Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gourmet Food and Wine Expo 2012

Sandbanks Winery French Kiss
This year marks my third visit to The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo – one of my favourite events in the city. For those of you who read my first blog post about the show back in 2010, you’ll see that I’ve come a long way in terms of my understanding of what I’m drinking!

Shawn and I started the day with   Caesars at the Mott’s Clamato booth. It seemed like a good option for an early Sunday visit to the show. For those who haven’t attended the Expo before, the samples are small so you can try a few things without it getting too out of hand.

After our introductory Caesar we moved on to the wine. I loved how the show had such an emphasis on Ontario wines and VQA this year. There was a good showing from many wine regions, but Ontario was front and centre with a large section of the floor reserved for the Wine Country Ontario booth (featuring personal favourites like Vineland Estates and Creekside Estate Winery) and other Ontario producers could be found throughout the convention floor.

We started our wine tasting at Sandbanks Winery’s booth. I love Sandbanks Rosé and was excited to try some more of their wines. John from Sanbanks is a great Twitter friend, so it was also fantastic to finally meet him in person.

I tried three of their wines over the course of the afternoon – Riesling, LOVE, and French Kiss. I’ve had the Riesling before and enjoyed it – it’s a dry white with a hint of citrus. LOVE was new to me, I’ve never had a Cassis Aperitivo and I certainly enjoyed it. This is a blend of white wine and organic Canadian cassis from Île d'Orléans. It’s a nice alternative to ice wine and a sweet, but not too sweet, dessert wine option. I’d definitely buy that one. French Kiss Cabernet Merlot is a lovely red – this is an easy-drinking wine and I have to admit I was a little disappointed when my glass was empty.

Lighthall Vineyard's Gewürztraminer
I ran into Nadia Dubeau (another Twitter friend) in the fine wine section of the show, where we sampled Lighthall Vineyard’s 2011 Progression Sparkling and 2011 Lighthall Gewürztraminer – both of which I enjoyed. I wasn’t familiar with Lighthall’s wines, but I look forward to visiting them the next time we’re in Prince Edward County.

Other show highlights included finally trying Rosewood Wines Mead Royale, meeting Noteworthy Wine’s Bill Wittur (another Twitter friend) and trying his Zantho Weine’s Sauvignon Blanc, as well as enjoying a sample of Forty Creek Whisky’s fantastic Cream Liquor. I also loved the chance to chat (and sample) some of my personal favourites from Vineland Estates and Creekside Estate Winery.

A little bite of Le Dolci deliciousness
The food was a major highlight this year. At past Expo’s I haven’t always loved everything I’ve eaten – this year I absolutely did. From the amazing raclette cheese from Switzerland to the incredible gelato from The Mad Italian, we discovered some great food. My personal favourite? The amazing chocolate cupcake we devoured from Le Dolci – so melt in your mouth amazing I can’t wait for my next one. It was also great to finally meet Lisa, Le Dolci’s wonderful owner.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s show.

A few more photos from the show:

Delicious melted raclette cheese from Switzerland

Sandbanks Riesling

Sandbanks Winery sampling selection

Rosewood Estates sampling selection

A must-try from Forty Creek

Had to add this - Shawn's favourite vodka

A few of Creekside's sampling options

Did anyone else attend the Expo? What were your favourites?

For another great review of the show, be sure to check out Ania's Blog's post!


cono_sur said...

Great review, Krista! My favourite wine of the evening was, ironically, the very first ones I tasted when I got there - the Dreissigacker Rieslings. Wow.

My full review of Toronto Gourmet Food & Wine Expo here.

Ania said...

Great post and thanks for the mention! I loved the TAG vodka!