Wine fair gives you a taste of country, region
When it comes to getting a sense of a wine region, nothing beats travelling from winery to winery, sampling as you go.
But if you can’t get away to places such as the Okanagan Valley, Tuscany or Burgundy, the next best option is a wine fair focused on a country or region. At one event you can get a pretty good idea what makes that area tick.
This month two of my favourite wine events hit the city just one week apart. On April 23 the California Wine Fair sets up at the Hotel Arts. The annual event, which raises funds for Calgary Opera, features tons of wines from myriad producers.
Six days later, on April 29, comes the New Zealand Wine Fair. It’s being held at the Ranchmen’s Club this year. It, too, offers a range of wines from the two narrow South Pacific islands.
Tickets for both events are $65 and they run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Check out nzwine.com/events/ new-zealand-wine-fair-calgary or calgaryopera.com/winefair.
As a prelude to these events, here are four wines that offer a sense of what each area can do. Noir offers an earthy nose with flavours of black cherry, allspice, blackcurrant and a bit of strawberry.
Price: About $44. You can find it at Chinook Liquor, Costco, Crowfoot Centre Liquor Store, Highlander Wine & Spirits and Willow Park Wines and Spirits.
Drink: Now, or bury it in the cellar for a few years. Enjoy it with pasta with mushroom sauce, a meaty pizza or grilled lamb. Screw cap; 14 per cent alc./vol. Beringer Vineyards
2011 Napa Valley Chardonnay Napa Valley, California