I’m a little late with this review, but since most of these
beverages are still available at your local LCBO, winery, brewery or through an
agency, I hope you won’t mind.
Every year the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo
(GFWE) takes over
the Metro Convention Centre for a weekend in November. It’s an interesting mix
of education and alcohol sampling that sees the wine and spirits community out in
force. Here are a few of my
favourites, discovered over two days of tasting:
At the Noteworthy Wines
booth I tried Grady Wines from Lodi, California.
These were a fantastic introduction to Lodi
wines, which I’ve never tried before. With Shawn and I hoping to head to California in July, it
was nice to be able to explore some wines from a lesser known region. My
favourite was the 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvigon.
I was pleased to see a large selection of wines from Ontario’s Southwest represented, as I haven’t had much
experience with them and Shawn and I are hoping to visit the area soon. My
favourite of the wines I tried was Burning Kiln’s
Riesling. Burning Kiln
also the home of the Zip ‘n’ Sip wine adventure – something I really can’t wait
Also from Ontario, I fell
further in love with Hidden Bench’s
Riesling and Muskoka Lake’s
incredible Red Maple cranberry maple dessert wine. And, of course, I took a
moment to stop by the Lighthall Vineyward's
booth to indulge in a little of their crisp,
lively Progression Sparkling – a longstanding personal favourite (and the
perfect compliment for any oyster dinner).
A great treat was getting to sample the Tierra Hermosa
Veinte Grados (or 20°), a red blend of Tempranillo, Syrah and Garnacha from Granada. This was a
spicy, warm wine full of red fruit with lovely strawberry and anise on the
nose. The tannin was medium and there was very nice pepper on the finish – a
My favourite non-wine beverage of the event? Pommies Dry Cider,
of course. This is a staple for me and I’ll happily go out of my way to
find an LCBO that carries it. Pommies
is made in a wine style and I love the
crisp, refreshing taste. It’s not cloyingly sweet and it doesn’t have the
bitter aftertaste I don’t like in some ciders. I was thrilled to see more
people discovering it at the show.
And Shawn’s favourites? He really enjoyed trying more craft
beer from Oast House
and checking out the cocktails at Tag Vodka.
Our favourite foods at the show were easy to pick. Rock Lobster’s
amazing lobster rolls (these are truly drool-worthy), Fire in the Kitchen’s
grilled cheese sandwiches with chicken (be sure to stock up on FITK
spice rubs – you won’t be disappointed) and Le Dolci’s
I truly couldn’t get enough of those cookies – I went back more than once on
both days I visited the show.