Boutique: Rouge et Blanc, Centre de Vinification Vinexpert / Winemaking Center
Caterer: Tango Tango
Event: Turquoise Blog’s #ExperienceRougeEtBlancVin Wine Making & Tasting Event!
Prices: Winexpert wine kits starting at $110 for 30 bottles
Date: Monday October 21st 2019
Group of: 9
Last month, I had the pleasure of organising a wine making and tasting event at Rouge et Blanc, a Winexpert wine-making center! The Rouge et Blanc boutique is located in the heart of the Plateau, on rue Rachel just West of Boulevard Saint-Laurent. There, you’ll be able to make your own wine, beer or even cider, by buying one of their Winexpert wine-making kits or by bringing your own grapes. Rouge et Blanc offers a nice variety of white, red and rosé wines that you can make, as well as different price points reflecting the varying degrees of grape quality. A wine-making kit can cost $110 (each kit will give you 29-30 bottles), like it can cost you $230 (for the premium wines). But, when you do the math, $230 plus taxes for 30 bottles of very good wine (plus about $35 for the bottles, but you can bring your own too), that comes out to less than $10 per bottle!
Present this time around to #ExperienceRougeEtBlancVin : myself @elisebgravel, Sabrina @hangryinmtl, Dini @dini_the_foodie_mtl, Sabrina @tinyfoodie, Gigi @gigi.in.mtl, Nath @fulltimefoooodie, My @mtlpancakequeen, Gia @spoonfulof.chic and Alex @jellybeaneats !
Part One: the wine tasting
- Riesling, Washington
- Gewurztraminer, California
- Chenin Blanc & Colombard
- Merlot, Chili
- Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot, California
- Amarone, Veneto, Italy
- Micro-brews (beers) :
- Scotch Ale
- Northern Brown Ale
- American Pale Ale
- Red Ale
- Flavoured wines:
- Peach and apricot Chardonnay
- Coconut and yuzu Pinot Grigio
- Strawberry white Merlot (rosé)
- Blueberry Pinot Noir
- Flavoured dessert wines:
- Chocolate and raspberry
- Chocolate and salted caramel
- Apple cider
Before I dive into this, I just want to specify that Rouge et Blanc is a boutique where you can make wines, not a wine tasting boutique. However, you can organise a wine tasting with Rouge et Blanc’s owner, Nelson, upon request for private events (tastings, bachelorette parties, etc.).
Back to my event. We were very lucky, as Nelson prepared a wonderful tasting for us, with no less than 17 different products! All of these products can be made at the Rouge et Blanc boutique, flavoured wines, cider and beer included; not just wine! It was really cool to be able to taste all the different products, learn about them and discover new products too. Of course, being a white wine kinda gal, the white wines were my favorites, although I did quite enjoy the Venetian (Italian) Amarone as well; it was less berry-like.
The flavoured wines were really nice too, of course, much lighter in terms of alcohol percentage compared to real wines (about 6.5% each); perfect on a hot summer day or mixed in a fruity cocktail. I definitely preferred the peach-apricot and the strawberry flavours; coconut-yuzu was way too experimental for me lol. Beer wise, they were all too dark for me, so out of my flavour pallet; I’m more of an IPA gal. However, some of the girls who prefer darker beers tried them and enjoyed them.
The flavoured dessert wines were also not my cup of (wine) tea, but some of the girls who have very sweet tooths adored them. For me, it was a bit too heavy, sweet and syrupy. The apple cider I really liked, as I like cider in general. It was fresh and flavourful, with a strong apple taste and nice balance on the sweetness. Very grateful to have been able to try so many cool products! Thank you Nelson!
