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.
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.
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:
- deVine Wines & Spirits: 10111 104 Street, 780-421-9463
- 4th and Vine Winebar & Bistro: 11358 104 Avenue, 780-497-7858
- Aligra Wine & Spirits: 1423, 8882 178 Street (West Edmonton Mall), 780-483-1083
- Bin 104 Fine Wines & Spirits: 5454 Calgary Trail NW, 780-436-8850
- Crestwood Fine Wines & Spirits: 9658 142 Street, 780-488-7800
- The Wine Cellar: 12421 102 Avenue, 780-488-9463