Here are some upcoming wine tastings and events that are worth attending. Let me know if you think I should add others to this list – I’m not trying to create an exhaustive list with every wine event happening across Canada, but rather a carefully curated one of worthy events.
Get yourself on the e-mail list for those that interest you now so that you’re reminded when to register. Many events offer free trade tastings during the day for those who work in the hospitality industry (restaurants, hotels etc who are involved with food and wine) as well as media (writers and bloggers).
These events are usually followed by evening tastings for the public with a ticket charge. You can attend these if the afternoon events don’t fit your schedule, though you’ll likely have to pay for your ticket.
September 11 – Toronto Vintages Presents Moët Hennessey Estates & Wines Reception and Dinner
6:30 p.m., Reception; 7:15 p.m., Dinner; The Grand Salon, Trump International Hotel & Tower, 325 Bay Street, Toronto; Featuring Stéphane de Meurville, General Manager Canada, Moët Hennessy — LCBO VINTAGES Sales and Service Centre, 416/365-5767, 1-800/266-4764
September 11 – Toronto Winemaker’s Dinner
6:30 p.m., Reception; 7 p.m., Dinner; Grano, 2035 Yonge Street, Toronto; Featuring Winemaker Michele Zaccheo of Carpineto, a Tuscan-inspired menu and a selection of emblematic Carpineto wines — Roberto Martella, Grano, 416/440-1986, email@example.com
September 13-28 Niagara – Niagara Wine Festival: A Vintage Harvest
Various locations, Niagara Region – Kimberly Hundertmark, Niagara Wine Festivals, 905/688-0212, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 15 – Toronto: Language & Linguine
Eight Mondays, 7-9 p.m., skipping Thanksgiving; Grano, 2035 Yonge Street, Toronto; Featuring Sarah Savina in a celebration of all things Italian, including fine Italian wines and cuisine) — Roberto Martella, Grano, 416/440-1986, email@example.com
September 20 – Toronto: Author’s Dinner
6:30 p.m., Reception; 7 p.m., Dinner; Grano, 2035 Yonge Street, Toronto; Featuring Author David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks) and fine Italian wines and cuisine — Roberto Martella, Grano, 416/440-1986, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 26 NSLC Port of Wines Festival Halifax
Cunard Centre, 961 Marginal Road, Halifax) – NSLC, 1-800-567-5874, www.mynslc.com
October 2 – Toronto: Vintages Presents Taste Ontario Walk-Around Tasting
6:30-9 p.m.; Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park Circle, Toronto; Featuring 100 premium wines from talented winemakers) — LCBO VINTAGES Sales and Service Centre, 416/365-5767, 1-800/266-4764
October 2 – Toronto: The Gourmet Games
2:30-4:30 p.m., Media and VIP; 6:30-10 p.m., Consumers; 11 p.m.-1 a.m., Trade; The Berkeley Street Church, 315 Queen Street East, Toronto; A bi-annual educational food and wine experience) – Dan Rabinovitch, email@example.com
October 9 – Toronto: Vintages Presents Taste of Sonoma
6:30-9 p.m.; Currelly Gallery, Main Level, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park Circle, Toronto; A walk-around tasting featuring more than 80 wines from 41 Sonoma wineries – LCBO VINTAGES Sales and Service Centre, 416/365-5767, 1-800/266-4764
October 9 Toronto – Sonoma Wines Tasting
Vintages Presents Taste of Sonoma, California (Venue/time t.b.a., Toronto; A walk-around tasting featuring up to 30 wineries and 95 wines) – Nicole Daly, Sonoma County Vintners, 707/522-5845, firstname.lastname@example.org
October 16 Newfoundland Labrador Wine Show
St. John’s Convention Centre, St. John’s, Newfoundland – Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation, 709/724.1100, email@example.com, www.llliquor.com
October 20 Toronto: Stem Wine Group 10th Anniversary Family of Wines Gala Tasting
By invitation; Time/Venue t.b.a., Toronto — Robert Tomé, Stem Wine Group, 416/548-8824, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.stemwinegroup.com
October 22 Ottawa: Stem Wine Group 10th Anniversary Family of Wines Gala Tasting
By invitation; Time/Venue t.b.a., Ottawa — Robert Tomé, Stem Wine Group, 416/548-8824, email@example.com, www.stemwinegroup.com
October 24 – Toronto: Vintages Presents Château Léoville-Las Cases & Company Reception and Dinner
