Food & Drink in Toronto: Oakville Sommelier

The Good Food & Drink Festival in Toronto
Food & Drink in Toronto: Oakville Sommelier
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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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If you have not had a chance to check out the Good Food & Drink Festival in Toronto, it is a good event to put on your calendar for next April. This three day kid friendly festival has much to offer for everyone. There were cooking demonstrations, product introductions, and of course opportunities to sample all kinds of food and drinks.

Fine Canadian Cheese

Fine Canadian Cheese
Photo Credit: © C. Silversides

The cheese seminar by the very knowledgable Debbie Levi for Dairy Farmers of Canada was informative and a lot of fun. She introduced several cheeses from Ontario and Quebec including Gouda, various Cheddars, and a chocolate Havarti which will go well with dark and malty beers, Porters, Stouts, also Icewine, Late Harvest, and Sauternes wines. The last cheese tasted is one of my favourites, Gorgonzola. Debbie suggested when serving to put this strong cheese on a board separate from other cheeses with something sweet like honey or Ice Syrup to counterbalance the saltiness of this cheese.

Ice Syrup and Styrian Gold

Ice Syrup and Styrian Gold
Photo Credit: © C. Silversides

Ice Syrup, a sweet non-alcoholic grape syrup was created by grape grower Steve Murdza about nine years ago in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I tasted his Vidal Ice Syrup by itself and as a dressing mixed with Styrian Gold Pumpkin Seed Oil, a healthy whole food containing many vitamins and nutrients. Both are tasty, versatile items to have on hand for many uses from dressings and marinades to finishing dishes.

In the centre of the hall among the many food trucks was La Loteria out of Toronto which had just opened for business at the festival. They were making fresh soft tacos with choices of chicken and carnitas (pork) along with salsas to match. The Mermaid and The Oyster Gourmet Seafood Market from Oakville was cooking up salmon burgers and shucking oysters – Blue Points from the east coast, yum. Across from them also from Oakville, TAG No.5 Vodka made from sweet Canadian corn was making Bloody Caesars, a good match for the oysters. The Ice Syrup would be delicious in a vodka cocktail!

Karlo Estates

Karlo Estates
Photo Credit: © C. Silversides

Then there was wine. I sampled several from around the world beginning with Karlo Estates from Prince Edward County (PEC), Ontario, the first Vegan Certified winery in North America who produces terroir-driven, handcrafted, award winning wild fermented wines. Sherry Martin shared with me their Van Alstine Port has been named one of the “Top 10 Cutting Edge Wines in the World.” Regazzi Wines from Toronto was showcasing their Italian wines and liqueurs including Sophia’s Lemoncella named after Mr. Regazzi’s daughter. With a varied portfolio, Noteworthy Wines, the only wine agency in London, was sampling many of their wines including an old vine Zinfandel from Grady Family Vineyards in Lodi, California, a full-bodied red with jammy berry flavours that I quite enjoyed.

Thinking about wine, what is happening in Oakville? The Oakville Wine Enthusiasts Club (OWEC) is presenting their esoterica Wine Fair on Sunday, April 27th, pre-registration required.

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