Tour with Me

Soulvines Inc. has teamed up with Expedia Cruise Ships and AMA Waterways to offer customized luxury wine and craft beer tours on the beautiful Danube River.

SIP, SAVOUR and SAIL Your Way Through Europe April 30 – May 10, 2021

We start the tour off in Prague with 3 nights in a 4-star hotel.  While we are here, we will imbibe in the Czech Republic’s national sport of drinking beer! Trivia note – did you know that Pilsner beer was invented here on October 5, 1842? We will visit historic breweries, enjoy traditional Czech cuisine and explore the charming old town and majestic castle before heading to Plzen and the famous Pilsner Urquell Brewery.

Then we bid farewell to the Czech Republic and board our AmaWaterways River cruise ship, “AmaViola” in Vilshofen, Germany. From here, we set sail down the Danube visiting 4 different countries and 7 different ports. At 2,857 kms, the Danube is Europe’s second longest river and an important trade route since ancient times.

Some things we’ll see on the way:

  • Historic breweries
  • Unique wine tastings
  • Traditional meals
  • Wide variety of sightseeing tours
  • Easy access to Tour Sommelier
  • Illumination Wind Up Celebration in Budapest

With glass in hand we’ll SIP-SAVOUR-SAIL through picturesque country villages, terraced vineyards, medieval fortresses and spectacular cities. We will meet winemakers, visit a Viennese winery and wine tavern in Austria and drink Hungarian bubbles while gazing at the illuminated buildings in Budapest. I will be with you along the way to answer your questions and make suggestions on the wines of the region. This is a tour for the thirsty traveller!

Jump Aboard!

Taste with Me

I am always interested in sharing my passion of wine, spirits and beer with curious minds. My aim is to make it educational, fun and informative. In the days following the tasting, don’t be surprised if you start swirling everything from coffee to orange juice! This is a definite sign that you’ve caught the wine bug.

Tastings are usually 2 hours in length. Soulvines Inc. is mobile and prefers to leave the venue location up to you.

My team can cater to any size of group. You can choose from one of our Popular Tastings or create a Customized Tasting. The choice is yours and the sky is the limit!

Most Popular Tastings:

  • C’est la Vie – Learn French Wine with Me!
  • Cheese & Wine Pairing
  • Sparkling Wines from Around the World
  • Viva Italia
  • New World versus Old World Wines
  • Local Craft Beer Tour in 6 glasses
Get Swirling!

Listen to Me on CBC

Tune in on Wine Fridays at 5:30 pm on CBC Radio One 99.1 FM/1010 AM in Calgary and join Homestretch host, Doug Dirks, and me, as we pop the cork on a new wine. I scour the globe looking for exceptional wines which must overdeliver for the price.

HOUSE WINE on THE HOMESTRETCH – September to June

Each wine has a story and I love to tell it. Occasionally I’ve been known to also wander down a different path and open a spirit or two, especially on Robbie Burns or St. Patrick’s Day.

Some of my favourites:

LISTEN NOW: McWatters Collection Meritage - September

McWatters Collection Meritage 2016 (789667)

This full-bodied red wine from the southern Okanagan is the perfect pick for this chilly weekend. It is a blend of 3 grapes – 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. It has a silky mouthfeel with flavours of blackcurrant, plums, cedar and chocolate. It’s a terrific match with Alberta beef – roast beef, steak or burger! For maximum pleasure, decant for 30 minutes.

Listen Now! – TBD

LISTEN NOW: Domaine Salvard Cheverny Blanc - October

Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Blanc 2018 (518274)

The Domaine Salvard Cheverny Blanc is an unoaked, easy going French white wine. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, it has flavours and aromas of citrus, apples, fresh herbs and minerals. With its tangy acidity, it is a natural match with all the flavours of Thanksgiving dinner from turkey to mashed potatoes and gravy!

