“Bottom Drops” Wine Tasting at deVine’s

Thom, Mack and I met up at deVine Wines & Spirits on Thursday night for their “Bottom Drops” wine tasting. Though Mack and I enjoy wine, the extent of our knowledge goes as far as recognizing our preferences. Thom, more of a vodka and rum man, wanted to learn more about wine as well – so we thought an informal tasting would make a good Christmas gift, and a nice group outing.

Mack and Thom

We were told the evening had sold out of its standing-room only 80 tickets, but once the crowd had been assembled, we didn’t believe that the room was actually that full. Regardless, each $25 ticket granted us seven wine samples, access to a supply of good cheese and bread, and an option to purchase any of the evening’s wines at a 10% discount.

At deVine’s

The evening was introduced as a counterpoint to their pricey “Top Drops” series ($110 per ticket), where all wines sampled were priced at over $100 a bottle. All “Bottom Drops” wines were under $25, though Nick, who led the night’s activities, had tweaked the price of at least one bottle to make it fit the cost window.

“Bottom Drops” selections

While I’ve been to tasting events like the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival and Sip!, this was my first “guided” tasting. I have to say I enjoyed it very much – the colour Nick lent to the wines, from the history of a particular grape, to the nuances of a growing region, enhanced the experience. I particularly enjoyed his anecdote about the carmenere grape, which he had dubbed the “Jurassic grape”, owing to the fact that many thought the varietal was long extinct.

Wine

My favourite (not surprisingly), was the honey-sweet Roumieu dessert wine, while both Mack and Thom liked the 1999 Crianza best, and subsequently picked up a bottle each. The evening was a lucrative one for deVine’s – it seemed like every attendee bought at least one bottle to take home.

The entire tasting lasted about an hour and a half, which was the perfect length of time for a weeknight – and with the relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, I thought  deVine’s was a great venue to learn a little more about wine.

There are ample places to enhance your wine education in Edmonton – here are just a few if you’re looking:

6 thoughts on ““Bottom Drops” Wine Tasting at deVine’s

  1. I know nothing about wine. I disgraced myself at a blind taste testing once by picking the non-alcoholic sparking apple juice as my favourite wine. It had been included as a joke, of course.

  2. Vanja and I were in Napa Valley last summer and experienced our first guided tastings, too. The Mondavi Winery Tour was outstanding. They have an entire educational component that is well worth the time if you are in the area. That being said, neither of us can get through very much wine. I love the tastings, and particularly the pairings with food. Outrageous at how much wine can compliment a food… but, I just cannot “drink” a glass of wine. I absolutely can drink a glass of iced wine!!! Or, a bottle. What does that say about the maturity of my palate, I wonder? But, what a great idea for a gift and a get together! And, local, too!

  3. Vines on 23rd Ave and Rabbit Hill Road also have excellent tastings and educational events. Last month a few of us took part in a port tasting. We learned a lot and drank some outstanding port.

  4. Valerie – I do think wine is an acquired taste…even though I’m still drinking what Mack calls “KoolAid”!

    Erik – thanks for the recommendation. I hadn’t heard of Vines before – good to know about.

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