Annual Holiday Wine Show uncorks Friday

Published 6:52 am Friday, November 13, 2009

The holidays are often a perfect time for good friends, good food and good wine.

To help with that last aspect, Austin’s Apollo Liquors is hosting its annual Holiday Wine Show Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Austin Holiday Inn.

Apollo co-owner Dave Olson said this will be his seventh holiday event since taking over ownership, but the seasonal wine tasting goes back at least 30 years, he noted.

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This year, Olson said there will be between 150 and 170 wines available for sampling. Varieties will run the gamut, he said, with traditional Cabernets and Rieslings on hand, as well as some seasonal specials.

And if wine isn’t your favorite, there will also be roughly 20 different beers to try, Olson said.

“It should be a good event,” he said, adding that proceeds from ticket sales go to various local causes.

The co-owner said he is expecting roughly 400 people, with some even likely to travel south from the Twin Cities.

In addition to the samples, Olson said guests will be able to listen to a house jazz band and enjoy hors d’oeuvres.

There will also be some wine experts on hand to help the novice wine drinker find a beverage right for them.

Bruce Rahlf, a sales representative with Johnson Brothers Liquor, will be one such wine specialist.

He said he will pour samples for people and help them find the right fit.

This starts with asking the taster what they like, whether that be a bitter flavor, a sweet flavor or somewhere in between.

“Then, we try to broaden their horizon,” Rahlf said.

Rahlf also said he will help guests pick out the right wine for any dishes they may be preparing.

The general rule of thumb is to pair red wine with red meats and to pair white wine with white meats. Rahlf also said a sweet wine often is a good balance to a spicy meal.

Rahlf will be in his fifth year at the event and said it is always a good, fun atmosphere — with something to taste for everyone.

“Even if you don’t really like wine, come out and try it,” he said.

The Apollo Holiday Wine Show

Where: Austin Holiday Inn, 1701 Fourth St. NW

When: Friday, Nov. 13, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Tickets: $10, available at Apollo Liquor (903 West Oakland Ave.) or at the door