Linda Garson is the creator of Vine & Dine. She has always been a ‘foodie’ with a passion for wine, so it was a natural starting point for her overseas to work with products that translate easily into other markets.She has worked with Chateaux in France, wineries in Romania, vineyards in Italy, Germany, Australia, and South Africa, Pisco producers in Chile, Vodka producers in Sweden, distilleries in the UK, cocktail manufacturers in Singapore, RTD manufacturers in Montreal and many more, acquiring an extensive knowledge of wine and the production of other alcoholic beverages.Working in Calgary on a contract for Trade UK, Linda created Vine & Dine initially as a hobby. The first event was held in December 2005 at Mango Shiva Restaurant, Calgary, pairing six Indian dishes with wine.The concept was an instant hit, selling out two nights a month with 50 people each time, and rapidly increasing to three, four and five nights a month. Since then Vine and Dine has featured Japanese, Italian, Lebanese, French, Chinese, International, Thai, Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Ethiopian, Spanish, Latin American, Fusion, Mexican, Korean, Vietnamese, East Indian, Canadian, and Irish Cuisines.Linda still regularly runs 10 – 15 public and private dinners, pairing and tasting events for businesses, organizations, and individuals each month. In January 2008 she developed her Wine Basics Course as a one-off, and it has just about sold out ever since, as has her subsequent Wine II Intermediate Course whenever offered.In September 2007, Linda became the CBC’s food and wine pairing expert with a regular food and wine segment on CBC Radio’s ‘Homestretch’. October 2008 saw the first televised food and wine pairing segments from Linda’s kitchen, cooking topical dishes and pairing them with wine for CBC TV province-wide. December 2008 was the first showing of Vine & Dine on TV.In June 2011 Linda was appointed Calgary Wine Examiner, and in December 2011 she was also appointed Canadian National Wine Examiner.May 2012 saw the launch of Alberta food and beverage magazine ‘Culinaire’, of which Linda is Editor-in-Chief/Publisher. She has earned a reputation as one of Calgary’s prime wine experts, educators, and influencers, speaking at functions all over the city as well as writing about wine and food.From January 1st 2019, Linda’s two food and beverage businesses have joined together to become the Culinaire Vine & Dine Series.
After everyone is seated at the place of their choice, our gatherings begin at 6:30 pm with introductions to your host and the restaurant.
For guests unaccustomed to pairing dinners, before our first dish, if we can, we often spend a few minutes learning how to taste, how to appreciate the aromas and flavours of the different wines we will enjoy that evening.
And then our first dish will arrive and we pour you a sample* of the wine we suggest to complement it. A wine expert will tell you the stories behind the wine you are drinking and then let you eat, drink and chat to your neighbours. They will also come to each table to answer any questions you may have.
We usually sample six different food portions from across the restaurant’s menu (always including dessert!) with six different wines from their wine list, over the evening. Menus for you to take away are provided for you to write your comments and thoughts. They also include details of the dish and the country of origin, and recommended retail price of the wine.
At the end of the evening we often celebrate any birthdays or special occasions among our guests!