If gorgeous mountain views and crisp air aren’t enough to persuade you to make the short drive to Banff, maybe a wine festival will do the trick.
The annual Banff Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival takes place at the end of the month, and besides a range of great wines, there are new additions to this year’s festival. Here are six reasons why you should attend the festival this year.
You’ll learn all about wine
Let’s be honest, it’s the main reason to attend the festival. This is the opportunity to slow down and appreciate wine: really look at the colour of the wine, smell the wine and think about the flavour. Pair it with chocolate and see how the flavour changes.
Those who are just venturing into the world of wine or those who are already true oenophiles can all benefit from tastings at the festival. Cathy Miller, the festival director, explains that the festival caters to individuals with all levels of wine knowledge.
There’s a new mobile phone app
For the first time this year, wine enthusiasts attending the festival can download a free app that will help them plan their time at the festival. The app provides a complete list of all the wines and food vendors at the festival, as well as a map of their location in the Grand Tasting Hall. Festival attendees can plan their day of tasting, prioritize different wine tastings and star their favourites. There’s even the option to make notes on different samples and share your Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival experience over social media.
There’s a new contest and you could win prizes
Also connected to the new app is a contest festival attendees can participate in: the Great Big Taste awards. Use the new app to mark your favourite wine and see what others voted as their favourite. Voters are also entered to win great prizes, like tickets for next year’s festival or a Sobeys wine basket.
You don’t have to pay for a taxi back into town
Those who aren’t staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs won’t have to pay for a taxi to get back into town. The festival’s Roam Bus will be leaving the hotel for Banff every 15 minutes and it only costs $2. Be sure to bring exact change.
There’s so much more than just wine tastings going on
Besides the three tastings in the Grand Tasting Hall, the wine festival is an event celebrated in the whole town for the entire weekend. There are additional events held outside of the hotel, like oyster shucking competitions, a rib cook off and after parties.
You can take home an exclusive wine sling
This year, you don’t need to wander the hall with a wine glass in hand for hours on end. You can win a Liquor Connect wine sling for your wine glass so you can tour the festival with your hands free. The first 80 people to each tasting session will receive a free wine sling. If you arrive a little later and still want a sling, they can be purchased for 2 tickets ($1).
The Banff Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival takes place May 30 and May 31 at the Fairmont Banff Springs (405 Spray Ave.) Regular tickets are $29 if purchased online or $34 if purchased at the door. The Saturday night tasting event is already sold out. rockymountainwine.com.