You've seen the spots, great tongue-in-cheek copy: Announcer, after a series of preposterous set-ups: "He is...the most interesting man in the world." A solidly built, bearded gent with a bit of a Spanish accent. "I don't always drink beer," he says, "but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis." Pause, closeup, punchline: "Stay thirsty, my friends."
But here's the thing. There's a real dude named Enrique Henao, a musician (beautiful classical guitar), who's a dead ringer for the actor in the commercials, and he really is the most interesting man in the world. Born in Colombia and trained as a musician by his father, Enrique donates the proceeds from all his performances to children's relief organizations in South America. You can book him for your next event through an agency called Entco. Or just go to Columbia Winery in Woodinville next Saturday.
We crossed paths with Enrique at Taste of Tulalip, an overwrought wine weekend at the Tulalip Resort Casino that kicked off last night with an seven-wine, eight-course extravaganza prepared by no fewer than nine chefs. Now, it's impossible to pull off a multi-course banquet by yourself, but the resort has a chef or two for each of its dining rooms (Casino, Cedars, Blackfish, Tulalip Bay, Eagles Buffet) plus an exec chef, a pastry chef, plus a food & beverage director and a sommelier. With each one contributing a fancy dish, complexity trumped execution; subtle flavors were lost. Not even the talented Dean Shinagawa escaped unscathed; despite the fussy plating, his miso-seared black cod was the evening's best dish but its soy ginger reduction overpowered the night's best wine, JM Cellars Longevity blend. (Might note here that Longevity's grapes came from Stillwater Creek and received a native yeast fermentation, same vineyard, same technique as Chris Sparkman uses for his Lumière chardonnay.)
Some 60 Washington wineries are involved in today's "lifestyle" seminars, and the whole event is given legitimacy through a sponsorship deal with the glossy Wine Spectator. magazine. Some appealing topics and tastings on the schedule, but nothing as interesting as Enrique.