62) October 7, 2014

Bordeaux 2000: A Fundaising Tasting and Dinner to benefit Edmonton’s Food Bank

Venue: Lux Steakhouse


Bordeaux's 2000 vintage was hyped as the "Vintage of the Century" when it was released in 2003.  Of course, since then the 2005, 2009, and 2010 vintages have all carried that same label, but the 2000 vintage continues to hold its reputation as a classic Bordeaux vintage.  As in all truly great years, the quality level should be extremely high across the region regardless of the price and pedigree of the specific wine. On this occasion, we'll put that to the test with a horizontal tasting of nine wines from the 2000 vintage.

Flight One:
Chateau Armens, St. Emilion
Chateau Figeac, St. Emilion
Chateau Latour a Pomerol, Pomerol

Flight Two:
Sarget de Gruaud Larose, St. Julien
Chateau Chasse-Spleen, Moulis
Chateau Giscours, Margaux

Flight Three:
Chateau Kirwan, Margaux
Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac
Chateau Leoville Poyferre, St. Julien

63) November 1, 2014

Halloween BOO-Castel Vertical Tasting and Costume Party

Venue: Private home


Chateau de Beaucastel is the king of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, and is regularly voted as one of the best wines in the world. For example, Wine Spectator voted the 2010 vintage #8 in its top 100 ranking in 2013, and Wine Spectator (and others) routinely give a rating of 95 or more for these wines. We have a unique vertical collection of 7 of these fabulous wines from 1998 – 2010.


64) November 25, 2014

Bet You’ve Never Heard of These Wines

Venue: Color de Vino

65) January 24, 2015

Bargains vs Legends: A Blind Syrah Tasting

Venue: Private home


The Syrah grape, also known as Shiraz depending on the region and wine style, is one of the noblest of the world's noble grape varietals. It makes some of the most age-worthy and food-friendly red wines.

In this event, we'll be tasting nine examples of Syrah from around the world, organized in three flights of three wines each. In each flight, there will be one value-priced example in the $25 range, one mid priced wine in the $50-100 range, and one premium-priced iconic expression of Syrah/Shiraz. (Hint: Grange will be poured).

Blind tastings are always fascinating, and humbling. The blind format will encourage unprejudiced assessment without influence from brand or price.

66) February 12, 2015

Wine and Chocolate Pairings Featuring Jacek Chocolates

Venue: Devine Wines and Spirits

67) March 6, 2015

2004 “Super Tuscan” Horizontal Tasting and dinner

Venue: Vivo Ristorante


Prior to the 1970s, the fine wines of Tuscany consisted primarily of Chianti. During that decade, a number of producers wanted to experiment with blending French Bordeaux varietals in addition to the traditional Sangiovese, or else grow their grapes outside the traditional Chianti zones. However, doing so would result in their wines being labelled as simple table wine. To differentiate themselves, the term "Super Tuscan" was born. Today, there are many such blends on the market and they are among the most famous Italian reds.  We'll be sampling 8 wines from the excellent 2004 vintage:

Flight one:
-Tenuta Monteti "Monteti" 91 pts Cellar Tracker
-Argiano Solengo 93 pts Robert Parker
-Gagliole Rosso Centrale 94 pts Wine Spectator
-Tua Rita Giusto di Notri 94 pts Wine Spectator

Flight two:
-Antinori Tignanello 95 pts Wine Spectator
-Antinori Solaia 96 pts Wine Spectator
-Sassicaia 94 pts Wine Spectator
-Ornellaia 97 pts Wine Spectator.

68) April 8, 2015

Two Buck Edmonchuk!

Venue: Delux Burger Bar


About a decade ago, a line of discount wine sold under the Charles Shaw label by Trader Joe's in the US became a huge hit. Nicknamed "Two Buck Chuck," these wines were perfectly drinkable every day wines, available for the shockingly low price of two dollars. A bottle even made its way (sneakily) onto the cover of Wine Spectator magazine!

No, we don't have Charles Shaw discount labels in Canada. However, the Liquor Depot consortium has recently been clearing out all sorts of wines at well below cost. Most remarkably, several of them sold at $1.97 for a 750 mL bottle, with their original prices being in the $15 to $20 range. Incredibly, the 10% off for six or more bottles still applies! At a slightly higher price point of $7.97 to $9.97 some well made wines could be had at a quarter of their regular price.

Could quality wine really be had for such humble prices? Let's find out over some burgers and fries, shall we?

69) April 22, 2015

Blind Bubbles! Unbiased Sampling of Sparkling Wines

Venue: Vines Riverbend Wine Merchants


The term Champagne is sometimes used generically to refer to all sparkling wine, the way Kleenex is used to describe all facial tissue. In reality though, sparkling wines from different regions, made using different techniques, produce different characteristics and quality levels. Sometimes it is surprising how good the quality of an inexpensive Spanish Cava or Italian Prosecco can be compared to a pricey French Champagne.

In this tasting, we will explore the differences in sparkling wines made in various regions around the world, using different grapes and using the four different methods of sparkling wine production: 1) Traditional method, or methode Champenoise 2) Transfer method 3) Charmat method and 4) Carbonation method.

70) May 23, 2015

Facing the Inferno! What Wines to Pair With Spicy Foods?

Venue: Private home


When faced with a plate of Chicken Tikka Masala, should you just stick to lager, or explore the world of wines that complement spicy foods? Join us as we attempt to answer this question with foods from India, Thailand, Mexico and beyond, paired with wines that may surprise you with their versatility. Think Argentinian Torrontes, Spanish Rose, Tempranillo, and more...

71) June 20, 2015

New Zealand Pinot Noir

Venue: Private home


Some of the worlds best Pinot Noir’s come from New Zealand. However, a lesser known region, Martinborough (situated North East of Wellington) is now producing world-leading wines. Our hosts have brought back a range of these wines, one of which won a tasting competition in the United Kingdom by sommeliers of over 2,000 wines to be voted best in show. Come and enjoy these wines, most not available otherwise outside New Zealand.