Rose Mary Phillip
Esks empire gets uncorked
Former Eskimo OL Hector Pothier shows off his five-in-a-row Grey Cup rings to fans.
Admittedly, it’s not as catchy as the mega marketing slogan for milk, or as healthy, but it sure is tasty. Just ask the almost 400 folks who made their way to Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, May 12 for the Edmonton Eskimo Alumni Wine Festival.
Green and gold super fan Theresa Tsoukalas sampled some of the over 50 wines available for tasting from over a dozen vendors. “It’s fun trying all the wines in our favorite stadium – the best place to drink wine.”
Some of the labels were sophisticated, while others were just plain fun. Some had exotic names like Vidigal Vinho Verde, while others hit a more playful note like the Frisk Prickly Riesling. Delicious. Bottles ranged from $13.99 to $29.99, making them as affordable as attending an Eskimo home game (just saying).
“My favorite part is being able to mingle with all the alumni,” says Tsoukalas. Among those in attendance were Tom Richards, Shannon Garrett, Charlie Turner, Hector Pothier and Ed Jones. Eskimo President and CEO Len Rhodes also took in the festivities, chatting with fans about the upcoming season.
A special thank you to Wine Festival Sponsors:
• Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants
• La Persaud – The Food and Beverage Corp
• Molson’s Brewery
• Edmonton Community Services
• The Edmonton Eskimos
• Programmed Promotions
• Italian Centre Shop
• Corporate Copy
• Manulife Financial
If wine is not your thing, there was also plenty of beer on tap and Eskimo memorabilia on display. A raffle and door prizes were up for grabs and included merchandise like the straw hat made famous last season by Head Coach Kavis Reed.
All money raised at the Wine Festival goes to local charities supported by the Edmonton Eskimo Alumni Association, including minor football.
The event was a first for five-year season ticket holder Angela Ferguson. “It’s a great chance for our friends to get together. We’re having a pre-Mother’s Day celebration here.”
The new EE wine was noticeably absent. The Eskimos are collaborating with Pelee Island Winery and expect to have red and wine on store shelves early this summer. Pricing is yet to be finalized but is expected to hover around $15 per bottle. Stay tuned.
“This is my third time attending the event – the second time in the Jackie Parker Room,” says Tsoukalas. “I really love this location because of the nostalgia in it and the classic games playing on the T.V.s.”
After closing to the general public in 2010, the Jackie Parker Room is once again open to the Eskimo Empire. Check it out on Thursday June 21 when the Eskimos host the BC Lions in a pre-season match up at 7 p.m.