FastLane Wine and Chocolate Speed Networking

FastLane Wine and Chocolate Speed Networking

Wine and networking are a natural pairing. The crowd, a balanced mix of those who obviously schmooze without thinking about it and others who have “broaden professional network” on their list of goals, filled the sunny space in the downtown Infinite dealership for an event organised by FastLane Events. Small groups were scheduled in carefully orchestrated time slots for more intensive networking sessions dubbed “speed networking”.

The liquid refreshment for the event featured a surprisingly diverse group of Ontario wines. I tasted a wine from Dan Akroyd’s Discovery Series, the 2007 Cabernet Shiraz, for the first time. On the white side this was also my first time sampling Angel’s Gate Sussreserve Riesling.  From chatting with the winery rep I gather that the wine is sweetened not by adding sugar or by stopping fermentation while there is still residual sugar but by adding unfermented juice after all the original sugar has been converted to alcohol. The sussreserve is noticeably off-dry but with interesting fruit adding complexity I didn’t find it at all cloying.

The wine highlight for me was the Trumpour’s Mill Pinot Noir from The Grange of Prince Edward County. Very slightly sweet with hints of blueberry finish (their notes say sour cherry) and that distinct pinot noir glass appearance this wine is more confidently unique than many other Ontario pinots.

I admit that I went in with a skeptical question mark hanging over the combination of wine and chocolate.  On their own they are both delicious but it seems that just because they are de rigeur as “healthy indulgences” but I don’t understand why this means they need to be put together. Mostly I want cheese with wine and maybe a coffee or liqueur with chocolate but the products that Brix were offering–their medium and extra dark chocolates– for sample really did pair wonderfully with some of the wines. I suppose there are times when the wine flows right into dessert or a weeknight half-healthy, half-indulgent craving could be satisfied with a glass of red and handful of their Brix Bites.

Responsibly a non-alcoholic alternative from Fuze was on display. They taste, to me, of nothing more than the unshakeable flavour of artificial sweetener but I know that will be a selling point for some and I did detect a subtle energising affect from consuming one on my way home.

A luxury car dealership with its aspirational goods is an appropriate if slightly unironic setting for a professional marketing event. Salespeople were on hand and happy to answer questions about the cars.

A diverse selection of excellent Ontario wines and the well-matched Brix chocolates combined with a smoothly-run networking component to make this event a success. FastLane runs similar events about once a month.  In July and August they will be hosting informal patio parties.

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Written by David Ort

David Ort

As one of Spotlight’s contributing editors, David enjoys turning his mind (and keyboard) to a wide variety of topics ranging from recipes to restaurants to craft beer. When he’s not writing for Spotlight Toronto, David shares his thoughts on new restaurants and beer at and all things food and drink on his own site, Food With Legs. He is the author of the Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook (Whitecap).

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