Food, Drink, Fest: Oakville Sommelier

Food & Drink Fest
Food, Drink, Fest: Oakville Sommelier
Kerr Street Cafe
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About the Author

Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides is an accredited Sommelier certified by both the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) and Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). Passionate about great wine, food, and travel experiences, Cynthia is owner of Niagara Vino providing tutored wine tasting and tour services in the Niagara Peninsula wine region of Ontario, Canada. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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The Food & Drink Fest in Hamilton this past weekend was deliciously good fun, filled with drink offerings from coffee roasters and breweries to spirits and wine producers, and an amazing variety of foodie fare including cheese, chocolate, cookies, candy, cupcakes, kettlecorn, mushrooms, pizza, Mexican food, Thai food, sauces, seafood, steak and more from local caterers, markets, and restaurants.

Nickel Brook

Nickel Brook
Photo credit: © C. Silversides

Upon walking in I got tickets and a wine glass, then stopped by the Nickel Brook booth. What better way to start an afternoon than with a Beer Float! Made with vanilla ice cream and their Green Apple Pilsner, it was tasty and refreshing. The Better Bitters Brewing Company located in Burlington offers free brewery tours and samples including root beer.

Zirkova Premium Vodka

Zirkova Premium Vodka
Photo credit: © C. Silversides

Next I happened upon No.7 Hot Sauce, a Mexican Hot Sauce company out of Toronto. Their sauces ranging from mild to hot are made with Pasilla, Jalapeño, and Habanero peppers. My favourite was the XTRA Hot Habanero – muy bueno y caliente! In the next booth I took the “Caesar Challenge” tasting two Caesars side by side, one made with Zirkova Premium Vodka and the other with a competitors vodka. Zirkova, made in the Cherkasy region of Ukraine from rye spirits, was the smoothest and most flavourful of the two – agreed a good addition to the mix!

Laurie's Cocktails

Laurie’s Cocktails
Photo Credit: © C. Silversides

Speaking of mixed drinks, Laurie’s “Winter Can Suck It!” cocktail board surely caught my eye. She told me about her creative drink offerings with inspirations ranging from the blue skies of Northern Ontario cottage country to the waters of the Caribbean and Mediterranean. The Riviera Sunshine was my favourite, made with Aperol, Prosecco, Blood Orange, and the most delectable Maraschino cherry I have ever tasted – Luxardo from Italy.

Twisted Lemon

Chef Dan, Twisted Lemon
Photo Credit: © C. Silversides

Laurie and her husband Dan, the owners of Twisted Lemon restaurant in the village of Cayuga, are super friendly, a lot of fun, and very passionate about fine dining experiences. In addition to serving up great drinks and food, they hold all kinds of beer, wine, and spirits events at their restaurant and also cooking classes.

Many wineries participated in the fest including Kacaba, a premium small batch winery in Vineland, Ontario which excels at red winemaking. I tried their 2009 Single Vineyard Syrah which made an excellent match for the flavourful steak dish served up by Chef Dan at the Twisted Lemon restaurant booth next-door.

Kacaba Winery

Kacaba Winery
Photo Credit: © C. Silversides

In addition to the all the great flavours there was live entertainment on the center stage. Steve Strongman, 2013 JUNO Award Winner Blues Album of the Year, was one of the performers. Next year will be the 10th annual Food & Drink Fest. Maybe I will see you there, Cheers!

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