It was well past midnight. I was riding the subway. Traveling eastbound. The young lady whose head rested upon my shoulders jerked forward. She wore a hopeful and inquiring facial expression. One I recognized from watching children begging their parents to go outside and play.
“Do you wanna go to the wine and spirits festival with me” she asked.
Wordlessly I perused the advert she passed my way with the little enthusiasm I had. I shrugged. I’m just not that big a fan of wine. I was not all that impressed.
“You’re not even reading the thing,” she added.
Apparently she wanted me to so see who the participating vendors/brands were. I’m guessing she figured some of the names on the list might make me change my mind. So I took another look. She was right. Two names jumped out: Mount Gay Rum and Flor De Cana. Especially Flor De Cana.
This is no slight to Mount Gay rum. I love Mount Gay rums. But, what you need to understand is that as a child of the Caribbean, I’m well acquainted with many of “our” rums. Intellectually I am well aware that rum is produced worldwide, but when I think of rum, my mind usually runs straight to the jewels of the West Indies. I have been (or should that be had been?) a little bit slow in familiarizing myself with non-Caribbean rums. That all changed a couple of summers back when I tried Flor De Cana for the first time…
If you are a rum drinker and you’ve never tried Flor De Cana I think you are missing out. Really missing out. Anyway, I did end up attending the wine and spirits festival and had an amazing time. It is now my new favourite event. I sampled Victoria gin (very unique flavour, quite herby. If you like gins you should give it a try), I had Vex on the beach (not as good as Sex on the beach), I had sake from Kado Enterprise (I’m no connoisseur but I thought it was good), I had the most refreshing cider (provided by the County Cider Company), I ate some sweet pulled pork sandwiches (all my Ital bredrens can keep quiet. Go back to your lamb’s bread. I don’t want to hear it) and some poutine. I also had rum. Lots of it (sorry all you oenophiles, no vino for me)
On the rum front I sampled Mount Gay Eclipse, Flor De Can 7yr old and Flor De Cana 12yr old (I’ll have a more in depth discussion of these rums at a later date). I proudly wore the I Love Flor Play button they gave me. And I learned these five things:
- Looks matter: Early in the evening I found myself gravitating towards the vendors whose booths featured a few comely lasses. This is not a bad thing. You better believe if I were running a booth at a festival like this it would be (wo)manned by people on the attractive end of the scale.
- Looks don’t matter: I tasted some Irish Whisky thingamajig that tasted way too much like super sweetened cough syrup. Salma Hayek in a thong wouldn’t be able to convince me to return to that booth, much less purchase said product.
- Vodka is cool and all but I can live without it
- I can’t live without rum: Actually, I can. I just don’t want to.
- I really do love Flor Play
Happy Canada Day folks!