Yes, it’s been a lovely summer, in England, France, Vancouver and Mexico. But all good things must come to an end and as I head to work today for the first day of classes with the boys, I must sadly bid goodbye to summer. But not before one last backyard get-together… I was recently given the opportunity by Trudeau to try some of their products and as I was trying to decide what to choose, I thought what better way to say goodbye to summer than a wine and cheese (and other random bits and pieces) party with close friends on Labour Day weekend, using some of the Bar, Wine and Cheese line of products?
In a final burst, summer showed up hot and steamy and instead of wine, people opted for gins and tonics. A perfect farewell summer drink… But uh oh, what happens when everyone’s drinking the same drink and they all put their glasses down when they are off getting food. How do you tell whose glass is whose?
Well normally I am not a huge fan of wine charms, but I was quite taken with these pretty floral charms...
Now, about that food. We often have people bring cheese over for parties – all our friends are big cheese lovers – but many times we end up with so many that we lose track of what’s what. So I was really happy to see Trudeau make lovely ceramic (i.e. re-usable, dishwasher-safe) cheese markers – a useful and elegant addition to any cheese plate!
Ok, so you’ve had your gins and tonics and now you feel like you should move on to something a little stronger to go with the cheese. But what if your red wine needs breathing and it’s not even open yet? No problem, you can use you Trudeau’s Aroma Wine Aerating Pourer. Said to ” improve bouquet and flavor instantly by injecting air into the wine as you pour,” this is a nifty little device that my resident sommelier was more than a little skeptical of.
We made Neil do a blind tasting with one glass poured in the regular manner and the second “aerated”. He actually was able to tell the difference, even after only a few minutes. Neil suggests that this is useful for impatient wine drinkers, as it opens up and will soften a lower-priced wine fairly rapidly. He says that many of today’s wines are not made for aging and tend to be more fruit-forward (almost overly so) and this aerator can temper and soften the fruit, making the wine slightly less aggressive. So yeah, it works!
All right then, you’ve had your apéro, you’ve got your wine and now you want a plate of food to go with that. What’s more annoying than having to put your glass down while you are getting or eating your food? Well worry no more because Trudeau have cute little plate clips so your wine and food never have to part company!
Cleverly designed to fit most plates, the glass-holder is flexible, adapting to most glass stem sizes. Invaluable for events where you are required to eat and drink at the same time – I will be tucking a few of these into my bag so I always have them on hand. Because you never know, right?
Now you’re done with the party and there’s wine left over (what’s wrong with you??? LOL!). What to do? Well, you can cork it and hope for the best, or you can use the Flair wine preserving pump. Neil thinks that for anyone who drinks red wine and often doesn’t finish a bottle, it’s essential to use a device like this. Basically wine starts dying as soon as it comes into contact with oxygen and if you’re not finishing a bottle, it’s essential to stop that process through one of three ways:
1. Keep an empty half-bottle around. Pour your half-finished bottle into the half bottle so that there is hardly any ozygen in contact in the wine. There is an obvious downside to that method.
2. Use an inert gas wine preserver usually made up of argon or nitrogen – both heavier than oxygen so that they form a protective layer between the wine and the oxygen. Though it works, many people find it finicky and environmentally speaking, it’s not the friendliest. Most professional pouring systems use this method.
3. Use a tool such at the Trudeau Flair.
This device pumps oxygen out of the bottle. Obvious advantages: It’s reusable, there’s no waste and you get a little bit of exercise in the process. But does it work? Neil opened two identical bottles of French red wine, poured out glasses to the exact same level in each bottle, then sealed one with a cork and the other with the Flair. Two days later, in a blind tasting, Neil was definitely able to tell the difference. He proclaimed that one glass had retained more of the vibrant fruit flavours whereas the other was a bit dull and slightly oxidated. We’ll be using this again and again. Sorry Neil, no more “it won’t keep another day” excuses!
We had one more product to test – the Trudeau Champagne stopper. Imagine having leftover champagne! Well we actually had some leftover Québec cider that we tested this on. Does it work? The proof is in the bubbles:
Not sure this will get THAT much use for Champagne chez nous but it will be useful for ciders and the like. Every home should have one of these!
Has all this wine and cheese talk made you hungry and thirsty? Well here’s the good news – Trudeau are offering to give away the start of a great wine and cheese party to one lucky reader (US/Canada only, sorry international friends) comprised of a set of plate clips, wine charms and the Aroma wine aerator.
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me how you say farewell to summer. For a bonus entry, you can tweet the following message:
Enter to win the start of a great #wine and #cheese party from @trudeauKitchen at @eatlivtravwrite http://bit.ly/nluFlf
then come back to leave me a comment telling me you did. Contest closes Wednesday September 14th at 6pm EST. I will announce the winner on Thursday September 15th. Bonne chance!