Gourmet Food & Wine Show

22 Nov

When offered the chance to check out the VIP night before the big launch of this year’s Gourmet Food & Wine Expo, I leapt. I’ve been meaning to check out the show for years but  schedule conflicts always kept me away. A ticket to the VIP night landed in my lap this year, so I made sure not to eat too much during the day and off I went.

Wandering through the Food & Wine Expo at the Metro Convention Centre is a bit overwhelming, but also kind of exciting. Rows upon rows of vendors unfold in front of and around you while the faint clink of wine glasses can be heard over boisterous conversations. We were encouraged to grab a sampling glass, buy a set of sampling tickets and taste whatever our hearts desired. My new friend, Steven from Little Birdie Media, and I did as we were told, opting to sit in on the Wines of Chile demonstration at 6:30. Five small glasses were waiting for us, all with different Chilean wines ranging from chardonnay to malbec. While the sommelier leading the discussion may not have been overly enthusiastic, the audience appeared to be engaged and interested.

Of all the wineries we tried, it was agreed that Barefoot Wine & Bubbly had not only excellent wine but a great pitch, too. I love a company that can not only produce a good product (seconds on the bubbly pinot grigio? Yes, please.) but that has a philanthropic business plan. Check out their link above and seek out their product. You won’t regret it.

My second favourite alcoholic drink of the night has to go to the Affligem Trippel beer. Having tried the Blond before, the lovely gentlman pouring out samples talked me into the Trippel, a rich, amber-coloured beer that had bittersweet notes, this is surely something I will be seeking out again. I’m fairly certain you can find at it at beerbistro, but then…what beer CAN’T you get at beerbistro?

I was very happy to see that the folks from Ontario Goat Cheese were there (I went a little insane over their triple cream goat cheese brie at the Delicious Food Show). I suggested that Steven try the brie I’d had last month and I went with the goat cheese coated in tart cranberries. Heav-en. And as if that weren’t rich enough, we next headed over to the Food Network Stage for a demonstration in chocolate making from the makers of Baci chocolates. Best freebie of the night, without question.

Post-dairy deliciousness, we checked out the other booths that were promoting such vastly different products as coffee to chocolate to vacation packages. After sampling several more wines and the like, the smell of meat on the grill lured us to Embrujo Flamenco. The smell of chorizo wafted through the air like a smoky, spicy siren song: we knew we were done for. Simple and tasty and that’s all it needed to be. The sandwiches were especially great to sop up the booze we’d been trying out for the last several hours…

Is it safe to say that the Gourmet Wine & Food Expo was a success? Well, I understand that they’ll be moving the larger hall next year so…yes. I have to admit that I enjoyed the Delicious Food Show a little more, but my expectations may have been unfairly high. Certainly not a bad time and the show does offer a wide selection that is sure to please. Where else can you get sturgeon caviar, Dead Elephant Ale and see Chuck Hughes cook in the same place?

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2 Responses to “Gourmet Food & Wine Show”

  1. Sarah (@simplycooked) November 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Sounds wonderful. I would love to go to a food event like this one. Also, bubbly pinot grigio sounds like a fantastic innovation!

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