Category Archives: Wine

The Workshop by Latitude Review: cheese and wine lovers, prepare yourselves

IMG_6720

I recently finished reading “The Apprentice,” Jacques Pépin’s stunning autobiography. Among other important lessons he imparts in the novel, I loved how the classically trained Frenchman wrote without fear or arrogance about accepting an American style of dining. Food that tastes good is the objective, rather than strictly following scripted French techniques. Fussing over guests can be overwhelming for them, as well as for the host, but casual American service actually serves to put everyone more at ease.

So it was fitting that just days after putting the book down, I found myself having dinner at The Workshop by Latitude on Roncesvalles. Composed cheese plates are one of the restaurant’s core concepts. Accompanied by charcuterie and a glass of wine (or four — the wine list changes every couple of weeks, so you’ll always have a great variety), Workshop can feel very French and simply refined. But, like Pépin would recommend, the atmosphere is like dining in the home of an old friend. Service is knowledgeable but familiar. The music is soft (typically they play a lot of Beatles) and the candlelit romance of it all makes the place a perfect date or girls night spot. Whatever the occasion, you’re likely to lounge for hours, as I did. Though you may be luckier with the weather and get to enjoy their large, charming back patio. In all, Workshop is host to the kind of food and atmosphere that spurs deep conversation and the sharing of secrets.
Continue reading

Big Slur: Celebrate California Wines on April 7th and 8th with these incredible events

20140324-225230.jpg

Spring is always an exciting time in the Toronto food scene. Moods lift, patios open up, and our many seasonally-focused restaurants now have a full new set of fresh produce to play with. And as aways, great food needs great wine.

Enter the California Wine Fair: over 100 producers and suppliers blowing into town with the first wisps of warm spring air

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Wet Your Whistle While You Work: The Gourmet Food and Wine Show

photo 1

This past weekend, a collection of local and exotic food and beverage vendors spent their days inside very small cubicles so that they could share their passion with thousands of people. The Gourmet Food and Wine Show floor was my entire existence for three days, as I was recruited to help at the Wine Academy booth.

Wine Academy is an upcoming project with Chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe Continue reading

Double Life: Experiencing the Visa Infinite Dining Series from both sides of the table

IMG_6560

This weekend brought to you by the Visa Infinite dining series.

I am an employee for Sunday’s brunch at Splendido, while on Monday I am a guest at the 10-course meal held at Buca in support of the University of Guelph’s honey bee research.

Continue reading

Believe It Or Not, You Can Cellar That $14 Ontario Wine

Attending the iYellow Wine Club 54 Wines event on June 21, I had the opportunity to sample a rarity: aged Ontario wines. Namely, a 22-year-old red blend from Trius which won “best red wine in the world” at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 1995, and a 20-year-old brut from Château des Charmes.
Continue reading

International Chardonnay Day: Celebrating Great Ontario Chardonnays (Yes, Really)

Prejudice can affect any industry, including the wine business. Canadian wines have been at a disadvantage since we began learning the trade — our wines are thought to be of poor quality compared to our prestigious foreign competition. Certain grape varietals themselves are snubbed as well. Chardonnay wines are rejected for the assumption that they will be heavy and aggressively oaked.

It seems then that a Canadian-made Chardonnay has two strikes against it, with little chance of gaining favour with the wine-drinking public. But that’s something that boutique winery Le Clos Jordanne is determined to overcome.
Continue reading

The Cheese Boutique Festival of Chefs 2013

IMG_6124

Cheese Boutique, a self-proclaimed “food museum” located at 45 Ripley Avenue, offers Toronto food enthusiasts one unique and rare experience after another. The opportunity to court the expertise of Afrim Pristine, the world’s youngest Maître Fromager. Access to their ceiling-high walls of imported goods unavailable anywhere else. Safe storage of your most valuable cheeses in their Cheese Vault. And, every Saturday and Sunday in the month of May, the opportunity for the general public to get up close and personal with some of the most notable Toronto chefs.
Continue reading

Turning Wine Information Into Wine Knowledge

Originally posted on my Tumblr

If you’re a wine beginner like me, you’ve probably encountered the same basic information at every turn – white wine can be made from black grapes as long as there is no contact with the skins, for example. You know a Reisling is typically sweet and a Sauvignon Blanc can smell a bit like asparagus and other vegetables. That’s old news. I was able to recite back these pieces of information, but I still wasn’t sure how to contextualize them into something that actually resembles knowledge.
Continue reading