The New England Patriots made easy work of the Miami Dolphins in the season finale, winning with a final score of 35-14. While these two teams were clashing on the field, a second battle was taking place at the vineyard.
Bledsoe was a star at Washington State, while Huard set records for the University of Washington. Both decided to return to Washington to set up their wineries and it’s absolutely paid off. Huard and Bledsoe graciously allowed us to taste their unique 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon labels in a blind taste test.
Both wines were absolutely delicious.
I hosted an event with 10 judges and a simple football-themed grading scale. The judges gave an opening touchdown to the bottle with the best presentation. If a judge enjoyed one wine a lot more than the other, they would award a touchdown. If the judge enjoyed the wine only a little bit more, they would only award a field goal. In the case of a tie, no points were given.
Passing Time won the presentation battle with a nice label design that 7 of 10 judges said would catch their attention in a side-by-side comparison. The dissenting judges liked how sleek the Doubleback bottles looked and thought it was a more sophisticated style. Both bottles received top marks for their corks as Passing Time took an early 7-0 lead.
When it came time for the blind taste test, it felt like a reprise of the Patriots-Dolphins game that took place on Sunday: it was all Bledsoe and the Patriots.
Doubleback earned praise for its fragrant aromas of red fruits like cherries and raspberries, its balanced delivery, smooth texture, and soft aftertaste. One judge described it akin to “a fine scotch”, while saying Passing Time was like a more robust whiskey. My mother-in-law described Doubleback as “sparkly in my mouth,” high praise I would expect to be on the next label.
Passing Time was very rich with robust, earthy, and spicy flavors. While Doubleback seemed to feature lighter fruit tones, Passing Time went for the chocolates, coffees, and other deep flavors. One judge, who also works as a professional chef, declared Passing Time an ideal option to pair with food, particularly charred meats and vegetables and even rich desserts.
Unfortunately for Passing Time, the taste test was without an accompanying food dish. Much like the Pepsi vs Coke trials, it’s hard to beat a sweeter option in a taste test, and Doubleback’s soft delivery meant easy receptions for the judges and touchdowns all around. Doubleback emerged as the victor with a final score of 38-14.
Personally, I thought that both were fantastic. Doubleback is the perfect bottle for hanging out after date night, watching the sunset on the beach, or chatting with friends around a fireplace. I also thought it was hilarious that Bledsoe hired someone named “Josh McDaniels” to serve as general manager and winemaker. Maybe Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will take the open San Francisco 49ers job to get closer to the vineyard. Click here for more information on Doubleback and join their mailing list.
Passing Time is perfect for dinner itself, with flavors that are sure to complement most dishes- specifically meats and grilled vegetables. As someone who enjoys international wine, I thought Passing Time stacked up well against most European wines, both in flavor and in aftertaste. Those that enjoy each ingredient in the wine will love Passing Time as a unique experience. Click here for more information on Passing Time and join their mailing list.
Thank you to Damon Huard, Drew Bledsoe, and the staffs at both wineries for helping to organize this event.