Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Apparently Our Local Rag the Times Union is a Kingmaker in the World of Vodka Advertising
So I was strolling through Wine and Spirits of Slingerlands (Price Chopper Plaza) the other day when I spied an interesting bit of advertising among the vodkas. It was a colorful little tag that proclaimed the Vescia brand a "Albany Times Union - Top Rated Vodka" apparently tasted by a certain "Career Bartender Jessica Smith." I don't remember any recent Times Union vodka contests, I am pretty sure I would have taken note.
In any event, this stuff was super cheap so I hesitantly trusted in the Times Union's exacting taste and picked up a bottle.
A little research (google) resulted in me finding a TU story entitled "Getting Into the Spirit of Vodka" from December of last year. I guess they did a taste test sort of thing of Absolut, Chopin, Grey Goose, Stolichnaya, Ketel One, and Vescia and had Career Bartender Jessica Smith (of the Bubble Lounge in Fairfield, CT...) rate them. I am a little dubious concerning the results as Absolut and the Vescia took the top spots with Stoli, Ketel One, and Grey Goose scoring miserably low. But hey, maybe Career Bartender Jessica Smith and I just have different tastes in vodka.
It just seems funny to me that this brand chose this relatively obscure article in the Times Union to center its advertising on. I am assuming that this little tag was produced by the company/distributor/importer as it looks a little fancy to have been done in house by the liquor store itself. I am wondering if this vodka is distributed by a local who somehow managed to get the Vescia stuff wedged into the TU contest... Who knows? (I mean who knows besides Career Bartender Jessica Smith...)
The first thing to note about the Vescia is the bottle that it comes in --
It is almost as if they held a contest to engineer the most awkwardly shaped bottle in the history of all vodka bottles. It is a weird, nutsack shaped, binary bottle sort of affair. It is hard to pour and kind of makes your wrist hurt a little. I hate it.
Bottle aside, Vescia is a Polish potato vodka that goes for around 13 bucks per 750ml bottle. That is much cheaper than the 23-25 bucks that I usually pay for Stoli. But as always I found that you pretty much always get what you pay for. This stuff ain't awful, but it is not my favorite. It has an assertive sweet sort of flavor that I found a little off-putting. Also, I may be falsely attributing this to the Vescia but I had a headache after imbibing a conservative amount of the stuff... If I am going to buy cut rate Polish potato vodka I think I will stick with Luksusowa which is a bit better in my opinion.
Anyhow, I am sure that Career Bartender Jessica Smith is a lovely lady and I would love to strike up a conversation about vodka on the very next occasion that I find myself in the "Bubble Lounge" in Fairfield, CT, but until then we are going to have to agree to disagree about the merits of Vescia. I do not think that the stuff is worthy of the storied title of "Albany Times Union - Top Rated Vodka."