Wine fair gives you a taste of coun­try, re­gion

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life -

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

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