Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts

Saturday, December 8, 2018

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  • Saturday, December 8, 2018

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo 2018 - Top Wines



2018 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo
On a cold night in November, I attended the 24th annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo - a 4-day event that ran through . The first night was VIP Preview Night and attendance seemed a bit lighter than previous years. There also seemed to be fewer food and wine booths, but more craft breweries. Since my focus was mostly on the wines, I traversed the floor seeking some of the finest on offer and had a great time chatting with familiar faces en route.

Some of the highlights included wines in the Fine Wine Tasting Lounge, and at the Kolonaki Group booth where they featured many lovely Greek wines. There were also some fine wines at Wines from Spain, Wines of South Africa, Villa Maria Wines of New Zealand, and Grenache Wines booths. Here are some of my favourites from the show. All of these wines are available via the LCBO unless otherwise noted. Thank you Foodies on Foot for the tickets I won through their online contest!


CHAMPAGNE CUVÉE CARBON BRUT - AC, France (XD) - $350  92 pts
The official Champagne of Formula 1. Exclusive bottle wrapped in carbon looks awesome! Available via Bianchi & Nero.

Champagne Cuvée Carbon Brut (92 pts)Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2016 (93 pts)

VIDAL LEGACY CHARDONNAY 2016 - Hawkes Bay, New Zealand (#570895) (XD) - $60  93 pts

CUNE GRAN RESERVA 2011 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#393553) (XD) - $39.95  92 pts

Cune Gran Reserva 2011 (92 pts)Mega Spileo Grand Cave Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (91 pts)

MEGA SPILEO GRAND CAVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011 - PGI Achaia, Greece (#539924) (XD) - $27.95  91 pts
Available via Shop Greek Wine.

MARTIN BERDUGO RESERVA 2010 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#233741) (XD) - $38  91 pts

Martin Berdugo Reserva 2010 (91 pts)Te Awa Left Field Syrah 2015 (90+ pts)

TE AWA LEFT FIELD SYRAH 2015 - Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#377837) (XD) - $24.95  90+ pts

ARGYROS ASSYRTIKO 2017 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#387365) (XD) - $32  90+ pts
Available via Shop Greek Wine.

Argyros Assyrtiko 2017 (90+ pts)Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017 (90 pts)

KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2017 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95  90 pts

ONTAÑÓN RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#725895) (XD) - $25.95  90 pts

Ontañón Reserva 2010 (90 pts)Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Les Aspres Syrah/Mourvèdre/Grenache 2015 (89 pts)

GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE  / GRENACHE 2015 - AP Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres, France (#413245) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts

UMBERTO CESARI LIANO SANGIOVESE / CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - IGT Rubicone, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (#225086) (D) - $27.95  88 pts

Umberto Cesari Liano Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (88 pts)


Champagne Cuvée Carbon Brut
Kolonaki Group - ShopGreekWine.com
Foods & Wine from Spain
Wines of South Africa
Garnacha and Grenache Wines


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

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  • Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Giveaway - Win Tickets to Hamilton's Food & Drink Fest

Hamilton's Food & Drink Fest
I am giving away Two (2) General Admission tickets (valued at $30/pair) to Hamilton's Food & Drink Fest that is taking place from to at the FirstOntario Centre in downtown Hamilton. These tickets are valid for any one day of your choosing.

Your chance to win tickets to #FoodandDrinkFest and contest entry form is at the bottom of this post.

At Hamilton's Food & Drink Fest, you can experience an exciting variety of Ontario VQA and international wines, spirits, craft beers, local gourmet food, specialty coffees, teas, decadent desserts and more, all while helping to support a great local initiative, Food 4 Kids!

Created and presented by Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Halton, Brant, Haldimand, Lake Erie North Shore, Pelee Island, Prince Edward County, Niagara Peninsula and Niagara-on-the-Lake's most popular restaurants, culinary experts, chefs, innovative food trucks, breweries and wineries.

Also enjoy entertaining live musical acts and fun informative cooking demonstrations all in one convenient and central location! You can also bring your kids on Sunday as the event opens up to all ages.

Personally, I have never attended this event, but I am very excited to attend this year!

Event Details:

When:, 4-10 p.m.
, 12-10 p.m.
, 12-5 p.m. - Family Day

Where:FirstOntario Centre
101 York Boulevard
Hamilton, ON

Must be 19 years of age or older on Friday/Saturday. Children and infants welcome on Sunday.

Contest:

Here's your chance to WIN a pair of tickets to Hamilton's Food & Drink Fest. Winner will receive two (2) tickets valued at $30 per pair. List of exhibitors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, October 12, 2018

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  • Friday, October 12, 2018

Giveaway - Win Tickets to Gourmet Food & Wine Expo 2018

I am giving away Two (2) pairs of ELITE Pass tickets (valued at $100/pair) to the upcoming 2018 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo that is taking place from to at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto. These ELITE Pass Tickets grant you front-of-the-line access through the special ELITE entrance and are valid for any one day of your choosing.

