Gourmet Food & Wine Expo 2011

Food & Wine Expo 2011
Go Local!
Each November I look forward to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo. The Expo is a large showcase of everything food and drink.  I attended the opening VIP night on Thursday and then back on the most popular evening - Saturday. I really didn't mind battling the crowds and endless choices of wine. It was all in the name of research right? It was fantastic to see many Ontario wineries featured this year.

Always a great time!
The annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo is held in November at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building. Each year the Expo offers 38,000 guests an unparalleled opportunity to sample over 1,500 fine wines, spirits and beers from around the globe.

Angela Aiello, Erika Neudorf &
Tran Bronstein - wine lovers!
The energy of the show was great! Everyone was in a good mood, relaxed and looking to have a great time. Don't come to the event to save money. Splurge a little and indulge your taste buds. Give yourself a budget and stay within in...or around it. Samples are purchased with tickets. How many tickets something will cost will vary, depending on what exactly you're trying. One sheet of 20 tickets will run you $20. The expo is a great way to sample a wide array of food and to tour the world of wine under one roof.  Sometimes you'll be lucky and meet the actual people behind the wine from winemakers to the winery owners. There was a photo booth in the center of the pavilion that you could go in and take candid photos. That was a great idea...take some before and after shots. ;)

David Lawrason & Bryan McCaw
Another highlight of the event each year is the Tutored Tastings. These are 22 seminars during the course of the show. The seminars for this show included: Taste like a Pro Vitners' Barrel Tasting, Blind Value, Awesome Argentina. Special guest speakers guide you through the tastings. Saturday evening is usually the night of the Gourmet Gala (extra cost):

The Gourmet Gala will give you the opportunity to taste gold medal sparkling wines and six exquisite courses of chefs’ finest creations, each paired with two top rated International wines. www.foodandwineexpo.ca

Other features of the event included:
Celebrity Chef Spotlight
Connoisseur's Corner
Food Network Stage
Fine Wine Tasting Lounge
All You Need is Cheese stage

Tara and Nicholas Colaneri
My highlights:
* Discovery Burning Kiln Winery www.burningkilnwinery.ca
* Wines of Georgia pavilion
* Talking with the Colaneri's of Colaneri Estate Winery
* Discovering some gems at the Vintages booth
* Running into friends and just talking with people!

I learned so much about the wines of Georgia. It's definitely on my list of places to visit. One of my favourite wines of the show was the Bagrationi 1882 Reserve Brut sparkling wine. Wow. I also enjoyed the various wines from Kindzmarauli Marani (Kindzmarauli Wine Cellar). I'm still practicing how to pronounce this. There are so many indigenous grape varieties in Georgia that I've never heard of! I urge you to look up the Georgian alphabet. I'm now fascinated with this country.

In Georgia's most famous wine making region, Kakheti, there is a small place, Kindzmareuli, which the renowned Georgian wine derived its name from. Its situation at the foot of the Caucasian mountains, in the Alazani Valley... www.gwineimports.com

A good resource for Georgian wine: www.gwineimports.com

Wines of Georgia

More about Georgian wine

Jolene Aiello &
Erin Nicholson
Thanks for pouring Jo!
Wines of Georgia!
Dos and Don'ts:
* Do go out of your comfort zone: seek out new regions or unexplored grape varieties!
* Do buy more than 1 sheet of tickets at a time so you don't have to wait in those long lines.
* Do purchase tickets to the show in advance. You can purchase tickets online!
* Do dress light. It gets quite warm with so many people in the pavilion.
* Do spit the wine: you'll be able to try a lot more and maybe even remember what you've tried.
* Do drink plenty of water.
* Don't drive!!
* Don't wear parfume. It distracts from the wine aroma.
* Don't come to the event looking to get your drink on. Everyone is always on pretty good behaviour but you do have the odd person that didn't really monitor how much they were drinking. 
 * Try not to lose your tasting glass!

See you at the 2012 show!
For more information: www.foodandwineexpo.ca

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