheeses, or 3 kinds of cherries)

It looked like everyone had a good time, aided in no small part by the yummy wines from Stormhoek. I'll be heading off to Pete's Wines in Bellevue to see if I can buy some more!

Here's the final list of goodies:

  • Me: Stormhoek wines from South Africa (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinotage, Shiraz). The wines were all excellent, and I especially liked the Pinot Grigio and Pinotage. The Pinotage is smooth, fruity and juicy - no hint of greenness.
  • Raymond: Beverages:
    • Water (Evian, Dasani, municipal tap). Raymond did a blind tasting for these, and most people were able to pick out the Evian as being the most fancy/epensive. Most people found it hard to distinguish between the tap water and Dasani. Interestingly, several people preferred the tap water or Dasani to the Evian!
    • Tea (Froufy tea [from a tea shop], Bigelow, and Lipton).
      Again, these were served blind. The froufy tea was easy to spot. Bigelow and Lipton are pretty much the same...
  • Hilary: Cheeses: Stilton (blue), Cranberry Wensleydale, French camembert-type cheese. Onion jelly from South Carolina. We ate the cheese with a nice selection of crackers and breads (ProVita crackers from South Africa, Carr's water crackers, pumpernickel and caraway toast from Ikea). Yum! The onion jelly is slightly sweet and savoury and went well with the Wensleydale.
  • Dorothy: Alsation-style fruit tarts (one apple, one apricot). Sweet olives to go with the cheeses (from the Riebeek Valley in South Africa). Sweet olives? Yes, and they're delicious - a bit like candied figs. The tarts were amazing - Washington Braeburn apples worked really well.
  • Ben & Becky: Three salads. Sorry, I'll need to get the specific of each salad and update this... They were all amazing!
  • Carrie & Keshav: Dipping oils (basil-infused olive oil, roasted garlic olive oil, artichoke and garlic dipping oil), with Pugliese bread from Trader Joe's. The artichoke one was my favourite!
  • Mathias & Stephanie: Tapenades from DeLaurenti in Pike Place Market: Green olive, black olive, sun-dried tomato and also hummus.
  • Eric: Three chocolates (randing from 35%-53% cacao). Callebaut chocolate from Whole Foods.
  • Ari: Double chocolate chocolate-chip cookies. Sadly I didn't try these, but they looked very rich and decadent!

I'll post some pictures later this week...


Raymond said...

Actually, the Bigelow and Lipton were hardly the same. People generally hated the Bigelow. Eric said, "I sure hope this isn't the one we have at work!" Unfortunately, it was...

Joy to the World said...

That party was quite fun! Lots of good food, and I especially enjoyed learning that I like my own tap water best. Evian is just weird.