Part Two: the bites
- Giant sauteed shrimps with tandoori spices and coconut flakes
- Asian style rolled beef bavette, marinated mushrooms, shallots
- Lac Brome smoked duck carpaccio with strawberries and organic arugula
- Maple and soya salmon cubes cooked on a cedar plank, served in spoons with micro shoots
- Marinated Quebec beet skewers, goat’s cheese mousse, pistachio and lemon crumble
- Wild mushrooms, cherry tomato confit, Reggiano shavings and Firebird micro shoots
Of course, you can’t invite a group of foodies to a wine making and tasting event, without also feeding them! (you also never wanna drink on an empty stomach #truestory). A big shout out to Tango Tango, a local Montreal caterer who provided a wonderful selection of bites for us to nibble on during our wine tasting. I really enjoyed all the meat/fish protein based bites and they were my favorites (I actually didn’t have the two vegetarian bites as I left them for my vegetarian guests and I’m not huge on vegetarian things). My favorite was the tandoori spiced shrimp with coconut flakes, which was super flavourful and tasty. Very different from the garlic butter shrimps I normally have, so that was a very refreshing and appreciated change. I really liked the maple and soya marinated salmon, where the flavours were also on point. The Asian style rolled beef bavette was also very much to my liking and I liked that the bavette had a medium/medium-rare cook to it (no one should ever eat well-done steak IMO). A big thank you to Angella and Sarah and the team at Tango Tango for these yummy bites!
Part Three: the preparation of the wine
Post-wine tasting, it was time to get to the serious matter and prepare a batch of wine! (**Done for demonstration purposes only**). So wine making is actually done in two separate visits: (1) the preparation of the wine and (2) the bottling of the wine. For educational purposes, Nelson was kind enough to show us the two different steps in one visit (**Done for demonstration purposes only**).
So, what does preparing the wine mean? This is actually the simplest step in the process and pretty much consists in adding a pack of yeast to your bucket of grape juice. But first, you must choose a wine that you wish to make (for the purpose of this demo, Nelson chose a red wine). Nelson is there every step of the way to guide and assist you, but once you’ve added your grape juice into a bucket, added some water and few other packets, the important step is for the consumer to add the yeast packet in. Depending on the wine you choose, you may also add other things, like this red one Nelson chose, where we had to add a packet of oak chips to give it that oaky taste it won’t get as it won’t be matured in an oak barrel. Et voilà! That’s all for visit number 1! (Shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes, 10 minutes if you choose your wine quickly).
Part Four: the bottling of the wine
Now comes the fun part! Visit number two is where all the real fun happens, as you get to bottle, cork, seal and label your bottles! (**Done for demonstration purposes only**). So, in theory, you would visit Rouge et Blanc a first time in order to prepare your wine and then only come back 4-6 weeks later (depending on the amount of time Nelson says your wine needs to sit first, depending on the quality of the wine chosen). This is us fast forwarding to 4-6 weeks later (**Done for demonstration purposes only**).
Nelson showed us the process of bottling the wine, from A to Z, which was very cool and amusing. Basically, you take an empty bottle (that Rouge et Blanc can provide for $1 each or you can even bring your own empty bottles from home and they will sanitize them for you) and hook it to a machine so that it fills up automatically, take your full bottle to a wine corking machine which automatically corks your bottle when you close the glass door (don’t forget to add a cork in!), take your corked bottle to a heater and all a seal to it so it can melt in place and then add a label et voilà! You have your own homemade wine!
Rouge et Blanc has over 30 different seal colors for you to choose from and you can even make your own custom labels, perfect for any occasion! You can make your own private label for your wine cellar at home, or even gift them at your wedding with a custom label.
We had a great time and a lot of fun at Rouge et Blanc, which I can personally recommend as a great place to host a wine making and tasting event like ours! As well, if you love wine, Rouge et Blanc is the perfect place to display your love of wine by making your own! I very much look forward to making my own batch! Thanks again to everyone who contributed to making this evening special, to my guests for attending and to Nelson from Rouge et Blanc for the fantastic evening 🙂
Part of the planning for my events also includes the decor and gift bags for my attendees. The floral pumpkin arrangement was provided by Vicky from @fleuristeatropabelladonna. The goodies which were provided for the attendees’ goodie bags, by Turquoise Marketing and Turquoise Blog, were provided by Joseph and his team from @deliceslafrenaie (mini lobster tails, mini cannoli, cookies & Nutella horns). Thank you all for your generous contributions! 🙂
Rouge et Blanc is the perfect place to not only make your own wine, but also craft beers and cider too! Plus, if you’re looking for a fun and unique event experience – bachelor(ette) party, birthday party, group activity – Rouge et Blanc is definitely a great choice! So, how will you #ExperienceRougeEtBlancVin ?
*This restaurant post does not contain my usual restaurant review criteria of restaurants, as this is a sponsored post where I was invited to the restaurant as a guest.
*All photos and comments are mine