It was the 15th anniversary of the Jamaica Pegasus Wine Spirits and Food festival – pushed back slightly due to the whirligig Tomas. Though the total number of exhibits looked fewer than in prior years, there was still a lot to savour in the Grand Ballroom over the two-day festivities.
There was for the first time, tonic wine in evidence, represented by the folks who gave us Mandingo (you know, the girl with the….. never mind). The Mandingo makers also used the opportunity to launch an even more potent iteration of their tonic brew (17.5% alcohol by volume) and a brandy, dubbed One-Shot (perhaps Mandingo loyalists may be turned off by that brand name). There were also fruit wines and a garlic-base spirit marketed with great verve by the reps of a company called Fruit Joy. They also make and sell a brew called Cock Spirit… hmmmm
For more conventional wine enthusiasts, there was plenty to savour, with South African, Argentine and Chilean vintages on hand and a maxi-bar of spirits, including Rum-Bar and Appleton rums, Glenmorangie single malt Scotch and Chivas Regal.
“Old No. 7”, Jack Daniels himself, was also there, as was famed composer Chopin (on the label of the vodka, of course) and for detox, there was Jablum Blue Mountain coffee, served as you like it and Celestial Seasonings tea.
Those not content with the food samples (ie. everything from chicken and shrimp pasta to yoghurt) could spring for the Pegasus lunch spread served both days, and the dessert tray, was diverse and delicious.
All that, coupled with musical selections from KOOL FM and on-site selectors Musical Credits, and myriad giveaways, made for a commendable diversion to raise the curtain on the festive season.