This past weekend was the 20th anniversary of the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival. It was an eventful evening of tipsiness (rightfully so) and a great deal of eating. If you’re anything like me, you went straight for anything bubbly or pink, which means “Rosé All Day” as the millennials would say. Subsequently followed by copious amounts of snacking, naturally.
The event itself draws up quite a buzz. If you plan on attending, be prepared to wait in line. Practice patience, practice your "Om". Entrance tickets will run you about $30/person. Drink and food tickets are purchased via sheet–I'd say $50 worth of tickets, so 100 tickets, is more than enough for a couple to eat and drink a fair amount. If you're on the hungrier or drinkier side, more is more for you.
The dress code is mixed. I saw casual, I saw dressy, I saw hipster and I saw Kardashian. The choice is yours, choose wisely. (Classy always wins in my books!).
However, it's all in good fun as plenty of wine and beer vendors await your thirst . And let's not forget the food, how could I possibly forget about the food? There are roughly 30 food vendors scattered all throughout the event. A little sip here and a little bite here is the perfect way to navigate this festival, and should be your mission statement when attending. (Can I copyright that?)
With that being said, I ate, and I drank. And I've rounded up of my favorite vendors from this year, and a few neat things that I learned.
The top spot for taste goes to the Shaw Conference Centre believe it or not! Now I was under the impression that their mass made dinners would be anything but appealing, because you know, it sits in a warmer and stuff. BUT the chicken and waffles with a maple syrup injectors was a playful take on a modern classic. The chicken was moist and the waffle soft but not soggy. It held up well to the weight of the chicken and the heat lamps. The maple syrup was an option, and if you chose it, brought the whole dish together. That's just what maple syrup does. It's the glue that brings things together, like pancakes, bacon, and families...
My favourite wine was the Danzante Prosecco. It's a sparking wine made extra dry, with a long-lingering cascade of pin-point bubbles that create a rich, lively mousse in your glass. It's rich in bouquet, and velvety smooth with a crisp appealing palate, and beautifully balanced. I'm quite certain I went back for a double on this one!
Did you know?While roaming, I came across a type of wine called Crisecco. Obviously I've heard of Prosecco and Champagne, but Crisecco? Apparently that is the name given to the wine made in Moldova and all of South-Eastern Europe. So how Champagne can only be called Champagne, if it comes from that region in France, and Prosecco from Italy, Crisecco is Eastern European. Neat, hey?
The Cabana Coast Moscow Mule. I'd never heard of this until now. It tastes largely authentic to a real Moscow Mule, and it's not bad for coming out of a can!
A few tips:
There is a lot of walking, wear comfy shoes.
Your hands are going to be full most of the time. A cross body bag will do you wonders.
Available for purchase (2 tickets) is a wine glass holder that you can wear around your neck. It's unlikely that it will match with your outfit though (it was turquoise blue this year), but sometimes convenience trumps style!
Have fun, take selfies, and enjoy yourself! Oh ya, and don't forget to take food photos!
Overall, the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival is a fun event! It's great to gather some friends and spend the evening sipping wine, tasting beer, eating food, and socializing. If you have any hesitation about wether to not to attend next year, I say go for it! Perhaps I'll even see you next year!
If you have recommendations of places I must try. Leave me a comment below!