...McWilliam's Family Winemakers Tasting (Calgary)

Nothing complements food better than the perfect beverage.  When it comes to wine, I've been known to enjoy a glass (or two) of cabernet.  After almost a full year dry spell during pregnancy, my tastes have oddly changed and I've been gravitating towards the sweeter rieslings ever since.  Even though we have our likes and dislikes, we would never call ourselves expert wine tasters.  So last week when we were invited to the McWilliam's Family Winemakers tasting at the Sheraton Eau Claire, we were excited to learn more about wine making.  

McWilliam's Family Winemakers hail from Australia and have a long tradition of winemaking since 1877.  We learned that their range of wines are cultivated from four unique regions in Australia.  We first had the opportunity to try their moscato spritzer with lemon zest during the reception, which appealed to my sweeter taste buds and went down a little too easy with the burger sliders.  Once seated we were presented with five wines: Hanwood Estate Chardonnay 2013, Appellation Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2013, Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005, Hanwood Estate Shiraz 2013 and the Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.  
Before we tasted the wines, we were encouraged to follow four simple steps: look, sniff, sip and savour.  My favourite quote of the night was "democratize wine tasting".  It doesn't have to be something that is difficult or reserved for experts.  
Our favourite was the Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005, which was beautifully complex and nothing like we've ever had.  McWilliam's describes it was a blend of citrus, sherbet, passion fruit and vanilla flavours -that's what I'm talking about!  This bottle was priced at $59.99 but it certainly tasted worthy of it's hefty price tag.  Out of the two reds, the Shiraz was definitely my favourite and something I could see myself grabbing the next time I'm cruising the aisles of the liquor store.  Described as a full bodied shiraz with flavours of plum, blackberry and cherry, this one was right up my alley and priced at $13.99 you can't go wrong.

We thoroughly enjoyed the tasting and will be keeping an eye out for a bottle of the semillon and shiraz for our next dinner party.


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