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Going Away and the Winnipeg Wine Festival

April 13, 2005

Well, this will likely be my last update for some time. After all, this blog is intended to be all about wine in Winnipeg (hence the creative title on the masthead). And I have to go to Ontario for the next ten days. I hope to pick up a few nice bottles at the nearby LCBO, and I’ll post my notes when I return. Or sooner if I have both time and Internet access out there.

I noticed that our local wine columnist talked about the upcoming Winnipeg Wine Festival (hey – another creative name!), which takes place on May 6th and 7th. While I don’t always agree with his opinion, I have to say that he’s right on the money with today’s column, which was all about maximizing your time at the festival. If you’re shelling out for a ticket, don’t drop by the Concha Y Toro booth for a taste of their Casillero del Diablo Carmenere ($11.30). Instead, try their considerably more expensive (and tastier) Don Melchor Cabernet. And don’t go for the Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet, even if it’s your favourite. Try their $84 Black Label Cabernet instead (trust me on that one).

It’s good advice for events like this. Tickets aren’t cheap ($35/evening or $60 for both nights) so maximize your efforts with the more expensive wines. Try and get a copy of the program beforehand, so you can map out your route. And my recommendation would be to start with the lighter wines first (sparkling wine is a great start) and finish with the big reds, the ports and the icewines. On the other hand, there’s a school of thought that says to go right for the big reds and stay there all night. And that’s an appealing thought as well. Just don’t mix your Silver Oak with the Pelee Island Scheurebe. It would be like chewing Juicy Fruit as you chow down on a piece of prime rib.

Above all, have fun. That’s what wine is supposed to be all about. I’ll be working at the festival, but I plan to try as much wine as I can – within limits of course.

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