A word from Bill — March 2012

Living in Ottawa we are fortunate to have a number of wine events to choose from. There are a number of region specific events as well as restaurants that offer tutored tastings that include food and wine pairings. The classes at Algonquin College continue to have large numbers register to enjoy their learning experience and the Vendange Institute continues to offer Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses at different levels. In short, Ottawa is a great place to continuously upgrade your wine knowledge and enjoyment.

The Guild continues to offer a unique experience with our monthly Vintages Pre-Release tastings (VPRs). We have changed our branding somewhat to illustrate the true value of the event. The VPR allows you a chance to “challenge yourself” and continue to keep your palate in shape with other like- minded people. We are fortunate to have this opportunity afforded us by the LCBO.

The VPRs are more than an opportunity to assess 12 to 14 wines that will be released by the LCBO on the following Saturday. They are also a way of challenging yourself in these blind tastings, putting your knowledge and experience to the test. Can you identify the grape varietal or blend, or the country? We get into some lively discussions about why people liked a particular
wine or why they disliked it. It’s your taste and opinion that counts, not what so-called ‘experts’ say.

The VPR is a great opportunity to continue your wine education, or to “try before you buy” a number of wines to be released by Vintages on the following Saturday. Taste some highly reputed wines that might not cross your palate otherwise and also have the chance to discover wines offering exceptional price/ quality ratios and affordable lesser- known premium quality products that are well-made bargains.

We also continue to take input from the members as to the selection of wines for the VPR tastings and look forward to continuing with this program. We are also reaching out to our members to attend on their own or certainly with friends. After your comments we will include the link to the Vintage upcoming release for you to review the offer and make your picks. Wine tasting made easier—that’s our goal. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!
Cheers, Bill Ellis President