Giving something new a try — looking to keep a running calendar of events embedded in all of our posts here on the blog.
If you have an event you think we should know about, email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer’s over. The kids are back at school. Post-work rounds of golf are soon to be a memory and the patio isn’t looking that inviting any more.
So what is a proper drinker supposed to do now that fall is pretty well here? Take himself (or herself, equal opportunity boozing here) back to class. Learn about a some new wines, what to pair whisky with (other than more whisky), or just tuck in for some good food and booze pairings.
Stores across the city offer a wide array of classes, seminars, tastings and fun evenings throughout fall.
Some highlights on the September calendar (all listings as posted on the retailers’ websites)
Kensington Wine Market:
Aside from being the home of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada, Kensington Wine Market offers some great beer and wine events.
Tight Wad Oenophile I: Penny pinching for wine lovers gets harder and harder, especially in today’s market. We still look for the best so you can pay the least. Join us and we’ll share our secrets. Sept. 17. $25
What’s Next? Beer & Cheese I: Think wine and cheese make the perfect match? Think again! Beer is the true soul mate of cheese. Sept. 27. $30
Willow Park Wines & Spirits:
I live down south, so I do happen to find myself at Willow Park for plenty of events. Of interest this fall is their partnering with some local food trucks to offer some tasty new treats with a selection of beer.
Nathan’s Famous and Labatt’s: Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters & Fries is teaming up with some fine gems out of Labatt’s portfolio for Willow Park Wines & Spirits first of many Food Trucks in the Kitchen. Sept. 11. $45
California Wines and Complementary Cuisine with Christopher Walker, chef and wine consultant: This evening he will focus on the cuisine of California where more research has been done on food and wine pairing than anywhere else in the world. The discussion will center on the wines of the Hope Family and Coppola Estate. Sept. 25. $45
Mixing & Marinating with Jack Daniels: Experience the versatility of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Sipping Whiskey from making interesting and tasty cocktails to making marinades, and taste how they are enhanced by the Old Number 7. Sept. 26. $25
Co-op Wines and Spirits:
Co-Op also gets in on the food truck frenzy this fall, but also has a ton of other events lined up.
Micro-Brew Breweries – Big Flavours from Small Producers: Spend some time with us as we explore one of the fastest growing markets in the beer world. During this class we will be tasting beers from around the world and discovering the history and culture behind these delectable crafted beers and their many different styles. Oakridge: Sept 15. $25
Wines Through History: Wines have been made for over 6,000 years. This class will take you back in time as we learn how the
Egyptians, Romans, two World Wars, prohibition and even the development of refrigeration have played a part in creating the wines we enjoy today. Oakridge: Sept. 22. $25
An Evening with Alley Burger: We’re excited to team up with Calgary’s favourite burger food truck, Alley Burger, for an evening
combining their delicious menu with our favourite beverage picks. This is an evening sure to delight
anyone who loves a great burger, bevvies and fun. Book early to avoid disappointment. Beddington: Sept. 22. $50
Crowfoot Wine & Spirits:
I don’t happen to find myself in the far northwest very often, but the Crowfoot flagship store is a great spot for events, to be sure.
Syrah vs. Shiraz: Is it two different grapes? Is there even a difference? If you have wondered these same questions then join us to find the answer. Tonight’s tasting will not only compare the two but we will taste both of them from regions around the world! Sept. 12 $25
Ladies Only Sips ‘n Bites: Leave the men at home tonight ladies, because this night is all for you! A night out with some great wines paired with great food! Bring ou your friends and relax because our chef and Sommelier Sheila Person will spoil you rotten tonight! Make it a great night and buy 3 tickets to get a 4th FREE! Sept. 22. $40
Now that spring is finally here (and we seem to have gotten our one early-spring dump of snow) you’re forgiven for wanting the hell out of the house.
And if your choice when you get out of the house is to explore and discover a new favourite beer, wine, or whatever, I have you covered.
That is, I have a whole list of events. I’m not covering any tabs. I know what you people are like.
All hopped up:
• In springtime in Calgary, suds lovers are bound to be found at the Calgary International BeerFest, May 4 and 5 at the BMO Centre. This is a big event, with more than 200 beers from dozens of breweries on offer. Bound to be fun, but also could easily get a tad, er, fuzzy.