Your chance to win tickets to #GFWE2018 and contest entry form is at the bottom of this post.

Win Tickets to Gourmet Food & Wine Expo 2018

The 24th annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo offers you 1,500 wines, beers, spirits and gourmet foods to experience - more than ever before. You can journey around the globe with cooking pros, talk one-on-one with industry experts and taste the newest dishes and drinks.

You will have the opportunity to sample tons of new craft beer, awesome spirits, world-class wine and of course, food from some of the area’s top restaurants and chefs.

Some of this year's highlights include:
  • Tutored Tastings Program offers the opportunity to taste some of the world's best wines while learning from top industry experts.
  • Chef Stage features complimentary cooking demonstrations all weekend hosted by celebrity guests and incredibly talented locals.
  • #TrendCentral Stage presents interactive tastings sessions of cutting-edge wines, beers and spirits.
  • Spiritology Pavilion infuses passionate bartenders into the heart of the action to showcase the latest from Toronto’s exciting cocktail scene.
  • Grand Tasting Bar offers a unique opportunity to taste incredible wines alongside top industry experts.
  • The Central Entertainment Area is the pulsating heart of the show, featuring eye-catching décor and dazzling entertainers throughout the four-day expo.
Having attended this event each of the past 7 years, I can tell you firsthand that you'll have a great time!

Event Details:

When:Thursday, , 6-10 p.m. VIP Preview Evening
Friday, , 2-10 p.m.
Saturday, , 12-10 p.m.
Sunday, , 12-6 p.m.

Where:Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building
255 Front Street West
Toronto, ON

Must be 19 years of age or older. No children or infants permitted.


Contest:

Here's your chance to WIN a pair of tickets to Gourmet Food & Wine Expo 2018. Two (2) winners will be announced! Each winner will receive one (1) pair of tickets valued at $100 per pair. List of exhibitors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, June 14, 2018

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  • Thursday, June 14, 2018

Niagara Grape & Wine Festival 2017 - Day 1 of 2

Pacific Snapper Ceviche and Niagara Apple Slaw with 2016 Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Riesling
Last , I visited Niagara to take in the 66th Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival that celebrates the harvest season. I have been fortunate to attend this festival many times and have always enjoyed the visit. Once again, I visited Niagara over two days and my review from second day will be posted shortly.

Our tour began in Niagara-on-the-Lake, at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery for some Pacific snapper ceviche and Niagara Apple Slaw paired with their 2016 Grand Reserve Riesling. This was a nicely crisp, balanced pairing where the off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Riesling wine suddenly became quite dry when paired with the slaw due to the high, lemony acids from the ceviche overtaking the sugary elements in the wine. This was really quite well done. Using my Winemaker's Selections' Tasting Passes, we also got to taste their intriguing, and uncommon Entourage Grand Reserve Sparkling Wine made with Sauvignon Blanc, but otherwise did not taste any other wines as the tasting bar is always a zoo. Full wine reviews from Jackson-Triggs and all the other wineries visited on this day are provided below.

Harvest Barn Apple Cinnamon Chicken Wing with 2013 Rancourt Unoaked Chardonnay
The second stop of the day was at Rancourt Winery for grilled chicken wings brushed with Harvest Barn’s signature Apple Cinnamon grilling sauce, and paired with their 2013 Rancourt Unoaked Chardonnay ($14.80, 86 pts). I do wings and wine at home quite often and find it to be delightful. The pairing at Rancourt was also good, with mild stone fruit flavours from the wine meshing well with the mildly flavoured wings.

Moving along to the Beamsville Bench area of Niagara, Cave Spring Cellars was our third stop of the day. They were not participating in the Discovery Pass Experience, so we simply tasted a few wines from their lovely portfolio, followed by a short stroll on picturesque Main Street in Jordan Village.

The fourth stop of the afternoon was at GreenLane Estate Winery to taste their newly released 2014 GreenLane Guts and Glory Blend ($19.95, 87 pts), which is a blend of 55% Unoaked Chardonnay (Guts) and 45% Riesling (Glory), and paired with a Macaroni and Gorgonzola Fritter by Just Cooking. This was a nicely balanced pairing as the high acidity in the wine cut through the deep fried mac & cheese ball, while also providing a nice mouthfeel. The ambience on their outdoor patio is always such a delightful place, we took our time before heading inside and tasting a few of their top wines.

