Friday night we attended The Grape Escape hosted by Coop Wine and Spirits held at the BMO centre on Stampede Park. The very affordable tickets were $65 plus tax and included 12 food tickets and 30 liquor sample tickets.
After investigating the event I wasn’t sure what to expect, would the tickets be hard to handle, would there be enough tickets to enjoy sampling etc. Having heard mixed reviews we decided to see for ourselves, tickets bought and tasting plates in hand we headed in and after about five minutes in the hall all doubts were erased and I was 100% sold on this event.
This event was spectacular and a great value for the night running for 4 hours with outstanding sample selections. The Grape Escape really is an event for everyone, the liquor samples cover the whole gambit with something to impress everyone in your group. Samples were one ticket each and included everything from scotch, whisky and every beer imaginable to vodka, tequila, flavoured liquors and wines of all sorts.
The food samples for the night were provided by a wide array of Calgary food trucks. At one ticket per sample there was lots to taste however the samples are quite small so I would definitely recommend having dinner before you go. That said, the food trucks really did pull out some amazing samples! Sticky Ricky’s Beef Po’Boy sandwich and Take and Go East African Cuisine & BBQ’s Butter Chicken were the favourites of the night earning many visits from our group throughout the event. Other trucks in attendance included Burger 320 offering a meatball slider, Rule the Roost Waffles offering a chicken spring roll, Shogun Teppanyki grill with teriyaki meatballs and several other trucks to tempt your tastebuds with. As an added bonus there were also a few “no ticket needed” sample tables including an offering by Spolumbos, chips from Old Dutch and a selection of cheeses and crackers from Coop themselves.
A great bonus to this event is that you can join the Coop experts for a sit down seminar style tasting. The topics change every hour so make sure to swing by and check out the program schedule to see if there is something you want to experience and learn a little more about! A great chance to rest your feet and take home a little extra knowledge.
Each time we attend a tasting event we learn a bit more about what makes our time there easier and more enjoyable. I hope that sharing some of our discoveries here might make your evening at the Grape Escape a little more enjoyable too!
Make sure you have a designated driver or take a cab or transit to and from this event, with all of the hard liquor samples we were very happy after just three hours that we had arranged a ride home!
To make things easier for hands free tasting prior to the event we took apart our food and drink ticket books and placed all of our pre-ripped tickets into lanyard style name tag holders. This meant no fumbling with ticket books and trying to rip out tickets while standing at the sample booths. Take the time to pick up a tasting plate that also holds your wine glass. These re-useable plates can be purchased at many stores for under $5 each or you can often purchase a smaller style plate at the event. So much easier to have everything in one hand and not have to juggle everything while wandering around.
This is a huge event, make sure to take time at the beginning and walk around the whole hall. Check things out and get an idea of what you might like to sample. With 4 hours and so many samples you can take your time to really look around before you jump into the fray.
The Grape Escape happens twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Keep an eye out for the fall event as this is was a thumbs up from our whole group. Tickets will go on sale in mid to late summer and can go fast. Coop Wine and Spirits also holds many great and very affordable tastings throughout the year. Take a look on line or in store at the Sips magazine for tastings coming up soon at a tasting centre near you!
For all your escapes, I’m Your Everyday Foodie.