How To “Do” Wine Festivals
There are a variety of Wine Festivals in Calgary each year, one seems to happen every few months.
Liquor Depot sponsors the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival in October, Co-Op sponsors The Grape Escape a couple of times a year, Calgary WineFest is in February, while Willow Park Wine and Spirits has events at their store year round.
Here are my tips and tricks as you head down to get your grape on.
1. Respect the person pouring. They’re not $10/hr hostesses, but actually knowledgeable sales reps, maybe the President of the company, or perhaps even the Winemaker
2. Respect your palate. Start with the light wines and finish heavy (ie save the Ports til last) If you’re going on 2 separate nights, do white one night, red the other.
3. Leave your big purse at home. It’s tough to balance all that and a glass, a wristlet with your id and keys should be enough. That said …
4. Bring a journal or notebook to take notes on what you’re trying. Trust me, 5 glasses in you’ll forget what you had first.
5. Try something different than what you always buy – here’s your chance to go on an adventure with minimal risk.
6. Don’t wear white. Even if you don’t spill, someone else might. Jen saw someone in a beautiful white suit one year, with a lovely streak of shiraz right down her back.
7. There are no dumb questions, you’re there to learn, and the pourers are there to help.
8. Have something to eat before you go. You’re going to be drinking a lot, and you don’t want to do it on an empty stomach. Which leads us to …
9. Spit spit spit spit! You’re going to be drinking a lot, so even if you’re looking to get your drunk on, spit.
10. Don’t rinse your glass with the water at the table, people think they’re spittoons (see #9). Instead, ask the pourer for a splash of the wine you’re about to sample to rinse out your glass.
11. The good stuff will be gone first. All the expensive bubbles etc are in limited quantities, so look for them Thursday and early in the night on Friday