Is it just me, or are cupcakes (or more precisely cupcake sellers) everywhere? Cupcakes are suddenly everybody’s favorite dessert and every baker wannabe is trying to sell them. And if a budding entrepreneur is not selling them directly, they’re trying to brand a product with the name to take advantage of the uptrend.
It all started with Sex & the City and NYC’s Magnolia Bakery. As Sex & the City’s rabid fans tried to be more like Carrie and the girls and Magnolia gained exposure on tv and in the movies, it started a gourmet cupcake feeding frenzy.
If you’re caught in the vortex and the plethora of cupcake specialty shops that continue to pop up are not enough to satisfy your cravings, cupcakes are now mobile and on Twitter. Cupcake trucks like CupcakeStop in New York and Curbside Cupcakes in D.C. have jumped on the bandwagon. Both are partially owned by former lawyers by the way, which I find vaguely disturbing. Especially Curbside Cupcakes’ all pink truck which reminds me of the law-obsessed, drenched-in-pink character Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge of the movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – a sadist with a raging sweet tooth.
Why not add alcohol to the mix? In October 2008, Underdog Wine Merchants announced the release of Cupcake Vineyards, “a collection of rich, decadent, award-winning wines from the California Central Coast.” Marketing Director Nicolas Tucker describes the raison d’etre of the brand as follows: “With the gourmet cupcake trend accelerating and cupcake boutiques opening up across the country, there is an opportunity for a wine that is crafted to invoke the feeling that you get when you reward yourself.”
But can you pair Cupcake Wine with actual cupcakes, would you even want to? Well apparently there’s a big demand for cupcakes and wine, large enough to build a business around. Where else? New York City. I’m starting to think the “Big Apple” should change its name.
Enter Sweet Revenge a cupcake, beer, and wine bar in Manhattan’s West Village, customers snack on the signature dessert, the Sweet Revenge cupcake, featuring peanut-butter cake, ganache filling, and peanut-butter-fudge frosting, and drink either Weihenstephaner Hefe Weiss, a German beer (which paired with the cupcake evokes a banana-nut flavor), or Callia Malbec, an Argentinean wine. Owner Marlo Scott has put a whole menu of pairings together for those who want to “drink and be merry.”
Update: CupcakeStop, Curbside Cupcakes, and Sweet Revenge are all now closed, but Cupcake Vineyards is still around.