Just Cooking Macaroni and Gorgonzola Fritter with 2014 GreenLane Guts and GloryItty Bitty Pie Company Brie and Caramelized Onions Pie with 2013 Legends Estates Chardonnay Reserve

Our fifth and final stop of the day was at Legends Estates Winery. The food and wine pairing here was a mouthwatering, bite-sized pie stuffed with Brie and caramelized onions from the Itty Bitty Pie Company, and paired with their award-winning 2013 Legends Estates Chardonnay Reserve and 2012 Legends Estates Shiraz Reserve. Having tasted both of these wines previously, I was curious to see how each wine would the on prior visits to the winery, so I opted to pair the pie with the Chardonnay as the rich, buttery, butterscotch, and vanilla notes in the wine accentuated caramelized flavours in the pie filling, as well as the buttery flavours in the pie crust. Delicious pairing, indeed.

All-in-all, I was quite satisfied with yet another trip to Niagara Wine Country. This is only part 1 of my review, as I ended up visiting Niagara a couple of weeks later to partake in more Discovery Pass Experiences. Stay tuned, as that review will be posted in a few days time.

Tasting Notes:

JACKSON-TRIGGS GRAND RESERVE RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#367102) (D) - $21
Fragrant nose of tropical fruits, orange citrus, Flintstone vitamins and mineral waft from the glass, and all of it coming through nicely on the off-dry palate, balanced by clean acids. The finish is long with some bitterness and comes off as dry. Score: 88+ pts

Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Riesling 2016 (88+ pts)Jackson-Triggs Entourage Grand Reserve Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (88 pts)

JACKSON-TRIGGS ENTOURAGE GRAND RESERVE SPARKLING SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#353078) (D) - $29.95
A sparkling wine that is tart and sour with pink grapefruit notes, followed by some brioche, leesy and green stemmy aromas and flavours. It comes off as mostly dry on the palate with frothy mousse and a toasty brioche edge. Nicely balanced with a medium-long finish. Score: 88 pts

RANCOURT FOUNDER'S BLEND 2012 - VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD)
Equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot, this is highly aromatic with lots of woodsy, barnyard, brett, and oak spice aromas, with underlying cassis and blackberry notes. It's full-bodied with nice aroma replays on the palate with notable, but well-integrated oak. Ripe tannins are smooth and refined. Acids are very good, while the finish is long. Score: 89 pts

Rancourt Founder's Blend 2012 (89 pts)Rancourt Gewürztraminer Icewine 2013 (90+ pts)

RANCOURT GEWÜRZTRAMINER ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $30
Tasted a few times now, and still drinking very well. The highly aromatic nose offers sweet honey, pear, stone fruit, peach and some spices. The palate has very nice, balanced aroma replays. It's sweet, but the fresh acids keep everything nicely balanced. Excellent finish length. Score: 90+ pts

CAVE SPRING CSV CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#529941) (XD) - $29.95
From 41-year old vines, 100% barrel fermented and aged for 10 months in French oak barriques and puncheons, this has a richly buttered nose of apple, pear, and lemon aromas of medium-high intensity. It has a medium+ body that is rich and buttery with, apple, vanilla and well-integrated oak flavours. Nicely textured with crisp, balanced acidity. Excellent finish length. Still a bit young - age this 1-2 years. Score: 91 pts

Cave Spring CSV Chardonnay 2015 (91 pts)Cave Spring Estate Bottled Riesling 2015 (89 pts)

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2015 - VQA, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment,, Ontario, Canada (#286377) (D) - $18.95
This has a medium-high intensity nose of orange citrus, peach, lime, and some limestone mineral aromas. It's medium-bodied with a chalky limestone mineral texture on the off-dry palate. Clean acids are a touch sour. Long finishing. Will age gracefully for many years. Score: 89 pts

GREENLANE OLD VINES RIESLING 2010 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (MD) - $34.95
The medium-high intensity aromas are quite fragrant and open with orange citrus, mineral notes, and hints of petrol. The palate is medium-bodied with very nice aroma replays in a medium-dry profile and lifted by vibrant acids. Excellent finish length. Lovely! Score: 90+ pts

GreenLane Old Vines Riesling 2010 (90+ pts)GreenLane Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (91 pts)

GREENLANE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $32.95
Ripe, medium-high intensity nose of evergreen, cassis, black currant, cocoa, and chocolate aromas, all of which come through very nicely on the wood-driven, full bodied palate. Balanced acids. Tannins are chalky, yet well-integrated and quite refined. The finish goes on and on. Score: 91 pts

LEGENDS ESTATES CHARDONNAY RESERVE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $18.95
The medium-intensity nose offers rich, buttery aromas with butterscotch, vanilla, and poached apple joining fray, all of which come through nicely on the medium-bodied palate. Acids are still clean, while the finish length is very good. Score: 88+ pts

Legends Estates Chardonnay Reserve 2013 (88+ pts)Legends Estates Reserve Shiraz 2012 (89 pts)

