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Knights of the Vine RUSSIA

Out and About

CA Tastes Some Pricey Vintages
By Daniel Klein
Photos by Alexey Gorov

CA (formerly known as Computer Associates) held its first annual ESP (Enterprise Solutions Provider) Partner Summit at the Marriott Grand Aurora on 21 March and its newly appointed, Bulgarian-born Director for Russia and the CIS, Vassil Barsakov, opted to make this more than your average yawn-producing sales event. He decided that not only would it be a good idea to have a wine tasting, but to offer exceptionally expensive wines. When Vassil told me about this, I couldnt resist asking him for an invitation; as everyone knows that Passport Magazine would never pass up a good wine tasting.

The creme de la creme of the wines that we tasted was the 1986 Chateau La Tour which retails for $1600 in Moscow (about 120,000 rubles in restaurants that carry it). Wow was it good! Definitely a 5 on the renowned Ortega Easy Wine Rating System. A wine master flew in from Dubai especially for the event and gave quite an informative presentation. We learned that the Sauvignon Blanc white wine grape that is used to make Frances well known Pouilly Fume is also the same grape used in New Zealand to make their equivalent Cloudy Bay wine; which is, by the way, the most expensive wine from New Zealand. To be quite honest, the French wine tasted far better according to the wine delegates, but surprisingly cost 70% less. No worry as the more expensive but worse-tasting New Zealand version is not available in Russia. For that matter it is not even available in the UK since stocks get snapped up immediately, the result of good marketing by its owners Louis Vuitton. The good news for us is that the better tasting French (original) version is widely available across the Russian Capital.

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