The date: March 14.The place: Keith's Brier Patch, Winnipeg Convention Centre.
It's done. I arrived at the Patch last night around 8:30, as my cohort was anxious to get a table for Kenny Shields & Streetheart's performance. So I meandered up to the bar, ponied up a drink token, and asked for a glass of red wine.
"Would you like ice cubes in that?"
This was going to be good.
I politely declined and watched as the bartender poured the wine from the one litre Tetra Prism into a clear plastic cup, then made my way back to the table. Everybody else was drinking from white plastic beer cups, most of which were presumably filled with beer.
Tasting notes: I had a tough time with the nose because a) I'm still getting over a cold, b) the plastic cup wasn't very conducive to swirling, c) said cup was quite full, and d) I was in the Brier Patch and, quite frankly, wasn't keen on being seen swirling and sniffing wine at what is essentially a gigantic social.
Having said that, I did detect some sweet, candied cherries on the nose. A nearby Patch-er, a pediatrician, gave it a smell as well. One of us mentioned a child's cough medicine - I can't remember if it was her or me.
It's a medium-bodied red with pleasant cinnamon and sweet cherry flavours, very little tannin, a fair bit of acidity and a short finish. I chased it with a swig of beer before switching over to the frothy stuff for good.
There are some food kiosks in the Patch, and I reckon the Peller Shiraz would do nicely with a slice of Santa Lucia pizza, some perogies from Alycia's, or some Hooters wings.
One Brier organizer mentioned that wine had been going at such a good pace that a downtown Liquor Mart had to be visited for restocking (apparently white rum was going at a good clip as well).
Other highlights: a man dancing on a table, a Jeff Stoughton spotting, and Kenny & Co. busting out their version of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb".