Not being much of a wine connoisseur, despite my years in France, my review of the Winnipeg Wine Festival is more of a wine tasting guide for beginners. When it comes to wine I usually just go with the flow – and it does seem to be the case that the more it flows, the better it tastes! Living in the small town of Ashern, up until May 5th, I had not experienced a night out in The Peg, 2 hours South of us. So, once I had my ticket, the date was brightly highlighted on the calendar and boldly marked down in my diary. The countdown to my first Winnipeg night out began… and it did not disappoint.
The Winnipeg Wine Festival is the perfect setting for a girl’s night out; so that’s exactly what we made it. The dress code is pretty much as smart or as casual as you wish, although, as with most events there were a few who were considerably under-dressed. No, I don’t mean in jogging bottoms and hoodies but rather that they had forgotten some of their clothing – It’s boobs or bums ladies; not both! I always feel that carrying a wine glass around in a convention centre merits a bit of class, wouldn’t you agree? So I used the occasion to get just a teeny bit dressed up.
With over 500 wines it’s difficult to know where to begin and being selective is key because as much as you may want to attempt it, it’s unlikely (and not recommended!) that you’ll get to try them all. Therefore, for the beginner, the following strategy may help you to decide in which order to try them:
- Stations with cute servers – this is very important as you don’t want to be too tipsy when you are flirting!
- Expensive wines with a good reputation – because you’ll want to appreciate these most
- Interesting names
- Countries you have never tried before or ones you know you love
- Pretty bottles – if the bottle is pretty and pink the wine is probably aimed at people who drink alcopops and think they are footballer’s wives.
Once you have worked out your game plan, grab your girls and your glass and get stuck in. You can smell, then sip the wine. There’s nothing wrong with drinking the whole ‘taste’ – they only serve small amounts. If you don’t like a particular wine, buckets are provided to pour unwanted wine into. Rinse your glass out with water between tastes so as not to spoil the flavours. Take advantage of the bread and water on offer so that you don’t fall off of those high heels and most of all, enjoy!
Tips for making the most out of next year’s wine festival:
- Make a night out of it. Plan a meal with friends before hand or better still a gathering afterwards. Don’t let all that wine you’ve drunk go to waste.
- Buy lots of wine that way you can get them delivered to your local store and you won’t have to carry the bottles around for the rest of the night – unless of course you plan on drinking them.
- Arrive (and especially leave!) in style. If there’s a group of you look into hiring a limo. It may work out cheaper than taxis. My friend’s did this and arrived in luxury. Luckily for me, they let me hitch a ride back with them for the after party!