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Liquor Mart set for Safe­way store

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

THERE’S plenty on the hori­zon in the city and be­yond when it comes to wine tast­ings and news. Re­mem­ber how there were sup­posed to be Liquor Mart ex­press out­lets des­tined for se­lect gro­cery stores? Well, one has been con­firmed — the Safe­way at Pem­bina High­way and Chan­cel­lor Drive is the first con­tract signed be­tween Liquor Marts and a gro­cery store; it’s sched­uled to open in late De­cem­ber. Two more lo­ca­tions are expected to be con­firmed in the next few days — I’ll up­date my blog, The Grape Nut, on the Free Press web­site when they are. Hint: Bran­donites and west Win­nipeg­gers should be ex­cited.

The Forks Mar­ket plays host to the 21st In­ter­na­tional Wine Fes­ti­val of Man­i­toba, Oct. 12-14. Over 100 winer­ies will be rep­re­sented at the three­day walk-about tasting, co-spon­sored by The Forks Mar­ket and Fen­ton’s Wine Mer­chants.

Ad­mis­sion is free, with sam­pling tick­ets cost­ing 50 cents each. Pro­ceeds from the fes­ti­val, which also in­cludes a cheese booth, go to Win­nipeg Har­vest.

Ru­ral Man­i­toba, get ready for the an­nual wine fes­ti­val cir­cuit. Mid-Oc­to­ber sees wine reps hit the road, pour­ing reds, whites, bub­blies and stick­ies in all cor­ners of the prov­ince. Tick­ets for all events be­low are avail­able in the re­spec­tive community’s Liquor Mart.

Rus­sell — Thurs­day, Oct, 18: The Rus­sell Re­gional Mul­ti­plex will host a tasting from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Over 50 wines will be poured from 14 sup­pli­ers. Tick­ets are $20— the event is a fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive of the Rus­sell & Dis­trict Recre­ational Cen­tre.

Bran­don — Fri­day, Oct. 19: It’s the re­turn of the West­man Wine Fes­ti­val. Twenty-six sup­pli­ers will be on hand pour­ing over 100 wines be­tween 7 p.m and 10 p.m. at the Bran­don Vic­to­ria Inn. Tick­ets are $29.99 — the event is a fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive of the Bran­don Rotary Club, with pro­ceeds go­ing to the Eslpeth Reid Fam­ily Re­source Cen­tre.

Dauphin — Fri­day, Oct. 26: — Seven­teen sup­pli­ers will be pour­ing over 60 wines be­tween 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. at the Park­lands Recre­ational Com­plex as a fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive of the Dauphin Rotary Club. Tick­ets are $25.

Neep­awa — Satur­day, Oct. 26: The Vis­count Cul­tural Cen­tre hosts the tasting (eight sup­pli­ers, 30-ish wines), which runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tick­ets are $25, with pro­ceeds sup­port­ing the Arts Cen­tre.

Win­nipeg whisky lovers, circle Feb. 22 on your cal­en­dar — that’s the date the Fair­mont will play host to the in­au­gu­ral Win­nipeg Whisky Fes­ti­val, in sup­port of the Man­i­toba Sports Hall of Fame.

There’ll be a pile of pre­mium Scotch, Ir­ish and Cana­dian whiskies, as well as some tasty Amer­i­can bour­bon poured, and ev­ery­one will go home with a com­mem­o­ra­tive glass. In ad­di­tion to the dozens of pre­mium whiskies, there will be a live/ silent auc­tion, lots of food and an ed­u­ca­tional com-


po­nent as well.

Ticket info is forth­com­ing, but rest as­sured, they’ll be in the triple dig­its; this will be a pre­mium event.

If you’ve been to the Grant Park Liquor Mart re­cently, you’ll know ren­o­va­tions are still far from be­ing fin­ished. Ear­lier this sum­mer I was told it would open late July, with a grand open­ing in Septem­ber.

As with many Win­nipeg con­struc­tion projects, there have been de­lays. Some is­sues with the floor in the 16,000-ish square-foot space have con­trib­uted to progress be­ing slower than had been expected. As such, the Grant Park Liquor Mart should look al­most done come mid-Oc­to­ber, and a grand open­ing is now ten­ta­tively slated for Novem­ber — al­though there’s no firm date be­yond that.

The bou­tique sec­tion of the Grant Park Liquor Mart will fea­ture some rare pre­mium wines as well as ex­clu­sive, high-end spir­its. Fifty-year-old Ap­ple­ton Rum, any­one? You’ll find it there, for the mod­est price of around $5,000 a bot­tle.

In ad­di­tion to the high-end stuff, the store will also bring a se­lec­tion of one-time-only deals and spe­cial pur­chases head­ing into the hol­i­day sea­son.

Mean­while, the Bot­tle & Cork fa­cil­ity cur­rently at the Madi­son Square Liquor Mart is still slated to move to the Ke­nas­ton Cross­ing lo­ca­tion— the move is es­ti­mated to take place in late Oc­to­ber.

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