Audrey Frey is the manager of the Rideau Curling Club in Ottawa, played lead for Anne Merklinger at a number of Tournament of Hearts, AND is about to graduate as a sommelier!! I asked her to make some recommendations about good wines that can be served as a house wine at any facility meeting the approval of the membership. Without a doubt wine sales are a growth industry but should be done right to make the sale. While many of these wines may not be available in your part of the country, there are wine experts (or sommeliers!) in your area who can help you make the right choices. (Danny Lamoureux)
If curling clubs want to have a house wine, I would suggest the 1.5L which will be cheaper and would allow them to be able to sell it slightly less than their premium wines. I would also suggest they purchase a vaqu vine and use it to keep the bottles that have been opened fresh. They should also mark the date on the back of the bottle (where the members won’t see it) to ensure they don’t leave wine sitting open too long. There is nothing worse than selling a glass of wine that is too old, it’ll taste like vinegar and could leave them with a bad impression of your wine selection!
The most practical wine glasses are the 6 ounce ones that you see in most clubs. This ensures the bartender doesn’t over pour and the glasses rarely ever break. It is wise to invest in some good corkscrews that allow anyone (some clubs may run their bar with volunteers) to be able to open the bottle quickly and efficiently (no cork in the bottle!). Always keep extras in your inventory room as they do break.
Suggested pricing for wine would be:
House – $5.75
Premium – $6.25
Bottle (750ml) – $25.00
Please note the prices list below are the LCBO (Ontario) pricing and may vary slightly from province to province.
Red Wines: (750 ml bottle)
Australian Shiraz – Long Flat – $11.95
Tasting Note: Deep ruby red colour; aromas of jammy berry fruit, pepper and spice aromas and flavours; dry, medium body, with good flavour intensity, sweet fruit centre, soft tannins and a smooth finish; soft style Shiraz.
California Merlot – Sterling Vintners Merlot – $14.95
Tasting Note: Deep ruby colour; ripe blackberry fruit aromas; medium-full bodied with supple fruit and integrated tannins. Well balanced. Ample fruit throughout
Chilean Pinot Noir – Cono Sur – $10.95
Tasting Note: Ruby red colour; cherries, earth and berries with a touch of spice in both aroma and flavour; dry, light to medium-body, quite lively on the palate, with mild tannin and a rounded fruity finish.
Italian Chianti – Gabbiano – $13.95
Tasting Note: Medium ruby red colour; aromas of red cherry, dried herbs, nuanced by vanilla notes; dry, medium ruby red colour; aromas of red cherry, dried herbs, nuanced by vanilla notes; dry, medium-bodied, velvety tannins, displaying flavours of liquorice, spice and red cherries on the finish.
Italian Valpolicella – Folonari $12.95
Tasting Note: Ruby red colour; light cherry and spice aromas; light bodied with soft berry flavours
White Wines: (750 ml bottle)
Australian Chardonnay – Lindemans Bin 65 – $10.95
Tasting Note: Light yellow gold colour; floral with citrus and vanilla aromas; ripe fruit flavours; soft clean finish
Australian Riesling/Gewurztraminer – Hardys Stamp Series – $8.95
Tasting Note: Pale straw colour; rose petal and lychee with a touch of spice in aroma & flavour; sweetness balanced by lime citrus finish
California Sauvignon Blanc – Woodbridge – $11.95
Tasting Note: Light lemon colour; dry and medium bodied; fresh, melon, citrus, vanilla aromas and flavours
Italian Pinot Grigio – Voga – $13.55 (everyone loves the bottle!)
Tasting Note: Pale golden yellow colour; light aromas of pear, apple, fresh peach and spice; dry, light to medium bodied, fresh stone fruit and citrus flavours, crisp acidity on finish.
Italian Pinot Grigio – Santa Margherita – $10.95
Tasting Note: Appearance: very pale. Nose: minerally, peach pit. Taste: medium-bodied, dry, white peach flavour with minerality.
Italian Soave – Folonari $9.95
Tasting Note: Pale straw colour; light citrus aromas; crisp citrus and mild almond flavours; crisp, dry finish.
Ed. note: there are many, many more selections out there that will tantalize our taste buds and we’d like to hear about them! Send the name of your favourite wine (especially Canadian wines) served in your building and we’ll share it with the rest of the curling world!