Now in its 24th year, the evening-long Nanimo Wine Festival (http://www.nanaimowinefestival.com/) at Beban Park Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 28 sells out every year.
And why not? Where else can you try as many wines as you want for less than $50.00? All of that within a moderate taxi fare to and from most Nanaimo neighbourhoods.
From your wine sampling comes an opportunity tastenew and interesting wines worthy of consideration for the holiday season, for open-house parties or for careful pairing with holiday meals.
The lineup this year includes several on-the-rise Vancouver Island Wineries alongside the imported wines and those from the Okanagan.
The 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery is introducing several exciting new vintages at the festival.
The Comox Valley winery(http://www.40knotswinery.com/)produces unique wines. Situated on a sea- sloping piece of glacier sedimentary rock, the vineyards nurture grapes of uncommon complexity.
Grapes like a little hardship within the land into which they send their roots. It helps develop deep flavour. 40 Knots gives them that challenge. The glacier rock forces the roots to dig deep for nutrients. The proximity to the sea provides daily temperature changes, allowing the grapes a chance to develop firm acidity.
All of the above produces 40 Knots’ superb Pinot Noir which will be available for sampling at the wine festival.This Pinot Noir possesses bold aromas of raspberry, strawberry and cherry that make your mouth water. A velvety texture is the medium for those great fruit flavours, followed by a lingering aftertaste reminiscent of smoke and vanilla.
Not everyone will agree with me, but with the emergence of such quality Pinot Noirs as those from 40 Knots, Vancouver Island may give Oregon a run for its money as a premiere Pinot Noir wine region in North America. There are many more local Pinot Noirs to choose from at Lucky’s Liquor in Country Club Centre.
Another great local wine producer featuring their wares this year is Enrico Winery. http://enricowinery.com/ Located south of Nanaimo in Mill Bay, Enrico has embraced hybrid grapes suited to our coastal climate. The grapes were bred to be resistant to the fungal diseases prevalent in our climate. As consumer resistance grows to the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, there’s interest in grapes bred to be naturally resistant to disease.
Enrico’s Cabernet Foch is a treat to the senses. Blackberries and violets are the predominant aromas. A blend of pepper, anise and leather pair up with the blackberry aroma to create an elegant and unusual flavour combination.
Quick, quick, order your tickets for the festival before they sell out! It’s tough, I know, tasting so much wine. And not many of us can resist the lure of tasting sample after sample. Make sure you keep local taxi drivers busy that night!