The HP Canada Toast to Style Meeting Substance Event
On Thursday August 23rd, HP Canada partnered with the iYellow Wine Club to throw the HP Toast to Style Meeting Substance, a unique celebration to mark the Canadian release of HP’s sleek new Envy Spectre XT luxury notebook computer.
Our hosts for the evening were HP Canada Vice-President Chris Fudge and Sherief Ibrahim, Consumer Notebook Product Category Manager. HP’s invited guests were the first Canadians ever to feast their eyes upon their sexy new powerhouse notebook.
What do wine and and notebook computers have in common with each other? A lot, as it turns out. Chris and Sherief informed me that while the Spectre is certainly a sexy notebook, it’s also a workhorse with plenty of computing power. It’s a top-flight merger of both style and substance… just like a fine wine is, as Chris put it succinctly.
Before letting them take the Spectre for a test drive, HP Canada first treated their guests to an exclusive wine tasting class conducted, of course, by iYellow’s very own Ange Aiello. In somewhat of a preview of the upcoming iYellow Wine School 2012 Fall Term, Ange led the guests in a tasting of four different wines from around the world inside the beautiful Vintage Conservatory.
As they first arrived, an attractive hostess greeted them in hand with glasses of Il Prosecco sparkling wine from Italy while Vintage Conservatory co-founder and manager Andrew Carleton Smith passed around appetizers to whet everyone’s palates with. After the brief reception, the wine tasting began with the Mike Weir 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Canada as Ange walked the guests through her 5 Easy Steps to Wine Tasting: Sight, Swirl, Smell, Sip and Savour. She also explained the importance of Ontario’s cool climate conditions to our regional winemaking and noted the wine’s high acidity which is a distinctive trait of Sauvignon Blanc and gives it a refreshing quality.
Next up was the Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Chardonnay from Australia. In contrast to the Sauvignon Blanc, this chardonnay was rich with noticeable green apple, butter and vanilla flavors to go with its very crisp body. The third wine tasted was the Domaine Jean Bousquet Cabernet Sauvignon. Despite the French sounding name, this wine was actually from Argentina and had the unique distinction of being both the only red and the only organic wine of the night.
Ange gave the group a special tasting tip for this red and asked the group to think of both lighter red fruits such as strawberries and cherries and darker red fruits such as plums and blackberries when tasting red wines and see which notes they could pick up from the wine. The group unanimously found notes of darker stone fruits in the wine, specifically mentioning plums.
During the tasting, I asked Chris and Sherief about the newfound importance of style and form in the rapidly ever-changing world of computing. The major change they’ve seen, they told me, is that their laptops are now more than just computers for their customers –they have become a personal halo device that they enjoy using as well as showing off to their friends and families. The style has become just as important as the substance. They’re an important personal accessory that, much like the wines you drink, tells everyone who you are and what you’re all about. So their notebooks are designed to have both power and sex appeal.
And the Envy Spectre XT is indeed a very sexy machine. The ultra-thin notebook sports a beautiful all-metal design, a bright LCD screen, and a backlit keyboard. It’s visually quite striking as you can see by the photos. The substance underneath comes in the form of the latest Intel processors, built-in Beats audio, an HD webcam, a low-energy footprint and 8 hours of battery life.
The last wine the group sampled was as much of an icon to the world of wine as HP is to the world of computing: the revered Inniskillin Vidal icewine. Ange explained to the guests how icewine is made and the importance Inniskillin has as one of the very first producers of Niagara icewine.
At the end of the evening, the guests finally got to experience the Spectre in action as they completed an online survey on several Spectres set up throughout the Vintage Conservatory. Based upon their answers, the survey generated their “wine personality” and informed them which of the four wines they tasted this evening best suited them. And with that, the launch came to a successful end.
The HP Envy Spectre HT notebook computer, which has already garnered rave reviews due to having already been released previously in the US and Asia, is now available in Canada and can be found at local electronics retailers including Best Buy and Future Shop. You can learn more about the Vintage Conservatory wine storage facility and social club at www.vintageconservatory.com. And if you want to learn more about wine for yourself, don’t forget to sign up for the iYellow Wine School Fall Term by clicking on Wine Events above.