willow park

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Eddie Garraway
February 14, 2017 | Eddie Garraway

S’more Roll Ups




  • 1 can Pillsbury™ refrigerated classic pizza crust
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 7 tablespoons marshmallow crème (Sunday topping)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup raspberry jam for a berry centre if desired
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light or dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • Raw sugar (for rolling/dusting)


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Unroll pizza crust onto cookie sheet. Press out into about 14x9-inch rectangle. Bake 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, oats, brown sugar and melted butter; set aside.
  3. Remove crust from oven; cool slightly.
  4. Spread 4 tablespoons of the marshmallow crème in thin layer over crust and raspberry jam if desired. Pile remaining 3 tablespoons in line along 1 short edge of crust (this will become the gooey marshmallow center). Sprinkle graham cracker mixture evenly over marshmallow; sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  5. Starting with edge that has thick marshmallow, carefully roll up crust. Do not squeeze or marshmallow will ooze out. Place seam side down in ungreased 9x5-inch loaf pan.
  6. Bake 8 minutes longer. Remove from pan to serving plate or cutting board. Cut into 1-inch-thick slices.

Recipe from Pillsbury™

Time Posted: Feb 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Eddie Garraway
February 13, 2017 | Eddie Garraway

Super Soft Molasses Cookies




  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light or dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • Raw sugar (for rolling/dusting)


  1. Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 375°F. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk egg, butter, granulated sugar, molasses, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Mix in dry ingredients just to combine.
  2. Place dusting sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop out dough by the tablespoonful and roll into balls (if dough is sticky, chill 20 minutes). Roll in sugar and place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart.
  3. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and just set around edges (over-baked cookies won’t be chewy), 8–10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

Cookie dough can be made up to two weeks ahead. Take dough and roll into balls. Freeze on a baking sheet; transfer to resalable plastic bags. Before baking let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling in sugar and placing on cookie sheet.

Time Posted: Feb 13, 2017 at 4:00 PM
Eddie Garraway
February 13, 2017 | Eddie Garraway

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting


cupcake image



  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced crystallized ginger


  1. Into a bowl sift together the flour, the ground ginger, the cinnamon, the cloves, the allspice, and the salt. In another bowl cream 1/2 stick of the butter, add the granulatedsugar, and beat the mixture until it is fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the egg, beating until the mixture is smooth.
  2. In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1/2 cup boiling water and stir the mixture to dissolve the baking soda. Stir the mixture into the molasses mixture (the mixture will appear curdled) and stir the molasses mixture into the flour mixture, stirring to combine the ingredients well. Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners and spoon the batter into the liners, illing halfway. Bake the cupcakes in the middle of a preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (The cupcakes will be flat or slightly indented on top.) Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let them cool.
  3. In a bowl cream together the cream cheese, and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, add the icing sugar and the vanilla, and beat the mixture until it is fluffy and smooth. Beat in the zest and the lemon juice and chill the frosting for 30 minutes. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes and top each cupcake with some of the crystallized ginger.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetite Magazine

Time Posted: Feb 13, 2017 at 2:15 PM
Erin Rosar
July 11, 2016 | Erin Rosar

Famed Super Tuscan Winemaker Michele Satta is Coming to Town

When the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, also known as the Calgary Stampede rides into town for 10 days in early July, visitors from around the globe come to experience first-hand the west at it’s very best. The days of Stampede are filled with great events, rodeos, musical concerts, western dance tents and of course the famous breakfasts where you can find pancakes and sausages being served up for free all over the city every morning for the entire 10 days.

With so much happening in and around the city it can hard for guests and locals alike to choose what to do next. This year Willow Park Wines & Spirits, has a very special visitor coming to town and if you’re a wine enthusiast who loves Italian wines then you won’t want to miss out on this extraordinary food and wine tasting matinee on Saturday June, 16, 2016 at 12pm.

Special guest host and famed Super Tuscan Winemaker Michele Satta, from Bolegheri, Italy, will be leading an intimate and casual tasting with some of Michele’s most beloved and highly regarded wines. Each wine will be expertly paired with flavourful dishes created by Willow Park Wines & Spirits very own Kitchen Manager, Meiko Pennock. This is sure to be a truly magical food and wine experience with the added bonus of being led by the iconic winemaker himself.

The story of Michele’s success is one of great vision, a love of the land and good old-fashioned hard work.  After graduating from the University of Agriculture in Milan he began his internship in the wine industry in 1974. He winery career began with him doing basic tasks which he was happy to as it allowed him to be involved and he used his time to watch and learn from all of those around him.