LEGENDS ESTATES RESERVE SHIRAZ 2012 - Lizak Vineyard, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $23.95
This has a medium-high intensity nose that's very savoury with wood spice, green olive, meaty, and gamey aromas. On the medium-full bodied palate, this has black peppercorn, gamey and charcuterie flavours surrounded by good acidity and refined tannins. The finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts


Friday, April 27, 2018

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  • Friday, April 27, 2018

Giveaway - Win Passes to 2018 Sip & Sizzle in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Win Passes to Sip & Sizzle in Niagara-on-the-Lake

I had the pleasure of attending Sip & Sizzle in Niagara-on-the-Lake last May thanks to a contest win via Foodies on Foot. This year, I am pleased to give away a pair of passes to the 2018 Sip & Sizzle food and VQA wine pairing event happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Hosted by Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, this highly anticipated event will offer you the opportunity to sip and savour VQA wines with unique grilled gourmet pairings. Your individual pass will let you visit more than 20 participating wineries on any Friday, Saturday and Sunday in May.

This event is ideal for wine lovers or those with an appetite for barbecued food. This event also makes for a great girls' or guys' weekend, a perfect Mother's Day gift, or if you just want to do something fun & exciting on the long weekend.

Click here to view the list of participating wineries and their VQA wine and food pairing.

Good luck!

Event Details:

Sip & Sizzle
Where: Various Participating Wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
When: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in May from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Passes are $45 (+ taxes & fees) and includes one VQA wine tasting and food pairing at each participating winery.
BUY PASSES HERE

Contest:

Here's your chance to WIN a pair of touring passes to Sip & Sizzle in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Winner will receive two (2) touring passes valued at $90 per pair. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, November 17, 2017

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  • Friday, November 17, 2017

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo 2017 Review

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo 2017
On , I attended the 23rd annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo that was held in the North building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This event always features many wines from all over the world, as well as various gourmet food items and premium spirits and other cocktails. This event will also appeal to beer lovers as there seemed to be as many beer booths as wine booths.

This year, however, the event did seem smaller than usual, with fewer wine booths and even fewer food options. As a result, the event did feel more spacious. It also seemed like there were fewer attendees on the VIP Preview Evening than previous years.

If you are heading there this weekend (the Expo runs from Friday to Sunday), here were some of my favourite booths that you should also make a point to visit, as well as my favourite wines of the night.


Wines of Germany

Wines of Germany:
  • FRITZ WILLI FRIEDRICH-WILHELM-GYMNASIUM RIESLING FEINHERB 2015 - Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany (#523894) (M) - $20.95  89 pts
  • A. CHRISTMANN REITERPFAD-HOFSTUCK GG RIESLING 2016 - Pfalz, Germany (XD) - $72.88  92 pts
  • SCHLOSS LIESER PIESPORTER GOLDTROPFCHEN RIESLING AUSLESE 2016 - Mosel, Germany (S) - $58.82  92 pts
Fritz Willi Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium Riesling Feinherb 2015 (89 pts)A. Christmann Reiterpfad-Hofstuck GG Riesling 2016 (92 pts)

Schloss Lieser Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Auslese 2016 (92 pts)




Kolonaki Group

Kolonaki Group featuring Wines of Greece:
  • ARGYROS SANTORINI ASSYRTIKO 2016 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#387365) (XD) - $25.95  90 pts
  • KIR YIANNI DIAPOROS SINGLE VINEYARD XINOMAVRO 2013 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (XD) - $50  92 pts
Argyros Santorini Assyrtiko 2016 (90 pts)Kir Yianni Diaporos Single Vineyard Xinomavro 2013 (92 pts)




Wines of South Africa

  • BOSCHENDAL 1685 CHARDONNAY 2016 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#367698) (XD) - $15.45  88 pts
Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2016 (88 pts)




Foods & Wines from Spain

  • VIÑA OLABARRI GRAN RESERVA 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#329102) (XD) - $24.95  90 pts
  • RAMIREZ DE LA PISCINA RESERVA 2013 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (XD) - $26  90 pts
Viña Olabarri Gran Reserva 2007 (90 pts)Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2013 (90 pts)
  • STONELEIGH LATITUDE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#324228) (XD) - $21.95  89+ pts
  • SACRED HILL PINOT NOIR 2014 - Marlborough, New Zealand (#277665) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts
Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (89+ pts)Sacred Hill Pinot Noir 2014 (88 pts)




Vines Magazine:
  • TWO SISTERS CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $48  90 pts
Two Sisters Cabernet Franc 2013 (90 pts)




Other interesting items I came across at the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo:

chocoMe gourmet chocolate

Crazy Uncle Hard Root Beer + new X-Hard Root Beer

Maple Fluff Cotton Candy


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