I’ve been to Wine Bar Kensington multiple of times – for my own stag, girls’ night, Sunday half price wine night, and impromptu meetings. It’s a beloved bar for locals, particularly those who live in the hood. Which is why I’m surprised to see this is my first post for Wine Bar.
On Monday, Wine Bar celebrated its 10th anniversary with DJ Jon Yumol, magnum wines and a half price baller wine list. I thought that was funny because a true baller can afford to pay full price, so by buying a half price bottle, I’m just a wanna be baller.
That’s okay with me, because I’m perfectly secure in knowing I’m a small potato. For this post, let’s listen to Puff Daddy, “It’s all about the benjamins”. Oh god, I can’t believe how bad the lyrics are:
Now, what y’all wanna do?
Wanna be ballers, shot callers, brawlers
Who be dippin’ in the Benz with the spoilers
On the low from the Jake in the Taurus
Tryin’ to get my hands on some Grants like Horace
Yeah, livin’ the raw deal
Three course meals: spaghetti, fettuccine, and veal
But still, everything’s real in the field
I would argue that spaghetti, fettuccine, and veal are not a three-course meal. A three-course meal consists of three parts served one after the other. What Puff Daddy is rapping about is having three mains as one meal.
Our server Tess offered excellent recommendations. Outside of Bar Von Der Fels, she’s the only other person in Calgary that can nail down what type of wine I like. I learned from Bar von der Fels that I like full-bodied wines. That’s what I told Tess I liked.
The first and my favourite baller wine of night was Ehret Cabernet Sauvignon ($110, half price $55). Smooth, gentle weight on the tongue, and just enjoyable wine to sip away. Excellent.
L did all the food ordering because I had a stomach ache and I wasn’t planning on eating. Of course he ordered the Meat + Cheese platter – the chef’s selection of five ($42). I tried the 12-month aged prosciutto and the flavour was fantastic. I couldn’t taste the white, fatty part of the meat like I do some prosciutto.
The second wine we tried was Farina – Amarone della Valpolicella ($105, half price $52.50) This was L’s favourite wine. Tessa said it if we liked the first wine, we would enjoy this one even though it was different. Lighter than first bottle, silky and I thought it had a nice balance of acidity.
The Spinach, Goats Feta and Beet Salad ($17) was well-seasoned. The dressing was sweet and tart. I really liked the addition of the olives and nuts.
I ate most of the Coconut Curried Lentil Dip ($16.75) because L and Bottlenick thought it was too spicy. I can handle my spice so I loved this dish. The flatbread was warm and crisp but still soft inside. Scrumptious.
The brussel sprouts was a standout dish. I was getting quite tipsy at this point and I stopped taking notes. I just know that anything that taste that good isn’t healthy for you. Best sprouts in the city. I was really impressed with the food.
I spotted my old neighbour – I’ll call him Wine Wizard. It turns out Bottlenick went to one of Wine Wizard’s events. At this event, Bottlenick picked up three bottles of Il Rosso Degugnano Dei Barbi and gave me a bottle to try. I should have known that Bottlenick bought this from Wine Wizard. The Wine Wizard is super serious with his wines. He even wears a special pair of glasses to better analyze his bottles. I tried on his glasses that night and it did enhance my ability to think more deeply about what I was drinking.
I asked Wine Wizard what he would drink. He pointed at what he was drinking that night – a $200 dollar bottle. The small potato in me came out and I balked at him. He then pointed to another bottle – Sor Ugo Superiore Cab Sauv/Merlot/Franc ($110, half price $55). That’s better.
I had to put my thinking cap on because Wine Wizard took back his glasses. I liked his pick but I couldn’t describe what I was tasting. I think it was beyond my vocabulary.
I had a lot of fun at Wine Bar’s anniversary party. It was a treat to try some truly delicious wines at a price that’s more akin to my lifestyle. Thanks for the enjoyable company L, Bottlenick and Wine Wizard.