how to run a wine club – it’s all about the mullet (ktw)

Thinking of maybe starting a little wine club in the new year?

Here is the link to the article on running a wine club tasting in your home!

Kamloops This Week – Wine Club

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it’s wine festival time!

It’s time to get our wine festival on here in Kamloops!

I love wine festival time but nine years in, I am starting to lose the excitement I once had for the big, huge, giant Consumer Wine Night that is now the culmination of a week of wine celebrations.

If you are new to wine or are a ‘fair-weather taster’ (meaning you are not passionate about finding and chatting about wine), the Consumer tasting is probably a great night out.

You basically get handed a glass and told to sample away until you choose to call it a night or you get carted off… that’s happened. Not to me, but, you know, to a friend.

That’s great, and I would love to go. But, it has it’s limitations.

The first is that there are over 500 people also sampling wine. That means your time with the agent or winemaker is limited to making eye contact and saying thank you for the most part. Also, it’s really hard to take notes or get any in depth information on a wine you find intriguing or outstanding, or to even find out more about the winery!

The second is that it is a popular event. Like, really popular. And that’s great for the Art Gallery but makes for a fast-paced, crowded night for wine enthusiasts like me.

This year, I went for a wine dinner instead! The Gallery has expanded it’s events over the last few years and you can attend one (or a few) of all sorts of wine evenings around town in May.

I gathered a few ladies and attended the opening dinner at the Fireside Steakhouse and Bar.

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It was fantastic! Great food, the agent was there for the winery, we learned about the wines, why they were chosen and the stories behind them. We laughed and sipped and relaxed and had a ball. I got to visit with my friends and could hear every word they said!

We were treated to 4 wines from CC Jentsch Cellars. I actually only really cared for the first of the four we tried, The Quest, but it didn’t matter. I’ll try lots of wines this year. What counts is I had a great time and I learned a little and I would do it again!

Haven’t bought any tickets for a wine event yet? I recommend the Tapas at Earls on Tuesday or the Tour De France at Brownstone the same night!

I think either will be the hit of the week! If you are headed to the Consumer Tasting on Saturday I am sure you will enjoy that too. Really, there are no bad wine tastings!

 

 

navigating wine festival bores…

God, some people drive me crazy.

The Kamloops Art Gallery Wine Festival was as crowded as ever. And the room was set up a bit differently, again, but once again felt like the mouth of the Adams in October. Gak, people were rubbing me!

Anyways, as a public service I thought I would list a few things here in case any polite soul thinks to get some pointers before heading to their first big room wine tasting.

 

Here goes…

1. Bring friends! Bring lots of friends to enjoy your evening with.  Hug them and love them and take selfies with them all night long! Sing songs and talk about the merits of French oak. Just don’t do it right in front of the fucking table after you get your little glass of wine.

2. Chat with the wine makers, the agents and the winery staff. Ask them questions. Compliment their wine. Don’t try to ‘out-wine’ them. They work in the wine industry. You are not a secret agent. Absorb the knowledge and apply to go on Jeopardy if you think you are brilliant.

3. Bring your ID. I am 40 in a week and got ID’d at the damn thing.

4. Graciously accept the program for the evening. Browse through it a little. Note the map and the list of wineries, then leave it at the water table. After about 4 wines you are a terrible judge of wine. You can use your ability to remember what you liked as a gauge on whether you were sober enough to trust your own opinion.

5. This is just my personal rule but feel free to steal my thunder. Don’t line up. Really. At this particular festival you get two and a half hours to try to browse everything. You can’t do that if you stand behind chatty-cathies at every table. If you can’t wiggle your way to the front, or skootch in to the side of the table, just find another happy pourer!

6. Don’t take any crap. If someone behind a table is an ass just move on. I like to dump out their wine right in front of them first, as well. There was an agent that worked for a few local wineries for the last several years. She was a hag and was always condescending. I would often make eye contact then just walk away. Made me feel better! They may have more wine knowledge but they shouldn’t treat you poorly. Refrain from spitting on them though. I think you can be arrested for that.

