Mama Needs Wine- Mama’s Night Out

In honour of all you working mama’s…

It was a crazy week at work. Not only was it busy with unexpected projects, but I had been travelling for training and away from the kids for three days. I arrived home and remembered why I hated travelling for work — the house was a disaster and I somehow had a massive household chore to-do-list. Piles of laundry were stacked EVERYWHERE, the vacuum hadn’t been touched leaving piles upon piles of dog hair EVERYWHERE, and my hubby, who for some reason has a fear of the Tupperware cupboard, left stacks and stacks of clean Tupperware cluttering up the kitchen. The list was endless. To top it all off I remembered a commitment I had made to attend Taste of Spring on Friday night when all I really wanted to do was have a date with my fat pants and Grey’s Anatomy on the PVR. So, Mama got dressed up, but Mama also Needed Wine.

Luckily I had planned to attend Taste of Spring with my two favourite people; my mom, and my little sis. We all got dressed up, downed a couple of glasses of vino, and headed to Evraz Place for 2016 Taste of Spring. I had been to Taste of Spring the year before as a vendor. This year I was experiencing it as a guest. There are five things you should know from my night out at Taste of Spring:

  1. Mama needed a night out

Even though it was torture peeling myself from my couch and TV, once I was out it was nice! It’s not every day (or even every month) that I get to feel like Mama the person, not Mama the mom. Being in a room filled with adults, having adult conversation, and not watching my every word knowing there is a little person absorbing my every move, was so relaxing! And the company wasn’t half bad.

  1. Oxygen bars are the bomb

So, in my old age, I’ve started being less concerned with what people think, and more concerned with having fun. Exhibit A: mom, sis, and I were strolling through the aisles at Taste of Spring and came across the NeuroFitness Wellness Centre booth — pimped out with four oxygen machine things! Rather than awkwardly walk by I thought, “What the hell!” So we pulled up some chairs, shoved some coloured tubes up our nostrils and sat there breathing ‘pure’ oxygen for five minutes… and it was the bomb! I don’t know that I buy into the health benefits, but I did enjoy the refreshing scent of linen.

  1. Taste of Spring needs better wine vendors – the only wines worth tasting were Doug Reichel (and the cheap and cheerful bubbles from Dazzler Dave/PMA’s table).

I hate to use the terms ‘wine snob’, ‘foodie’, ‘food snob’, because it elicits the idea that you are better because you know more about something than someone. I’m no ‘wine snob’, but I sure do like to drink good wine (note: good wine does not equal expensive wine all of the time). Unfortunately good wine was few and far between at this event. This is a call to all you agents out there:  bring better wine to these events, educate people, and stop telling people that wines like Apothic and Cupcake are any better than your average can of Coca-Cola! A few under $20 wines that should have been there, but weren’t, include: ConoSur Viognier, Errazuriz Sauv Blanc, Angel’s Gate Riesling, La Posta Tinto, and Mission Hill Pinot Noir.

And consumers… demand better! Wine is about experiences, conversation, and good times. Wine is not about sweet, boring, familiarity.

  1. It needed more people. Better wine = better people

I was sad to see the event on the Friday night was as quiet as it was — I did hear the Saturday night was jammed, so maybe there were others on Friday who had a date with their PVR. None-the-less, there were some exciting new vendors at the show that called for a big crowd. My hope is they show up next year despite the sparse crowds on the Friday night.

  1. Evraz Place is #1 in the city for large-scale hospitality

The highlight of my night — aside from the O2 bar — was the hospitality of the Evraz Place staff. As someone who spent the better part of a decade working in the hospitality industry, the quality of service did not go unnoticed. Attention to detail and friendly staff is the thing at Evraz Place — tables were cleared within seconds, garbage was actually in the garbage and not scattered on the floor, the bathrooms were spotless, the list goes on. All in all it was a very well-run event with a few welcome additions from last year, including a live band, vendor organization into areas, and lots of spots for sitting and chatting.

Now, I know you don’t read my articles for my incredible wit and charm, and you’re patiently waiting for me to talk about wine, so here goes. Mama Needs Wine ‘Best in Show’.

I would like to be the first to congratulate Doug Reichel for being the proud recipient of the very prestigious “Mama Needs Wine” best in show: Joseph Mellot La Chatellenie Sancerre. This wine knocked my socks off. I am a huge fan of Loire Valley wines anyways, but this Sancerre was a beautiful showcase of the region, and a perfect representation of the atmosphere at ToS — fun, flirty, and with a little zing (from the band!). I did not get a chance to talk to Doug in detail about this producer, but the Cole’s notes version is as follows: they have 500 years of history backing this incredible estate, they focus on the best quality vinification techniques in the region, and they use groundbreaking sustainable agriculture techniques.

Before I call it a wrap, listen up! Please, please, all you wine agents and representatives out there — step-it up. Bring Regina a true taste of the great wines available in the province; challenge the consumer to try new and different wines instead of their over processed go-to’s. Let’s be better at showcasing wine instead of grape juice.

The JM La Chatellenie Sancerre is available at the SLGA (SKU: 7372) for $29.36 and really was the best ‘Taste of Spring’.

Honourable mentions include:  Orofino Red Bridge Red, Altos de Luzon Red, Kaiken Malbec, and 4th Street Lightly Sparkled.

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