Manyfest = many wines

Septem­ber fes­ti­val of­fers chance to try vino from Win­nipeg’s pri­vate stores

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - FOOD & WINE - ⁄ by Ben Macphee Sig­urd­son

AS we head into fall and thoughts turn to har­vest and the bounty of amaz­ing in­gre­di­ents it brings, so too does our at­ten­tion come back around to wine af­ter a sun-soaked sum­mer of beer… speak­ing for my­self, at least.

First and fore­most, ManyFest re­turns this week, and while there will be loads of things to see and do over the course of the week­end, it’s the Taste of Down­town Wine Fes­ti­val that’s most per­ti­nent to this space. Five of the In­de­pen­dent Spe­cialty Wine Stores of Man­i­toba — Ke­nas­ton Wine Mar­ket, Fen­ton’s Wine Mer­chants, De Luca Fine Wines, La Bou­tique Del Vino and Banville & Jones — have joined to­gether once again to give ManyFesters a chance to swirl and sip in Memo­rial Park.

Ad­mis­sion to the wine fest is free, and tick­ets for sam­pling are $1 each, with pro­ceeds go­ing to Win­nipeg Har­vest. Like last year, each par­tic­i­pat­ing store will have its own booth. There will also be a “pre­mium wines” booth fea­tur­ing wines from all five stores.

Wines are avail­able in small sam­ple-sized or larger three-ounce por­tions, with the for­mer start­ing at one ticket per sam­ple at each of the five store booths.

There looks to be a solid lineup of wines be­ing poured, with a par­tic­u­larly healthy se­lec­tion of wines from Italy, Aus­tralia, Ar­gentina and Chile.

My ad­vice is to start with a three-ounce pour of some nice bub­bly at the pre­mium booth to cleanse the palate — the Charles Mignon, J Du­man­gin or Aubry Cham­pagnes are all be­ing poured and would do the trick. A three-ounce pour at the pre­mium booth will get you a sou­venir glass you can use to sam­ple wines throughout the area, rather than the smaller plas­tic sam­pling cups.

The Taste of Down­town Wine Fes­ti­val runs Fri­day and Satur­day from noon un­til 11 p.m., and Sun­day from noon un­til 6 p.m. I’ll have many tasting notes to fol­low. Last week, the Free Press’s res­tau­rant critic Mar­ion Warhaft wrote a glow­ing re­view of South Os­borne’s De­seo Bistro, award­ing the Span­ishin­spired resto (a de­serv­ing) four-and-a-half stars. By the sounds of things, they’re pulling out all the stops for an up­com­ing din­ner with Ke­nas­ton Wine Mar­ket.

The Bordeaux: Food & Wine event takes place Wed­nes­day, Sept. 19, and will fea­ture four French-in­spired cour­ses (plus re­cep­tion and dessert) paired with wines from the Bordeaux re­gion. Frog legs, duck schnitzel, beef cheek Bour­guignon and rab­bit con­fit are among items to be matched with white Bordeaux, Sauternes and a cou­ple of reds. Tick­ets are $75 in­clud­ing taxes and gra­tu­ity, and are avail­able by call­ing 204-488-9463 or 204-452-2561. Man­i­toba Liquor Marts have un­veiled their full slate of fall wine/beer/spir­its ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses, and they look pretty solid. Split be­tween the Madi­son Square and (brand new) Grant Park ed­u­ca­tion cen­tres, the cour­ses run the gamut, in­clud­ing Wine & Cheese Cana­dian Style (Oct. 17); New World vs Old World Wines (Oct. 18); Hav­ing Fun With Scotch (Oct. 25); Cheese Wars: Wine vs Beer (Dec. 5); and more. Check out www.liquor­mart­son­line.com for lo­ca­tions, prices and times. Age­less crooner Tony Bennett spent a cou­ple of hours at Prom­e­nade Café and Wine fol­low­ing his re­cent Cen­ten­nial Concert Hall show.

“He was very pleas­ant and a class act,” said Prom­e­nade on their Face­book page, adding he en­joyed the Santa Margherita Pinot Gri­gio and the Stoneleigh Sauvi­gnon Blanc. Sounds about right for a hot Au­gust night. Oops… wrong crooner. SPECK BROS. 2011 SI­B­LING RI­VALRY PINK (Ni­a­gara Penin­sula, On­tario — $13.95 , Liquor Marts and be­yond) This Caber­net/Ga­may/Mer­lot blend is deep pink in colour, with straw­berry, rasp­berry candy and wa­ter­melon aro­mas on the nose. It’s a shade offdry, with bright red straw­berry flavours as well as rasp­berry candy and juicy cherry notes on the light-plus bod­ied palate. Drink well-chilled with light cheeses. 87/100 MÁS AMOR 2010 ROSADO (Catalunya, Spain — $15.99, Liquor Marts and be­yond) A blend of Carig­nan and Gar­nacha, this Span­ish rosé is medium pink in colour, with tart rasp­berry, min­eral and rhubarb aro­mas. It’s a dry rosé, with firm rasp­berry and straw­berry flavours as well as chalky min­eral and cherry skin flavours. This pink wine would do well with poached salmon or hors d’oeu­vres. 86/100 BERLUCCHI ’61 BRUT ROSÉ (Fran­ci­a­corta, Italy — $28.28, Liquor Marts and be­yond) A 50-50 Pinot Noir/Chardon­nay split — much in the spirit of French Cham­pagne — this bub­bly is pale pink in colour, with bright doughy notes and rasp­berry, min­eral and wa­ter­melon aro­mas. It’s a dry, crisp bub­bly, with le­mon, tart straw­berry, green ap­ple and toasty, doughy flavours that show all the el­e­gance of French Cham­pagne at half the price. 91/100

JOHN WOODS/WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

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