7. Try what you like. Don’t be afraid to ask the price. Look for new wines and products. Enjoy yourself. Get your $60 worth and be sure to purchase what you loved. That’s why the wineries show up at these things after all!

Cheers!

wine theme – chinese new year

Our wine club is meeting this month to kick off the new year. Although our ‘official’ tasting isn’t on Chinese New Year we have picked the celebration as our theme!

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I’m excited about this theme. I think there will be a nice variety of wines and of food pairings. Remember, this year I am focusing on the pairing part of my wine hobby.

So, can you buy Chinese wine? Umm… well, not really. You can buy sake. I have had sake. It’s a rice wine. You drink it warmed up a bit and it tastes like rubbing alcohol to me. Maybe you love it. Lucky you. I would rather drink my own pee put through a survival filter to make water. And I would never do that. Sake is an experience. Give it a go.

Instead of having a sake hoe down we plan to pick some fantastic ‘Year of the Horse’ themed snacks, desserts and finger foods and then find some great wines to go with them. No horse meat allowed. This is not Quebec.

Planning to try this out but not sure where to start? I go back to my age-old wine advice. Turn the bottle around. Find your ingredients listed as good matches on the back of the bottle and start there. And think outside the box. Bold reds!! Not just sweet Rieslings and spring rolls. Sparkling?? Bright, fresh, green wines. Getting excited? Is your mouth watering?

Invite your friends over to start the year right! If you need help planning a wine tasting at home search back on this blog for some beginner tips. And stay tuned for the results of our evening in the Orient!

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Introducing a new blogger!

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Hello, readers! I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, because Bonnie has done me the great honour of inviting me to do some posts for Sips in the City.

My name is Lindsay, and I’m part of Bonnie’s wine club — I’m the notoriously cheap one! I often bring the least expensive bottle to our tasting parties, and I consider a $20 bottle of wine to be a huge splurge. I’m happier to spend between $10 and $14, so I am always trying the less expensive ones to try to find a few “go to” wines. I’ll be doing some reviews of the ones I try in my quest to find something affordable that tastes good. In my opinion on both counts, of course!

I know next to nothing about wine, other than what I like and what I don’t even want to swallow. I firmly believe that life is too short to drink wine you can’t stand, and I practice what I preach. At our wine tastings, there are some that I taste and toss down the drain. But I always try every wine, because you never know what will strike your fancy and your palate.

My taste is quite different from Bonnie’s, so hopefully I can provide another perspective. I prefer white wine to red, sweet to dry, and unoaked to oaked. I honestly haven’t yet found a red wine that I would buy again, but I keep tasting them. That’s one of the best things about having a wine club or regular wine tasting parties – you get to try out a few swallows of all different sorts of wines, which, if you’re cheap like me, you’ll never try if you have to buy the whole bottle.

My knowledge level is different, too. I’ve learned a bit along the way, but I haven’t gone out of my way to get an education. That’s changing, by the way. Now that I’m going to be writing about it, I figure I should know something about it. So I’ve decided that I want to become a more critical wine taster. That’s not to say that I want to be harsh on wine; rather, that I want to be thoughtful and analytical, learning how to differentiate wines from one another and analyze their elements.

Until now, I’ve been content to be the person who tries a wine, decides whether I like the taste or not, and called it a day. But now, I want to learn about the subtleties, to know how to describe what I taste and sense in a way that other people can understand. I have limited my critique in the past to “I like it” or “I don’t”, but that’s no longer enough for me. I crave the satisfaction of learning about wine and applying that knowledge to the experience.

I have always loved to learn, about anything and everything. Now, it’s past time to learn about wine. I hope you’ll join me on my journey!  

are you looking at your wine through the right glass?

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My love of dishes, glasses, tableware and the like is nearly as all encompassing as my love of wine. So I see this as the excuse I need to go buy new glasses for Thanksgiving. I give you permission to do the same! You are welcome. ps… it comes from winefolly.com but the link doesn’t work.

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