We are excited for this weekend’s festivities! Calgary’s Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival begins tonight at the BMO centre, and finishes off tomorrow evening. There will be over 150 different wines poured and about 50 food vendors available for sampling.
Veterans of the festival have their routine of navigating the rows of booths. Most popular, walking the perimeter, then travel end to end down each of the rows. Or, you might start at one end of the hall and meticulously work your way to the other. Either way, there is always the risk of missing out on something, as there is just too much to fit in such a short amount of time!
This time around we are going to employ the festival’s app to ensure no sample is left behind! Besides being able to vote for your favourites, the app has a list of all purveyors, mapping them out so even after sample #67, you will be able to find your pulled pork slider.
The best feature of the app, is the ability to record your tasting notes on each pre-recorded wine. Select the wine samples from the menu, then find the wine you are trying. You can write your own notes without having to carry around a book and pen. WineCollective members can also record their tasting notes on the go, accessing the members-only site from their phone or tablet.
We analysed the lists and cross-referenced with the map, and put together a list of our must try wines with a nearby food pairing. No excuse to try the sashimi with your Syrah just because they are neighbours!
Fox Run Vineyards should be your first stop. Once you enter the hall, take a hard left and find Jeremy from North by Northwest pouring Fox Run, conveniently placed by Springbank Cheese Company, and not too far from the Cactus Club Cafe booths. We suggest the butternut squash ravioli with the Chardonnay, ceviche with the Riesling and finish off pairing the Cab Franc with braised short rib.
Canadian producers, Bartier Bros. is located at C122, furthest left when you enter the hall. They will have a wide range of wines to try. We suggest you take the Chardonnay and the Goal, and visit The Fairmont Pallliser just a couple booths down. The dirty mac & cheese and braised Alberta beef short ribs will do the trick! The Gewurztraminer will go with the exotic dishes from booth #127, Jane Bond Catering.
From Bartier Bros. you won’t have to travel far to sample the Joseph Mellot Sincerite Sauvignon Blanc and Pouilly Fume Le Tronsec. Both wines have recently been featured on WineCollective and Tannic. The booth is located just across the aisle from the Dairy Farmers of Canada, where there will be a great cheese selection to pair with.
The next row over, WineCollective faves from Spy Valley are at #227. It is a bit of a jaunt, but on the far end of the same row is Cobbs Bread with an artisan grilled cheese. Or, pair the Pinot with the chicken and olive empanada and the Sauv Blanc with the feta empanada from the Empanada Queen.
Continuing down the rows, at #331 on the corner is Sokol Blosser with exceptional Oregon Pinot Noir. Here, you will also find Sokol Blosser’s brand ambassador Mariano. You will find great pairings down the row at Bite. Try the porchetta foccacia panini or the duck confit panini.
At the far end of the hall (by the Gelato truck) is Deerfield Ranch Winery and Enkidu. The Deerfield booth will have PJ Rex, the owner of Deerfield, pouring the wines. Be sure to ask PJ about ‘clean wine’ at Deerfield! The White Rex is a versatile blend that could go with the nearby Baby Naaco chicken Tikka Masala at #820. Or visit Highwood Catering and pair your Deerfield Merlot with the stuffed yorkshire pudding.
The menu at Pampa Brazilian steakhouse was meant for the wines of Enkidu. Try the Humbaba or Field blend then find the garlic rump steak.
We hope this helps start you in the right direction, be sure to download the app for easy navigation. Let us know what wines you discovered!