Listen Now! – TBD

LISTEN NOW: Prieler Blaufrankish - November

Prieler Blaufrankisch 2017 (792606)

Blaufrankisch may not be a household name in Canada but it is the star red grape in eastern Austria. The Prieler Blaufrankisch has aromas and flavours of juicy blackberry, black cherry, cinnamon and pepper. It is medium-full bodied with vibrant acidity that calls out for food.

Classic food pairings include cheeseburgers, tomato & basil pizza and traditional Austrian fare like goulash and bratwurst sausages. Winemaker Georg Prieler was awarded Austrian Winemaker of the Year 2009.

Listen Now! – TBD

LOCAL BREWS on THE HOMESTRETCH – June to September

In the summer, I put down my corkscrew and go check out local craft breweries in Southern Alberta.

Some of my favourites:

LISTEN NOW: Ol' Beautiful Okami Kasu - August 9, 2019

Ol’ Beautiful Okami Kasu (oh-KAW-me kas-OO)

Located in Calgary in the Brewery Flats at 1100 – 11 Street SE

Ol’ Beautiful is easy to find. It’s in the old Smith Built Hats building in Ramsey/Inglewood. Inglewood is the original brewery district in Calgary.When the old Smith Built Hat building came available, the partners of Ol’ Beautiful knew it was the perfect spot for their new brewery. Plus, this building is right next door to their good friends, Cold Garden Brewery, where they were already contract brewing. Today we are tasting a Japanese Ale called Okami Kasu. It is based on a Japanese lager. Brewmaster is Zoei Thibault opted for an ale rather than a lager based on time. Time is money. Small breweries need turnover. Lagers take twice as long to make as ales. It’s one of the only beers that she chooses to filter. It comes in at 5.7% and reminds me of a richer, fuller blonde ale. I love the savoury, sweet, sake-esque finish on it. I think it would be delicious with some yakitori or miso ramen. Pop into the brewery and grab a growler or check out the Ol Beautiful website to find a list of shops that carry it.

Listen Now! – TBD

LISTEN NOW: Caravel Captains Log German Pilsner - August 30, 2019

Caravel Captains Log German Pilsner – August 30, 2019

LOCAL BREWS on THE HOMESTRETCH – summer months

Located in Calgary at 10221 – 15 Street NE

Caravel is owned by Vlad and Victoria Covali. They moved to Calgary in 2010 from Moldova, a former Soviet Republic sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine. Vlad has been making beer for 14 years. It started as a hobby when they lived in Moldova. When he came here, he could see the potential for craft breweries in Alberta. A caravel was a small Portuguese ship that was perfect for exploring new lands. That is exactly what Covali wants to do with his brewery. He wants to use old methods to create new tastes. On the palate, the Captains Log German Pilsner is nicely balanced and easy drinking. It is crisp, clean, citrussy and just slightly bitter. The Captains Log is unpasteurized and unfiltered which adds to the flavor. It is a good cross over beer into the world of craft beer. If you drink Kokanee, Budweiser or Coors Lite, I encourage you to try this lager.

Listen Now!

LISTEN NOW: Inner City English Dark Mild Ale - September 6, 2019

Inner City English Dark Mild Ale

Located in Calgary at 820 – 11 Avenue SW

The taproom opened in October 2018 and with a name like Inner City it probably comes as no surprise to hear that they are located close to downtown in the heart of the Beltline District. Inner City wants to be known as a brewery that can produce almost any style of beer. It is a very creative place! In the taproom, they usually have over 20 beers available on any given day. ALL of them are made in house!

The Brickworks is an English Dark Mild Ale. Its one of their core beers that is available on tap at the brewery as well as in 4 pack cans at your local liquor store. Both the names and labels of their beers are based on communities all over the world. Inner City likes to pay homage to the city that is either credited in creating that style of beer or gave the inspiration for a certain style. In the case of Brickworks, the graphic is a map of Manchester, England.

Listen Now! – TBD