With snow covered streets and frigid temperatures outside, January is a great time to unwind indoors over a glass of fine wine. With that in mind we've put together a list of some wine events that caught our eye this month.
Café Taste's Ontario Wine Fair
Date: Jan. 20th 1-5pm or 6-10pm
Location: The Mascot, 1267 Queen Street West, Toronto
Cost: $50 per ticket, avavible here.
Since closing his local wine and cheese bar, Café Taste's Jeremy Day has focused on education through his new business Cafe Taste: Events and his upcoming signature event, the Ontario Wine Fair, showcases this passion. For the past five years he has invited local wineries to gather in the city at his cafe and pour some of their best juice for wine lovers. He pairs this grand tasting with a selection of fine local cheese. This year's fair is being held at the Mascot, across from the former Café Taste space, and features 13 wineries from Niagara and Prince Edward County along with a table of local artisan cheeses.
The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux Taste and Buy
Date: Jan. 25th 5-9pm
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, Constitution Hall, Rooms 105 & 106
255 Front Street West, Toronto
Cost: $125 per ticket avavible here through Vintages
The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, a trade organisation that represents some 135 of Bordeaux's top wineries, is holding a preview taste and buy event through the LCBO's Vintages. At this walk around tasting, representatives from the wineries will be pouring wines from the 2010 vintage. Considered to be a great Bordeaux vintage, 2010 was hot and dry but with a cool end to summer and autumn. Those conditions produced dark, rich reds with the firm tannic structure to age. The star attraction will be winery's Cabernet and Merlot-based red blends, but there will also be some fine dry whites and even a few Sauternes—a sweet luscious white made from botrytis affected Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle that's considered amongst the epitome of dessert wines.
Five Rows Craft Winery of Lowrey Vineyards Winemaker's Dinner at Treadwell
Date: Jan. 26th 7pm
Location: Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine, 61 Lakeport Road, Port Dalhousie
Cost: $110 (+ taxes and gratuities) to book a spot call the restaurant at (905) 934-9797 or email
With some of the oldest Pinot Noir vines in Niagara and a focus on producing extremely small lots of super premium wine, Five Rows is consider one of Niagara's top wineries. Similarly Treadwell is one of Niagara's top restaurants with an excellent wine program and a commitment to showcasing the best local and seasonal ingredients. The two are coming together in the restaurant's first winemaker's dinner of the year. The Treadwell team and the Lowrey family have collaborated on a specially paired four-course dinner featuring the winery's line-up. Sommelier and restaurant co-owner James Treadwell has been a supporter of Five Rows from its earliest days and the Lowery family will be co-hosting with him, so this promises to be a dinner Ontario wine lovers won't want to miss.
Written by Mike Di Caro
Michael Di Caro covers all things vinous at Spotlight. His lover affair with Ontario wine began over a decade ago and he’s been in front of tasting bars trying to sweet talk staff into pouring a taste of a library wine or the latest unreleased bottle ever since. Since good wine can’t be made without great grapes, you can also catch him amongst the vines trying to persuade the winemaker into revealing his/her next big thing for you on Spotlight. His epicurean tendencies don’t just stop in the glass either. During the rest of his free time you can find him searching for the perfect bowl of Dan Dan noodles, exploring the city’s best tasting menus or baking cookies and mucking about in the kitchen.