I’m Here for the Boo’s

Happy Halloween everyone!

With our spirited celebration coming up, I thought I would let you all know some of the places in our wonderful city that you can have fancy wine parties.

These events are designed to give wine lovers the opportunity to sample wines from all over the world. Lucky for you, they are open to all levels of knowledge.

This gives you a chance to learn about wine and ask questions if you are seriously curious, and all of your friends will want to come too, because let’s get serious- there is wine there.

wine tasting meme

De Luca Fine Wines has wine pairings quite frequently.

Check them out here: http://www.delucafinewines.com/events

Banville and Jones has cooking and wine tasting classes, and even a professional sommelier program: http://www.banvilleandjones.com/events-education/

La Boutique has Friday Night Flights: http://www.laboutique.ca/events/wine-tastings

The Winehouse currently is hosting 3rd Annual Manitoba Wine Tasting Championships: http://www.thewinehousewinnipeg.com

The Kenaston Wine Market has a Holiday Wines Walk, which is an In-Store Wine Tasting: http://kenastonwine.com/collections/event-tickets/products/holiday-walk-about-2015

And my personal favourite,

Winnipeg Wine Festival! http://www.winnipegwinefestival.com

Where your teeth are red within 35 minutes, you run into everyone you know and their grandma, and your after Wine Festival plans almost always are cancelled because you need to go to bed.

I will meet you there.


Salmon skin roll?


I know you are thinking about Ross Gellar right now, me too. But people who study food (sign me up for that!) believe that humans can perceive a fifth taste. Move over sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Umami is linked to the savoury characteristics of food. Shellfish, meats, mushrooms and cheeses are high in umami taste. This makes pairing wine so much more fun (and confusing)!

After you all read last weeks post about pairing wine by complementary flavours, I bet you were dying to find out how to go about matching wine with contrasting tastes!

The goal is to enhance your meal with a wine that has textures and flavours that aren’t yet present in your dish.

Pasta with a thick cream sauce might pair well with a dry, crisp sauvignon blanc to counterbalance how heavy the dish is.

A fruity and crisp Riesling would pair nicely with an earthy dish like portobello mushrooms and lentils.

Cabernet Sauvignon pairs excellently with simple flavours like hard cheeses.

Spicy food with spicy wine could take away from the dish. Try something refreshing like a sweet white (gewürztraminer) or fruitier, medium-bodied reds (pinot noir).

Realistically, it’s all about your personal preference. You don’t have to follow any wine rules, you do what you want! Sometimes I eat food so fast I can’t even taste it, so pairing wine really isn’t high on my priorities list.

The only thing I’m marrying is food with wine


Can you think of a time you really enjoyed a wine but the next time you had it, it tasted completely different? That’s because when you have wine with different kids of foods the taste will change.

For example:

Tannic wines paired with something like walnuts (which are also tannic), would make the wine taste so dry that most people wouldn’t even want to drink it.

Protein decreases the taste of tannins. So a very tannic wine that you normally may not enjoy, might just taste delightful with a rare steak.

Wine can also add new flavours to a dish. If you pair a red Zinfandel with strong berry notes, it can bring that taste into your dish.

A normal human has too many things to remember besides exactly which wine to pair with a certain meal. The good news is that there are a few rules of thumb you can follow to make a successful match.

My friends and I were so proud of ourselves when we made this. It lasted about two minutes.

My friends and I were so proud of ourselves when we made this. It lasted about two minutes.


The easiest way to pair a wine with food is by matching their characteristics. Light-bodied wines like a sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio pair well with light dishes like white fish, sushi, green salads, grilled chicken or vegetables.

Medium-bodied wines like merlot or zinfandels match with fuller dishes such as pizza with red sauce, lasagne, or roasted meats and veggies.

Full-bodied reds like cab sav and malbecs are enjoyed best with red meats, Mexican food, and brisket.

Families of flavours

This can be overwhelming, but when the back of a bottle describes the wine as earthy, think mushrooms and risotto or roasted veggies.

Citrus and fruit flavoured wines could go with a fruity dessert, or maybe duck a l’Orange.

Herbal wine? No problem, chicken or pasta with fresh herbs.

I think you guys are getting it…

Stay tuned for next week’s blog on pairing wine by contrasting flavours.

But for now,

Keep fit and have fun!

Buying wine – you can do it!

Nobody knows it all.

In the words of Socrates, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” The wine world is always changing. New wineries, new vintages, new, brands, it’s impossible to keep up!

My advice is to start in smaller wine stores. Their staff are typically more knowledgeable. You may spend a few extra dollars, but it will be worth it to find wines you truly enjoy instead of choking it down.


The best wine shops have temperature-controlled rooms (like The Winehouse). Stay away from wines stored in warm areas. The taste will suffer. It will be like a pungent smack in the face.

Something else you might notice in a quality wine store is that bottles are stored horizontally. This keeps the cork moist and ensures a firm, closed bottle. When corks become dry, they can crack or shrink. This lets air into the bottle and spoils the wine.

Don’t worry when you see this at your local LC. Wine tends to have a high turn over and fly off the shelves there. Twist off caps are also becoming more common, and when wines are stored upright for a short period of time, this isn’t an issue.


Keep a note of the kinds of wine you fancy after you try them. Take a picture of the bottle and take it to your wine store. This way they will be able to guide you towards other wines you might appreciate.

Once you have an idea about the kinds of wine you enjoy, you can walk into the MLCC with confidence and buy the cheapest version of the wine you like. #studentlife