Over at Willow Park Wines & Spirits, be sure to plan out your Canada Day beer menu with Beer Manager Dave Gingrich as he presents Canadian Craft Beer June 22. But be sure to check out a full list in Willow Park’s spring calendar.
Who wouldn’t want to sample fine wine and food in the Mountains? Add a healthy selection of beer and spirits, and you have one hell of a getaway at the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival. This time, in the actual Rockies, at the picturesque Banff Springs Hotel. This one goes May 4 and 5 as well, making for one boozy weekend.
If you want to stay closer to home, Willow Park is offering their California Wine Festival April 19, or as a nice kickoff to Canada Day with the Oh Canada! Wine Festival on June 30.
Meanwhile, Co-Op Wines & Spiritsis offering a chance for people to get up close and personal, kind of, with Rock ‘n’ Roll winemaker Charles Smith. Smith is taking part in a Skype wine tasting at the Crowfoot location.
While, most unfortunately, the two nights are sold out, Kensington Wine Market is offering up a whisky lover’s dream evening this week, with the Ancient Malts nights March 29 and 30, featuring “not one, not two, not three, but SIX 40 Year Old distillery bottled whiskies” according to the store’s website. Fear not, though, they are also the home of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada.
Whisky lovers can also head to Willow Park Wines & Spirits for Trip around Scotland, or the Mild and Strong Malts of Scotland events. But Willow Park’s most spirited spring event looks to be the Suds & Stills Festival May 18, featuring the best of the new beer and spirits to hit their shelves in 2012.
But let’s not forget Canadian whisky. Crowfoot Wine & Spirits hasn’t, with an event April 3 featuring the best this country has to offer.
If Rum is more your thing, Co-Op is giving people a chance to get to know it a little better April 14 at the Oakridge tasting centre. And who wouldn’t want to get to know rum a little better in time for warmer weather?
I apparently went looking at Kensington Wine Market’s events calendar a few days early.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t make mention of the update, as they have a fairly full slate, including some specialized whisky tastings. Check it out here.
Calgary is blessed to have a whole host of events, and there are tons more at links listed above, so go. Find one of your own. And if they don’t have one, many outfits in town will set up a private tasting for you and your friends.
We’re all looking for something to warm us up, and I don’t mean a sweater.
Fall is the time of beer bashes, whisky festivals and wine weekends. The calendar is full of all manner of events for any number of tastes.
The Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival: Oct. 14-15, BMO Centre
There’s no better way to shake you out of your tryptophan coma than with 200 food and booze booths, offering gourmet treats, wine, beer, premium spirits and single malt whiskies. Tickets are still available to get into the tasting hall, and food tickets will run you 50 cents apiece.
Co-Op Wines & Spirits Grape Escape: Nov. 18-19, BMO Centre
As the weather gets colder and Christmas approaches, the social calendar heats up, and Co-Op’s Grape Escape could be your unofficial start to the season. Tickets are $50.
Willow Park Wines & Spirits: Events through the fall
The calendar is pretty full at Willow Park Wines & Spirits through the fall. Highlights include Whisky in the Warehouse, the Beer Bash and the Wine Auction. But check things out for yourself.
Kensington Wine Market: Events through the fall
From the Single Malt Festival, to wine and cheese evenings and a special whisky launch dinner, Kensington Wine Market’s fall calendar has two great loves covered.
That surely doesn’t cover all the events in Calgary through the fall, so if you know of one, feel free to contact one of the scoundrels, or comment below.
Now that you’ve made it to the end and your mouth is watering, I’ve got good news.
The organizers of the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival have given me a pair of tickets to give to one of you readers.
From the festival’s website:
The 14th annual Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival returns for two days of indulgence! The Festival features a wide array of world-class wine, premium spirits, import and micro-brewed beer, and an assortment of local culinary creations. Attendees can indulge in quality beverages and cuisine in a fun, social and relaxed atmosphere. Held in newly renovated halls and hosting a diverse selection of exhibitors – you don’t want to miss the most delicious event of the year.
The tickets are for Friday night only (4 p.m.-10 p.m.), and grant access to the Grand Tasting Hall. Once inside, attendees would still need to purchase sampling coupons at 50 cents apiece to use in exchange for food, wine and other beverages.
Obviously, with a hall full of alcohol being served, this is a no-minors event, so leave the kids at home.
All you need to do to win is be the first to tell me the explosive name of the Syrah made by Charles Smith Wines, whose namesake is appearing at this year’s event.
Send answers to email@example.com