Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SanTásti to the Rescue

Plenty of good juice flowed at yesterday's Pacific Wine and Spirits fall tasting. Agua Caliente chefs Jim and Mike kept tummies sated with tasty and filling pasta specialties, baked brie and other goodies. After all, representatives from the restaurant and wine trade needed a bit of sustenance to do their jobs: Taste and discover wines to match their establishments and put smiles on patrons' faces.

With so many wines to taste, it can be tough to keep a clean palate for every new wine you try. Sparkling water, crackers and bread just don't seem to do the trick. After a few wines, palate fatigue sets in and before long, you can lose the ability to judge a wine on its merits. Big reds or tannic wines pummel even the most experienced palates. Besides, once you start sampling red wines, how do you go back to try the Riesling you missed or the Dom Perignon someone just opened? We needed a bottle of SanTásti.

We'd ordered a free sample of SanTásti last month to test the company's claims that their palate-cleansing beverage erases the taste of wines or other strong beverages from your palate. Sound like a gimmick? Yes, but in practice, hardly. We gave it a try in a tasting experiment with 15 ladies with no agenda one way or another. They all agreed: It really works.

SanTásti works by scrubbing your palate of mouth-clinging flavors of wine, coffee, intensely-flavored foods – even beer. Tiny bubbles work their magic to lift tannins and neutralize lingering aftertastes so you're ready to taste anew.

Two Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture graduates who founded the company in 2008 created the colorless and virtually tasteless liquid. Their beverage is made from natural ingredients with only 10 calories per 355 ml bottle. Recently, they buffed their line with two new flavors, peppermint and cinnamint, alongside the nearly flavorless "classic."

We'd like to see more SanTásti on hand at tasting venues and for sale at wine outlets. Look or ask for it at your local wine shop and then let us know what you think. You'll find it conveniently packaged in glass screw-capped 12-ounce bottles so you can share, and taste more, with friends. We might just take a bottle along to our next tasting. After all, a wine taste is a terrible thing to waste.

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