This weekend I escaped the cold, dreary Calgary weather and indulged in sample after sample of some of the best wines I’ve ever tasted! Where did I escape to? The annual Grape Escape event at the BMO Centre of course! The festive wine, spirits and beer sampling event is hosted by Co-op each spring and introduces guests to a variety of products Co-op offers.
Make no mistake, the stars of the show was the wine. From dry Cabernet Sauvignons to sweet Rieslings, Grape Escape delighted patrons with everything from rich full-bodied reds to zesty, light whites and everything in between. The wonderful variety of wines were sure to satisfy even the strictest of wine palettes in the room.
My favourite wines at the event were the Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon and Seven Deadly Zins, both produced by the Michael David. Here’s a short run down on what I think makes these two wines absolutely stellar:
Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon: This bold full-bodied Cabernet commands your attention from the start, with its edgy name and cool label design. I was intrigued and had high expectations before the the wine kissed my lips and the Freakshow did not disappoint. It’s fruit blend of dark cherry, black current and blackberry pairs extremely well against the charred oak. Topped with the richness of vanilla and cassis, this Freakshow is one freaky good wine. The Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon actually gets a little help from some Petite Sirah blended in, adding a spicy plum flavour to the mix.
Seven Deadly Zins: This masterpiece of a Zinfandel hits the spot so well, you’ll think it’s actually sinful. The Zinfandel’s blend with Petite Sirah gives the wine a boldness that will grab your attention, while the currants, black cherry, plum and vanilla will invigorate your taste palette with divine pleasure. The spicy pepper aftertaste will keep you lusting for more of the Seven Deadly Zins.
What else was there to do at Grape Escape besides sampling wine? In addition to wine sampling, there was also a selection of beers, ciders and spirits to indulge in. And when you got hungry, you just needed to walk over to any of the various indoor food truck vendors who were supplying appetizer portions of their trademark items. My favourite food items? The burger sliders and teriyaki beef sushi rolls!
All food and drink were included with admission. Each Grape Escape ticket book came with 50 drink tickets and 12 food tickets, and every item at the event costed exactly one ticket. It was pretty much impossible to use up all your tickets in the four-hour session. Believe me, I tried! Near the end, it seemed like my friends and I were running from station to station, in our quest to use up as many of our tickets before time ran out.
Thank you Co-op for such a great event. My taste buds are definitely very satisfied after my Grape Escape experience and I’ll be sure to look for my new favourite wines, Michael David’s Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon and 7 Deadly Zins, next time I visit my local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store. Salute!