Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 04/27/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
In the past I've offered some tips and tricks on navigating the Winnipeg Wine Festival's public tastings (May 3 and 4), and the wine festival's website (www.winnipegwinefestival.com) and program guide (available at Liquor Marts) do a good job of the same. But in mulling over said program guide, I had a couple of other thoughts that will help maximize your time at the Winnipeg Convention Centre next Friday and Saturday night.
If you've never been to the Winnipeg Wine Festival's public tastings, you might be shocked at just how big the weekend sessions are. Both nights typically sell out (or come close), with capacity each night in the neighbourhood of 2,800 people.
As you can imagine, there's not a ton of elbow room. I've given up on making notes on wines on the Friday and Saturday nights and you should too. Think of some sort of shorthand system for noting how much you liked the wine -- a numerical score or starring system or a check mark. Jotting down even just one word to describe a wine ("oaky," "heavy," "fresh,") will help you remember the most notable characteristic of a wine.
New this year is a VIP reception (Friday, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.). With only 150 tickets, it's a chance to try wines from the two theme regions -- Argentina and New Zealand -- with some appetizers before the doors open to the public. Tickets are $99.95 and get you into the Friday night tasting (7 p.m.-10 p.m.) as well; if you already have a ticket for Friday night, the VIP reception can be added on for $50.
The Saturday matinee tasting (1:30 p.m.-4 p.m.) is an excellent chance to really dig into the wines at the public tasting. It's five bucks cheaper ($44.95) than the evening tastings and there are fewer people there, meaning there's more elbow room.
Next weekend's public tastings have an on-site Liquor Mart where you can buy wines on your way out. Some wines are brought in specially for the festival, and are only available on-site -- if they sell out, you're out of luck. (If they don't sell out, they're shipped to the Grant Park Liquor Mart the week after the festival.)
There are certainly incentives to buying on-site. For instance, the wine fest Liquor Mart offers 10 times the standard Air Miles reward miles on purchases over $25. Planning on buying a fair bit of vino? The on-site store will ship your order of six bottles or more to the store of your choice for you to pick up.
Convenient and enticing, right? Here's the problem -- the weekend tastings run from 7 p.m.-10 p.m., and the on-site store is jam-packed/overrun starting at about 9:15. Avoid the madness and make sure the wine you want doesn't sell out -- make your initial purchase earlier in the night and the Liquor Mart will hold it for you until you're ready to leave. Find more wines that you like? Pop in, add it to your order and go.
Seriously, don't wait until the end -- you'll be stuck in a lineup surrounded by festival-goers scouring ransacked shelves.
-- -- --
Providing I can get some elbow room, I'll be tweeting from events (@bensigurdson) and updating my blog at winnipegfreepress.com throughout this week and through the weekend.
email@example.com Twitter: @bensigurdson
OOPS 2012 SAUVIGNON BLANC
(Central Valley, Chile -- $13.99, Liquor Marts and beyond)
For some reason there's 15 per cent Carmènere (a purple grape that makes dark, full-bodied red wine) blended in with this Sauvignon Blanc -- and no explanation on the wordy label. No matter -- it's got those green apple, lime, and herbal aromas that are unmistakably Sauv Blanc. It's a light, crisp white, with plenty of grassy/herbal/lime flavours that'll satisfy Sauv Blanc fans. 86/100
MARQUES DE VELILLA 2010 JOVEN
(Ribera Del Duero, Spain -- $15.13, Liquor Marts and beyond)
This 100 per cent Tempranillo shows ripe raspberry, caramel, mocha, spice and vanilla -- the latter thanks to 12 months in oak. It's a dry, full-bodied red that delivers raspberry, blackcurrant, wet earth, cocoa and vanilla flavours with soft tannins and light acidity. It's not overly rustic like some Spanish reds but doesn't get super-jammy either. Try with hearty stews, chili or spicy burritos. 88/100
MITOLO 2010 JESTER CABERNET SAUVIGNON
(McLaren Vale, Australia -- $22.22, Liquor Marts and beyond)
Inky black in colour, the Jester Cabernet Sauvignon offers ripe blackcurrant, blackberry, mint leaves and blueberry aromas with some white pepper. This dense, full-bodied McLaren Vale red brings intense jammy berry flavours that don't get cloying, thanks in part to that peppery note as well as light tannins and some heat on the finish (it's 14.9 per cent alcohol). There's a silky, almost-chewy texture to this wine -- decant for an hour and try with medium cheeses, prime rib or a roast. 90/100
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 27, 2013 E4
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Hockey Manitoba still doesn't get the message
Time to turf police turf war
Tell the gossips you'll take them on
Follow the script
No-churn ice cream gives you all the creamy taste with none of the hassle
That empty (nest) feeling
Long wait over for odd-couple cop show
Try to win back her affections, but don’t text
PC leader keeps far from flood fight's crucial front lines
Fringe flap gets ugly
Dungy would deny Sam the opportunity he was given
Council ripe for third-party rule?
PST court challenge was risky political ruse
'I could have texted all night': Selfie a modern My Fair Lady
Good idea to leave town to escape ex-girlfriend
Wiener dog a wonder at weight loss
Peacock network regains top spot
I say, they've noticed our potential in London
Blowing up bad music an explosive idea
Proposed daily limits, labelling rules to give consumers better handle on sugar intake
Ease daughter's friend out of your bed, home
Keep your hands off hunk you supervise
Call inquiry into city hall's rotten, fetid mess
Fringe festival has revolutionary roots
A century-old love story
Inspecting crops with drones? It will happen
Couple struggles to cope with disability
Your weekend weather
Breeding population just ducky on Prairies
Help mom expand her social life outside of family
Whipping exposes abundant flaws
Going ape over motion capture
The globetrotter's portfolio: Canadian investors should seek returns beyond their own backyard
Ta-ta, traditional TV
Feel free to ignore the Gris
Canadians show more apathy than hostility toward organized religion
Lacklustre Blue didn't help their bottom line
The dog and his noisy duck are quack-ers