Last month I was invited to attend the 2nd Annual Summer Solstice Wine Festival hosted by Everything Wine and More in Sherwood Park. It was perfect timing because a few weeks before Indulgence 2014, I had decided to learn more about wines.
The problem with wines is finding a glass you truly enjoy. Prior to researching and tastings, all wines to me were categorized into red, white, or a blend of both. White wines for me were easier to drink although once in a while I’d hit a white wine that I didn’t enjoy and didn’t really know why. I never paid attention to what grapes were being used or even where they came from. Now I’m getting a little better, taking down notes when I remember on my iPhone app. Wine tasting events are honestly the best (and cost-effective) way to figure out what you like and don’t like!
The event was held on a Wednesday night for two hours. A $30 ticket got you sampling over 15 wines and alcoholic beverages. The turnout was actually pretty good, although I didn’t hear a lot about the event other than the email. I assume that most attendees frequent the store or are members of their loyalty program.
Other than drinking wines, I was looking forward to tasting some of Sherwood Park’s local businesses. WOW! Factor Desserts was one of the booths, showcasing a variety of their cakes and cheesecakes. Locally owned and running since 1982, they offer all kinds of desserts for a lot of restaurants and distributors. Their factory is located in Sherwood Park with a small retail section where you can pick up a frozen treat to bring home yourself. Yum! Jody was my date for the night and we tried the Berry Burst (Sheet Cake) and Chocolate Avalanche (Sheet Cake). Drools. So good!
Famoso was there as well, sampling their Caprese Salad. Attendees got a free $10 gift card to their Sherwood Park location. Most excellent.
Other food vendors included the Canadian Brewhouse (serving up Brewhouse Wrap, Fried Pickles, Cactus Chips), private chef, Chef Sheridan, and Urban Organics (Chocolate Brownies with Yacon Drizzle and Coconut Bacon). The yacon drizzle was really interesting, derived from a root vegetable that has a natural sweet taste. The one vendor I was looking forward to the most was Sherwood Park’s Square One, a “contemporary speakeasy” restaurant that I have yet to try. Unfortunately there was a mix up of dates and they were not in attendance. Sad face.
Enough about the food, there was wine! I’ve never really paid attention to wine stores before, but my goodness, there’s a lot of different wine glasses. I’ve since tarted my small collection with a set of red wine glasses and white wine glasses.
Although I didn’t take a lot of photos of the wines sampled, I can tell you at least what I learned that night. I don’t particularly enjoy medium- or full-bodied reds! No matter which ones I’ve tried, they just didn’t make me smile as whites do! Currently I’m in the process of trying light-bodied reds at home so we’ll see how that goes for now.
I enjoyed the Fresita that was for sampling, a Chilean sparkling wine with a ton of strawberry flavor! Nomnomnom. Or is it gluckgluckgluck? Jody ended up buying a bottle that night (+5% off for attendees) and a group of us polished that off within minutes. So delicious and perfect for summer.
The Corby Group introduced Malibu’s newest product, a rum sparkler. Mixed in with a few gummies and Sprite, it become a cocktail within seconds.
Wayne Gretzky’s Okanagan Great White blend was a highlight for me that night. Jot that down as a wine that Cindy enjoys. Crisp and refreshing! I seem to enjoy fruity or refreshing wines, although that’s probably common with people who are starting on wines! I already knew I liked most Riesling wines so it’s not a surprise that it was the second main wine in the blend, the first being a Sauvignon blanc.
Thanks to Chelsea and Everything Wine and More for the invite! It was a great experience and I hope that it gets bigger with every year! Thanks to Jody for being my date and finish off my wines so that I could safely drive. What are your favorite wines and why? If you have any tips for a beginner like me, leave a comment!
Everything Wine and More (Sherwood Park)
25-100 Broadview Drive