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Five courses + five wines = a very happy couple

The formerly nouveau-riche wine tasting has come a long way.

Creations Dining Room & Lounge in the Sawridge Inn
4235 Gateway Blvd.
780-989-4439

Rating: *****
Dinner for two with drinks: $150
Signature Dish: All of them
Signature Drink: All we were served

The formerly nouveau-riche wine tasting has come a long way. Not only is it surprisingly affordable — $75 per person for a five-course meal with paired drinks — but the meal itself has become bloody fantastic!

I took notes on how to have fun at a wine tasting:

First, make sure it’s held at a sweeping, beautifully-decorated lounge like Creations at the Sawridge Inn.

During cocktails, sit next to a gorgeous water feature as you sample the light, sweet Mission Hill Sauvignon Blanc. (Don’t eat too many wedges of heirloom tomato and goat cheese flatbread, though that might be a challenge.)

When the 32-person table is set with elegant precision, take a spot next to the retired pharmacist who will crack jokes all night. After a glass or two, you will too.

Listen to the host’s descriptions of each glass of wine, but let your attention focus on the luscious dishes placed before you.

Soft shell crab goes delightfully with a crisp Chardonnay, and the Mission Hill Shiraz was perfect for the tender and lean barbecued duck burgers.

Savour the pork tenderloin under its sweet blueberry compote, but avoid the aggressive Cabernet Sauvignon they suggested as its pair — the Mission Hill Quatrain with bacon-wrapped elk is a much better match!

Finally, leave yourself room for dessert: heaven is bananas in tempura under ice wine ice cream, next to a glass of Vidal Ice Wine.

Drink responsibly, drive sober and dress up a bit to enjoy a wonderful evening at a wine and food tasting!

Dining out

High Voltage Transcend Coffee’s new location has opened its doors in the old Pharos Pizza next to the Garneau Theatre — the chic little spot offers a little light food, but mostly their outstanding coffee.

High Voltage After you visit Transcend, you are faced with quite a choice: Kabuki Sushi and Grill or the Whimsical Cake Studio! Hm — terrific sashimi or delicious cupcakes? Let me know what you decide!

 
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