There are three events to choose from — RAW wine, Raspipav and La Grande Dégustation. So which one's right for you?
For wine lovers, the end of October is a time of discovery if you want to expose your palate to a wide range of wines and alcohols. Three major tastings are about to descend upon Montreal. Which one is right for you depends on what you are looking for.
I recently wrote about The Raw Wine Fair, which takes place Oct. 24-25, so I won’t go into any more detail here aside from stating the obvious. If organics and no sulphite wines are your thing, this tasting is for you.
Raspipav, which puts the focus on wines available on Quebec’s “other” sales stream — private importation — takes place Oct. 26-27 at Marché Bonsecours. Tickets, which include a tasting glass and coupons, range from $30 to $100, depending on which package you take.
Wines sold on private import are not available at the Société des alcools du Québec. Promotional agencies, which act as intermediaries between wineries and the SAQ, are responsible for selling these wines and alcohols.
I‘m sure many of you have been frustrated at having drunk a great wine in a local restaurant only to be told you can’t buy it at the SAQ. Well, you might find that bottle here.
The focus is on smaller producers, and more than 100 will be on site. You’ll find everything from no-sulphite wines to more traditionally made wines.
What I love most about this tasting is the knowledge that the people behind the tasting table have about their wines. If only wine retail was opened up to anyone who wanted to have a wine shop.
To cap off the tasting season, there’s Quebec’s largest consumer wine show, La Grande Dégustation de Montreal (LGDM), which takes place Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
The LGDM is not only about wine; there is beer and alcohol as well. In total, there will be more than 300 exhibitors, and more than 15,000 products to taste.
Each year, the LGDM puts the focus on different themes. The 2019 version puts Portugal in the spotlight for wine, and whiskies from around the world as the featured alcohol. There is also a focus on organics and eco-responsible wineries.
If you are equally interested in wine, beer, alcohol and cocktails, this is the show for you. Tickets are $15 pre-sale, or $18 at the door. Tasting coupons are $1 each and tasters start at $2.
No matter which tasting you choose to attend, do it responsibly. I see way too many people get way too drunk after an hour of tasting. Remember that spit buckets are available at each table for a reason. Make sure you aren’t driving afterward.
Oh, and while I am on the subject, please ladies and gents, no perfume or smelly aftershaves. Nothing drives me crazier than standing next to someone who smells so strongly that I can’t appreciate my wine.