Eat | VIP

Winefest Calgary

February 25, 2011

Tonight with invite in hand and the crows feet to prove that I was over 18, I was off to a sold-out event..

Welcome to Winefest, Calgary’s only all-inclusive wine show where you can sample over two-hundred local and international wines, port, sparkling and dessert wines from more than twelve of the world’s most celebrated wine regions.

Tickets are $75 and included a complimentary Riedel wine glass to use and take home.

At first I was questioning why the event was being held in the Palomino room at the BMO center (stampede park), I thought… this is going to be tiny, but upon arrival I saw that this event space ment business!

Booths and Booths of different wineries from across the world, spread out before my eyes. Not a lot of razzle dazzle, this place was basic, like a boring red carpet, but it was there to feature the stars: The wines.

Each winery I talked to was willing to offer me a sample of every wine they had, taking me on a story telling journey of taste. Pours were usually 1oz but when you’re talking over 200 samples… a half oz would have been plenty.

I was most impressed by Judi from Dirty Laundry Vineyard in Summerland BC. She was so knowledgable, proud and passionate about her product. She should be, her wines have won an array of awards, including best design… I concur. Great reds, great name, great labelling!

Half way through my 2 hours spent there I decided I had to streamline what I was most interested in, so I was on the hunt for bubbles!

Now I should mention that this is a ‘tasting’ and there are spit buckets around and places to rinse you glass, but please have some decorum and just swallow. Nothing is more nasty than watching someone spit into a bucket… Id rather see you puke into a garbage can at the end of the night!

So as I was on my mission to find bubbles, the clouds parted and a ray of light lit the table for NVY sparkling wine. Their bottle reminds me of a fabulous 80’s pop star and the taste of the ‘Berries’ sparkling wine is better than any $15 martini I have ever had. This sparkling wine is made with Semillion and Merlot grapes and is infused with a natural fruit pulp… Pure Joy! The only downside is the low 10% alcohol level and I’m sure the 1 million calories, that said, this will be constantly stocked in my home.

After the gold star of the night, things took a disappointing turn when I headed to Cupcake vineyards… 2 wines, neither were cupcakes. The company has several wines, but with a name like cupcakes they all left me craving icing!

In addition to the mass selections of wines bubbles and ports, a few other vendors were mixed in that sampled olives, cheeses, antipasto and chocolates.

As I worked the room I developed a list of other delicious notable mentions:

ChocoVine Holland, a Cab Sav blended with Dutch dark chocolate cream (coming soon, raspberry and espresso)

Rossignol Estate Winery P.E.I, Wild Blueberry Wine and Blackberry Mead, to die for!

Meadow Vista Honey Wines Okanagan, Joy sparkling honey wine, Cloud Horse honey wine, very mild, very tasty!

This was a fabulous experience. I can only recommend that people keep this on the radar for 2012 and get your tickets before they sell out!  I couldn’t have imagine a better way to have spent my evening with my good friend xoxojes

Mr. Fab

Looking forward to reading your comments!