With what he describes as boundless passion he started his own business when he took over some old vines and a cellar that was home to his first harvest in 1983. His timing could not have been better; in 1984 the area of Bolgheri, which is located on the Tuscan coast, was legally classified within the Italian wine classification system as a DOC, meaning it was now officially an area that was home to quality wines and the global awareness of Bolgheri began to grow. Bolgheri’s, most famous wine, Sassiccaia had put the area on the map in the early 70’s, but now that the zone was officially recognized the opportunities were limitless.

In 1991, Satta purchased land and planted his first vineyard. He also began travelling to other wine regions around the world knowing that only by expanding his own knowledge and embracing international wine cultures and traditions would his own wines become great. Michele was not interested in doing the same as everyone else, instead he was interested in producing wine that was the best that it could be and that meant thinking outside of the box and using some grape varieties that other winemakers in the area weren’t growing or producing wines with.

With his wife Lucia by his side and their six children, 5 daughters and 1 son, they became entrenched in the vision of their winery and as the children grew so did the vineyards and the wines themselves. Each year that passed saw Michele’s knowledge of the land, his vineyards and the style of wine he wanted to create evolve. His work began with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and Syrah is legendary with his first vintages being bottled in 1994.  His passion to create wines of individual grape varieties separates him from many of Bolgheri’s wine makers who specialize in blended styles. He has also become known for his vibrant and delicious white wine Gioven Re which is made from 100% Viognier.  A unique offering from this area and Michele demonstrates year after year that his decision to plant this classical French grape on the Tuscan coast was a brilliant one.

Today, Michele continues to be hands-on at his winery and in his vineyards and 2 of his 6 children are actively involved in the family business. They currently have 28 hectares of land and produce 180,000 of wine annually. A size that Michele feels is stable and manageable for them as a family.

Michele is best described as a traditionalist who is also a non-conformist, a true family man who knows the value of hard work and is not afraid to dream big and go after it. His attention to detail and humble nature make his a delight to be around for all of those who have a chance to meet and know him.

No one can describe Michele’s thoughts and his own vision better then himself and we feel this quote from him sums up his passion perfectly. Once you read it we know that you’ll understand why he is one of our favourite Italian winemakers at Willow Park Wines & Spirits and why we think everyone should have a chance to meet him.

Definitely, counter trend, I gained the reputation of being an original wine producer in Bolgheri, and that of an explorer. I was the first to bring Syrah, Teroldego and Viognier to this land and to vinify wines 100% Vermentino and 100% Sangiovese.

What is most important for me, it is to express the uniqueness of this fascinating product that comes from a very specific region, from a specific vineyard and from a man who is connected with them.

"The wine however is the grape that changes, it is always that grape there that becomes another thing,
extraordinarily more suggestive, remarkably better, or in some cases becomes really better and different in time,
inebriates you a little, it opens one heart space.
It is your harvest, everything you worked for and that's left : in my opinion, this implicitly suggested
that great passion-companionship that wine has been in our entire civilization."

Michele Satta

On Saturday July 16th, Willow Park Wines & Spirits is proud to welcome to Michele Satta for a special food and wine tasting matinee.  Michele will be leading the tasting of his wines and explaining the story behind each and the pairing that it has been matched with. You can look forward to a full immersion into the art of Italian food and wine at this signature event. Tickets are $35.00 and can be purchased online or in-store at Willow Park Wines & Spirits main store. To book tickets click here.


Antipasti - paired with Satta Costa di Julia
Baked salmon - paired with Satta  Gioven Re and Rosso
Wild Boar Ragu with Pappardelle - served with Satta Piastraia
Italian Cheese selection - served with Satta Syrah


Costa di giulia Bolgheri Bianco DOC

This wine which was originally produced from 100% Vermentino, underwent a slight change in 1997 with the inclusion of Sauvignon Blanc, which had been planted in 1995. I planted the Sauvignon Blanc with the conviction that the soil here in Bolgheri was capable of producing even greater white wines, richer, fruitier and longer on the palate. Headband or bow method, undergoing a green harvest with all work in the vineyards completed by hand.

Giovin Re Toscana IGT

This wine was born thanks to a sudden intuition tasting, during the harvest, the Viognier grape present in the farm. For the first time I made white grapes fermented in wood using barriques already used cleaned and polished.
With no additions or yeasts or finings the wine is left on the dregs until the beginning of May and then it is bottled without filtering. After twelve months it's on sale and reaches its full expression in the following two years.

Bolgheri Rosso DOC

This wine is the expression of the vineyard I planted in these last years thinking about the project "Bolgheri", that is to improve the characteristics of this terroir for a red wine with great character and pleasure.
All the grapes are cultivated with ancient attentions and care, in a high density vineyard (about 6,000 plants/ha) where I particularly respect the natural balance. During the harvest I select with manual work the grapes perfectly maturated and I make the fermentation without artificial yeasts, remaining on the skins for at least two weeks. After 12 months in barriques the wine is bottled without filtering.

