Wine Festival 2007

May 18, 2007

Still recovering from working the Winnipeg Wine Festival last Friday. No – not too much wine (I drank water all night long to keep my voice together). Just the sheer exhaustion of pouring fabulous wine for hundreds of happy revellers. It’s always a good time at the Convention Centre when the wine is flowing freely.

At one point during the night, I found myself holding (and pouring) two bottles in one hand while reaching for a third. Not sure how I kept it all together, but the spillage was minimal and I had (luckily) chosen to wear dark clothes. Nobody noticed the half-glass of South African Merlot that took up residence on my left leg.

We poured some nice wine too, including the 2002 Silver Oak (Alexander Valley). Silver OakThat particular wine hit the table at 8 PM sharp as part of our “Damn Good Wine That You Should Really Try Right Now Before It’s All Gone” feature.

We also poured Charles Mignon Brut Champagne (which I did not get to try), the new Mer et Soleil ‘Silver’ unoaked Chardonnay (like a glass of ripe pears) the Belle Glos ‘Las Alturas’ Pinot Noir and the Mount Horrocks Shiraz (Australia). There was also a late-harvest Riesling from Mount Horrocks, which I also missed.

But the big guns aside, what went over well? From my perspective, people loved the Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc (lovely and rich with a luscious finish). A surprise hit was the Boolaroo Chardonnay, which delivers loads of Chardonnay goodness for under $13. The Mark West wines (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) proved popular, as always.

The Kurt Darting Riesling Spatlese Ungsteiner was a hit, despite the tongue-twisting name. And the Tait ‘Ball-Buster’ Shiraz was (predictably) a big hit, especially as the night wore on. But the best of all (in my ever-so-humble opinion) was the 2003 Pasqua ‘Sagramosso’ Ripasso, a last-minute replacement on our list. The wine was approaching the peak of goodness (try it in two or three years), and showed off some beautiful earthy fruit flavours with a spicy finish.

Absolutely delicious, and the most fun you can have (legally) for $22.



  1. Sorry you did not get to try the Mignon. I’ll pop a bottle in the fridge at the Lake this summer for when you & M come out. Absolutely delicious. Off to Montreal (well in 24 hours) – I’ll report on the restaurants when I get back.

  2. Have fun in Montreal – did you check out the Chowhound link we sent you? And I look forward to trying the Mignon this summer!

  3. nice blog! intresting
    I’m going to “Wine in the peg” on Septembre. I’m going to live and study in winnipeg and I am very excited about a different city from mine (TEHRAN)

  4. Glad you like my blog. And I think you will find Winnipeg very different then Tehran. A bit colder for sure!

  5. OK, we’re doing Fusion Grill tonight. Had a couple of meals at Pasta La Vista. Have appreciated their wine list for a few years now. Though I have to confess that my favourite meal so far this week has been a big greasy Gondola pepperoni & mushroom. Ahh… comfort food… Close second by the Perogy Pizza at Boston Pizza watching the Saturday Sens game on big screen after a day of Trashcona Hi Neighbour Beer Gardens…

  6. Hey A,
    Montreal was wicked; tournament drwe top16 in the world in each event – fast and furious. Checked out the chowhound stuff but did some exploring on my own too, found a decent burger joint, hit Fairmount Bagel for fresh sesame seed bagels, did Schwarz’s, hit 2 local brew pubs (just for beer) and a few other stops. Need to go back soon for the shopping and nightlife and the Naumen exhibit at the Art Gallery; loved that everyone started supper much later. The SAQ was interesting for the diverse French selection; didn’t have the space to carry much back. Done with trips for a bit – should get together and open the Mignon.

  7. Sheena – looks like you had a great meal at Fusion Grill! It’s always a treat. I haven’t been since last summer, after reading your post I think it’s about time I went again!

    M – The Mignon would be very welcome and I’d like to hear more about your trip. Maybe later this month once things at work quiet down?

  8. You keep pitching that Pasqua – I am going to have to buy some now…

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