Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Toronto Gourmet Food & Wine Expo 2009

Lots of walking, lots of talking and sampling made the trip exhausting. Left on the 12:13 Burlington GO train arriving at Union Station at 1:00, down stairs, across the tunnel, up stairs entering the VIA area and searching for the direction to the Skywalk and a twenty minute hike to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South building.
There was the start of a crowd at the Ticket sellers. 20 tickets for $20. Paper always softens paying for samples of food, drinks and everything else being offered. It’s much easier to separate the tear strip on several tickets rather than separating me from my supply of loonies and toonies as my visit continued - November 22nd.

Most of the ’Tutored Tastings’ - Gord Stimmell, Billy Munnelly, John and Zoltan Zsabo, Christopher Waters and several others - were sold out. It's good to see local talent can fill the seats. I wasn’t here for classes though… just the wines.

My first impression was one of ’where’s the wine?’ as seemingly endless beer stalls line aisles near the entrance. Continuing to the end , turn right, more beer stalls now intermixed with aromatic foods, an aerator booth, olive oils, cheeses, Mott’s Clamato Caesar school and Palm 3G booths.

Continuing past the Vines booth and Fine Wines Tasting Lounge I found the centre core aisles filled with sampling islands - clusters of Agency serving counters - representing wines from Ontario, Chile, California, Australia, Argentina, France and the theme country, Portugal.

My tickets were being doled out two or three at a time now for tastings of labels some new to me. Wines were less than $20 a bottle and many less than $15. Some I recognized from Vintages but most from the General shelves. All servers were gracious and most were familiar with the wines and wineries. Some were sitting in for an agent on break - it was likely the lunch hour, time to have nourishment before the afternoon rush.
Having tasted DeLoach Cabernet CS, Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc CS, Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne CS, Château des Charmes Sparkling CS, Montes Alpha Syrah CS, Domaine Galean Paroles de Femmer Côtes du Rhône, Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc CS, J P Chenet Pinot Noir CS, Misterio Malbec CS, several other 3 ticket wines, a $60 Amarone and a $30 Pinot Noir I came away with no purchases and no recommendations. After a 5 ticket portion of tender, tasty beef from Canyon Creek I headed for the Exit.

It was an interesting trek. Next year’s Expo will be November 18 - 21.
Cheers, Ww

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