Piastraia Bolgheri Superiore DOC

In '91 I planted my first vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Syrah and Merlot, to reaffirm the established expression of the Bordeaux vineyards, the dominant choice in Bolgheri, to win the favor of the new international market and with the will to express the Mediterranean character of the Tuscan coast with the best expression of elegance and complexity of Sangiovese and Syrah. The assiduous care of the vineyard, the manual harvest from the best parcels at the right time of ripeness, the separate vinification of each variety in small oak barrels, the aging in oak barrels for at least 18 months of the best selections and the average age of vineyards that is now over 20 years, give to Piastraia the prestige and the honor to win the mention of Superior.

Syrah Toscana IGT

In 1991 I planted the first vineyard of Syrah. The choice of Syrah stemmed from the will to represent to the maximum the own aromatic complexity of our Mediterranean terroir, as well as to realize a personal identification with some great wines from the Rhone. Knowing that the average age of the vineyards would need to be of at least over 15 years, I patiently awaited their sojourn, in order to bring out to the maximum each and every characteristic of this inexhaustible grape. Grapes are harvested al full maturation, maceration and fermentation take place in big wooden barrels with the cap of the wine pushed down by hand several times per day for about 20 days. Following the pressing, the wine goes in to barriques, 1/4 of first passage, where the wine rests for 12 months.

Time Posted: Jul 11, 2016 at 7:40 AM
Erin Rosar
May 16, 2016 | Erin Rosar

The Alex Community Food Centre Fund Raiser

On Saturday April 30th, 2016 some of Calgary's most talent Chefs, Restaurateurs and Wine Professionals came together in support of The Alex Community Food Centre. The sold out event was an inspiring and tasty evening that was enjoyed by everyone who was there. Read the full story below:

In early April 2016, Chef Michael Noble of NOtaBLE Restaurant brought a very special opportunity to Willow Park Wines & Spirits to be involved to help raise much needed awareness and funds for The Alex Community Food Centre. His concept was to create an evening like no other that featured some of the Calgary’s most talent chefs, restaurantuers and industry geniuses all in support of The Alex Community Food Centre’s new facility. “This new centre will provide all people with the opportunity to access food, information about food and many other types of community outreach programs with dignity and joy!” explains Chef Noble.

His vision became a reality on April 30th, when a sold-out crowd of over 300 people gathered in the Festival Cellar at Willow Park Wines & Spirits to partake in an evening of incredible food prepared by over 13 of the cities most coveted restaurants, sample expertly paired wines from around the globe and partake in a silent auction that included everything from vintage wines to the opportunity to run in the Bordeaux Marathon. The evening was an incredible feat, especially since the event was pulled together in little under a month, by a group of like minded and enthusiast individuals and organizations and was a huge success as the night help to raise over $27,000 to this much anticipated and needed food program in our city. 

“Words cannot express the gratitude we have for everyone who was involved, donated and supported this event and how proud we are to be able to help and support it. Calgary has an incredibly generous heart and this is just another example of how we all come together for the people of our city” Peggy Perry, VP of Marketing for WPWS.

The evening also began as a secret surprise birthday party for Chef Meiko Pennock, of Willow Park Wines & Spirits with all proceeds from the event being donated in her name to the Alex Community Food Centre. “We plan to honor Meiko with a plaque commemorating her many years of service and dedication to serving, teaching and helping others appreciate good food.”  says an excited Perry.

To find out more about The Alex Community Food Centre and how you can be involved in what they are doing please click here.  

A very special thank you goes out to all participants, restauants, chefs and wineries for all thier support. We would also like to thank our silent auction and raffle donors.

Ross Harvey, Rouge Restaurant, Galileo Wines & Spirits, Corby Spirt & Wine Limited, Andrew Peller Limited, River Cafe, NOtable the Restaurnat, Hotel Arts, Wurtz Beverage, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, James Sichel, Bryon Howard & Peggy Perry, James Sachiw & Mount Royal Hotel, Peasent Cheese Shop, Jane Erbern, Waterford and Renaissance Wine Merchants.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Time Posted: May 16, 2016 at 3:14 PM
Erin Rosar
October 3, 2015 | Erin Rosar

Our New Grasslands Store in Regina


​We're so excited about our new Grasslands location in Regina. With over 9000 sqft of store space and a mezzanine space designed especially to host classes and events, we're ready to bring a brand new level of experience to the city. When you stop in you'll be greeted by our friendly and knowledgeable team who is there waiting to help you find you next favourite wine, beer or spirit.

Open 9:30 - 10pm daily we're looking forward to seeing you soon. Our store is very easy to find as it's right beside the Co-op gas bar in the new Grasslands shopping mall.

View our upcoming classes, events and savings by clicking the link below.

