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On Tasting
Sadat X Amusing? Yes. But Not Yet a Challenger to Robert Parker
Thursday, 18th February, 2010  - David Farmer
Sadat X

We all have different reasons why we started in the wine trade. I suspect for more than a few of us, it was to more easily afford what can be an expensive pass time. So it was that the hip hop artist Sadat X began his True Wine Connoisseurs videos last year. A number of American wine blogs have reported on Sadat's efforts and I recently spent an amusing hour or so catching up with his novel approach.

The 1st Video lasts just 15 seconds and Sadat tastes a Gato Negro (Chile) red by swigging from the bottle. The 2nd lasts 35 seconds with another red, this from Sicily, but he is advancing quickly as we are introduced to a new scoring system. Out of 10 the wines are judged by the F...ed Up Factor and this wine scored a 7. The 3rd lasts for 80 seconds with numerous mentions of the name which is a red from Castle Rock (California). It takes a while to get to the wine as the wing lever corkscrew proves more than a challenge and 40 seconds is lost getting the cork out. The wine scores a F...ed Up Factor of 7.5. I also like the way that the whole bottle is consumed, a type of tasting I refer to as the 'single bottle test'.

The 4th features a horizontal tasting though only between two reds, Germany versus France and is quite amusing. Neither though is enough and this leads to a 4th part two which is 3 minutes 35 seconds and covers a trip to the liquor store to get a half of Hennessey Cognac. The 5th is an amusing rant and rave but Sadat is now getting the hang of this wine tasting, particularly the part about 'send a case to the place' and all in 2 minutes 27 seconds plus he smokes while he drinks.

The 6th introduces a guest and goes for a lengthy 7 minutes 42 seconds as they both sample a Two Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw) red and later a wine cask from Almaden. This video includes some good lines such as, 'F... with the Chuck'; 'Chuck is going down'; and 'Chuck is dead. Not mad with the Chuck.' Part 7 of True Wine Connoisseurs is slower as it's recorded on a Monday and Sadat has had a hard weekend.

If we fast forward to the 15th episode we find a few changes. The length has increased and is now out to 9 minutes 51 seconds with the production looking a lot smoother with the introduction being in a fast hip-hop-rap sort of rave. A guest is introduced who is a very fast learner, as realising the limitations of the 10 point system gives the wine, a Californian Syrah, a F...ed Up Factor of 20/10. Again the bottle is consumed before the second is opened though a wine glass has appeared which is a bad sign. Also the cases of wine are flowing so this is a prolonged advertisement for the producer. Sadat pokes fun at himself and announces he is now a sommelier. Do I though detect just a sign that the initial, modest, amateurishness is giving way to the type of wine pronouncements that infects all of those who get their snouts in the trough.

Indeed can it be long before Sadat X has his wishes fulfilled as he becomes fated by hungry marketing people eager to open a valuable market that to date has not embraced wine. The power of wine corrupts like no other and the next thing we know will be his attendance at an AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute) Master Class testing his judging abilities; and all of this after making just an hour or so of video's.

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