Joe and I went to a wine tasting festival last night. With something like 182 wines on offer and more than 500 people crowded into the Convention Centre, it was a bit overwhelming. I’d much prefer a few friends gathered around several bottles of wine.

However we did find some wines that we quite enjoyed. My favourite of the night was the Saxenburg Guinea Fowl Red from South Africa. It was smoky; almost peaty. It was as if I were tasting a scotch. The woman representing the company that was selling it said you could spend an hour drinking a glass of this wine while curled up by the fire reading a book, and every sip would taste different.

Other favourites included a spicy syrah from Sicily (Santa Margherita Syrah Sicilia IGT), a malbec from France (Rigal Original Malbec), and a carmenere and a chardonnay from Chile (Tamaya Carmenere Reserva and Tamaya Viognier Chardonnay Reserva). The last two were being sold by Stile Wines of Vancouver. I recognized the name because it’s run by the same family that owns my favourite shoe store on Commercial Drive. They said the next time I was shopping for shoes I should go upstairs in the same building to see their wine operation.

The choice of Canadian wines was disappointing, with Grey Monk the only offering from this country. Everyone is familiar with Grey Monk; I was looking to try some things I hadn’t before, but no luck on that front.

All in all it was an interesting evening that resulted in some new bottles of wine in my stash. But would I go again? I’m not sure.


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