Click here to view our full Fall Events Calendar please 

Click here to view our monthly ad

To Become a fan on our Facebook Fan Page please click here

If you're interested in being part of a great team we're always looking for energetic and customer service driven people. Please submit you're resume for consideration here.

Time Posted: Oct 3, 2015 at 7:09 AM
Erin Rosar
August 31, 2015 | Erin Rosar

Plates & Palates

​​We are pleased to launch our fall lineup for our Plates & Palates. Our off-site dinners are designed to bring the true art of food and wine to the table, showcase inspirational talent of chefs and winemakers from around the world, and create a truly interactive learning experience for our guests in partnership with incredible restaurants in Calgary and Banff.

We look forward to seeing you at our table!

Fall 2015 Dinner Series Lineup

Champagnes of Taittinger Dinner with Mikael Falkman, Chef's Table Kensington Riverside Inn, October 23rd, 2015 (more information coming soon)

Meet the Maker at Vintage Chop House with Noble Ridge, November 2

SOLD OUT - At the Table with Louie Tolaini at Briggs Kitchen & Bar, November 5

Tuscany vs. Napa with Louie Tolaini, Michele Satta & Emma Swain, November 8th

Terralsole at Briggs Kitchen & Bar Tuesday November 10, 6pm

Bordeaux in Banff with James Sichel at the Saltlik, November 29th

James Sichel at Whitehall with Michelin Rated Chef Neil McCue, November 30

Time Posted: Aug 31, 2015 at 7:26 AM
Erin Rosar
August 16, 2015 | Erin Rosar

Fall Festival and Auction Week Early Ticket Release

​We don’t want to rush the end of summer but we’ve heard from many of you that you’re excited to make plans with us for the fall. So, we’re releasing our Fall Festival and Auction Week tickets early as an exciting preview for of our soon to be released action-packed Fall 2015 Events Calendar. (Coming very soon so stayed tuned and make sure you’re signed up for our email list so you’ll receive it right to inbox.)

Tickets for Fall Festivals and Auction Week are available on-line today by clicking on the links below and for those of you who prefer to pick up your tickets in-store they’ll be available at our gift counter Friday August 21st, 2015.

We're also excited to share that we have now added a limited number of VIP Tickets to many of our festivals which will allow you early entrance to the festival cellar and the tasting tables.

Click on the links below to book your tickets easily online.

 Fall Festivals 2015

 NEW! The Trusted Expert's Selects Festival, Friday September 11

 NEW! Wines of the Beautiful South - Wines of South Africa, Chile and Argentina, Saturday September 19th

Bordeaux Festival, October 2nd

OLE! Spanish Wine Festival, October 8th

Italian Wine Festival, October 23rd

Auction Week

Whisky in the Warehouse, November 4th

Beer Bash, November 5th

California Dreamin', November 6th

Charity Wine Auction November 7th – Moulin Rouge Theme Tickets Available Soon!!

Time Posted: Aug 16, 2015 at 8:12 AM
Erin Rosar
March 17, 2015 | Erin Rosar

​A Wee bit about Irish Whiskey

While Irish monks are given credit by many for being the first distillers of whiskey, this is highly contested by their neighbours in Scotland.  However, what is agreed upon is that the Bushmills distillery, in Northern Ireland is recognized as being the world's oldest licensed distillery, having been founded in 1608.  So what makes Irish whiskey different from other whiskies? Here are the facts:

What are the legal rules for Irish Whiskey

  • It must come from and be made in Ireland
  • The whiskey must be aged for at least 3 years in wooden casks
  • Must be distilled 3 times – Scottish whisky is distilled twice and bourbon once.
  • If the spirit is made from two or more grains then it must be referred to as Blended Irish Whiskey
  • Must be distilled to an ABV (alcohol by volume) less then 94.8%

Types of Irish Whiskey

  • Single Malt – Made from 100% malted barely by a single distillery in a pot still.
  • Pot Still whiskey – a blend of both malted and unmalted barely distilled in a pot still. Pure pot still is a style of whiskey that is unique to Ireland.
  • Grain Whiskey – a blended whiskey made in a continuous still.
  • Potcheen – Irish moonshine. A whiskey that doesn't meet the legal requirements to be labelled as an Irish whiskey. These are gaining cult like followings and growing in popularity. Generally, the whiskey has spent little to no time in barrel.
Time Posted: Mar 17, 2015 at 5:02 AM
Erin Rosar
March 16, 2015 | Erin Rosar

​The Emerald

A fun St. Patrick's Day Cocktail


  • 2 oz. Irish Whisky
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 2-4 dashes orange bitters
  • Orange slice


  1. Pour all ingredients into shaker over ice and shake or stir.
  2. Pour into glass and garnish with orange slice
Time Posted: Mar 16, 2015 at 5:00 AM