6:30 p.m., Reception; 7:15 p.m., Dinner; Splendido, 88 Harbord Street,Toronto; Featuring Pierre Graffeuille from Léoville-Las Cases, who will pour select Las Cases back-vintages and their Clos de Marquis, plus selections from the two other Domaines Delon properties: Château Potensac (Médoc) and Nénin (Pomerol)) — LCBO VINTAGES Sales and Service Centre, 416/365-5767, 1-800/266-4764
October 27 – Toronto: Rogers & Company Wines 30th Anniversary Portfolio Show
By invitation only; Time/Venue t.b.a., Toronto — Chris McLean, Rogers & Company Wines, 647/955-8872 and/or 416/961-2294, Ext. 29, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rogcowines.com
October 28 Toronto – 9th Annual Chilean Grand Tasting
12:15-2:45 p.m., Trade Seminar, RBC Glass Room, 4th Level; 2-5 p.m., Trade Tasting for registered food and beverage industry professionals and media only; 7-9:30 p.m., Consumer Tasting; Royal Ontario Museum, Peter F. Bronfman Hall, 2nd Level, 100 Queen’s Park Crescent, Toronto; Featuring 30 wineries and 150 wines with food pairings catered by Daniel et Daniel — Lisa Ulrich, Andros Communications, 905/637-2100 or 416/637-2044, Ext. 124, email@example.com, www.winesofchile.ca
October 30-November 1 Moncton World Wine & Food Expo Moncton
Coliseum Complex, Moncton, New Brunswick; “Atlantic Canada’s #1 Wine and Food Event” — 506/532-5333, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.wineexpo.ca
November 3 Toronto: 19th Annual Italian Wine Tasting
Time/Venue t.b.a.; Toronto — Piero Titone and Benedetta Marassi, Italian Trade Commission, 416/598-1566, Ext. 108, email@example.com
November 3 Montreal: 19th Annual Italian Wine Tasting
Time/Venue t.b.a.; Montreal — Piero Titone and Benedetta Marassi, Italian Trade Commission, 416/598-1566, Ext. 108, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 6-8 Montreal: La Grande Dégustation de Montréal
Place Bonaventure, 800, De La Gauchetière Street, West, Montreal — Catherine Lessard, Association Québécoise des Agences de Vins, Bières et Spiritueux Inc., email@example.com, www.lagrandedegustation.com
November 6-9 – Ottawa Wine & Food Festival Fall Edition
Ottawa Convention Centre, 55 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa — 613/523-8355, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ottawawine andfoodfestival.com
November 7 La Grande Dégustation de Montréal
Place Bonaventure, 800, De La Gauchetière Street, West, Montreal — Catherine Lessard, Association québécoise des agences de vins, bières et spiritueux Inc., email@example.com, www.lagrandedegustation.com
November 13 Toronto: Toronto Symphony Orchestra Fine Wine Charity Auction
CIBC, Commerce Court West, 56th Floor, 199 Bay Street, Toronto; July 31 deadline for donations – Kathy Buckworth, TSO Volunteer Committee, 416/885-2967, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 20-23 Toronto – Gourmet Food & Wine Expo
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, 255 Front Street West, Toronto; Toronto’s biggest food and wine appreciation event! Featuring 300+ exhibitors and more than 1,500 fine wines, beers and spirits, Toronto’s top chefs and spectacular cuisine — Jennifer Campbell, 905/634-8003, Ext. 309, email@example.com, www.foodandwineexpo.ca
November 28 Vancouver: 19th Annual Italian Wine Tasting
Time/Venue t.b.a.; Vancouver — Piero Titone and Benedetta Marassi, Italian Trade Commission, 416/598-1566, Ext. 108, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 30 Calgary: 19th Annual Italian Wine Tasting
Time/Venue t.b.a.; Calgary — Piero Titone and Benedetta Marassi, Italian Trade Commission, 416/598-1566, Ext. 108, email@example.com
Wine Events in 2015
February 2015 – Vancouver International Wine Festival
Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver; Various events and venues; Canada’s premier food & wine event) – Harry Hertscheg, 604/872-6623, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vanwinefest.ca
Australia will be the theme country of the 2015 festival. The festival sees over 25,000 people through its doors including 2500 trade and media from across Canada. Australia will bring 50-70 wineries together and will be involved in approximately 15-20 events, ranging from seminars and grazing parties to dinners and trade lunches over the 7 days that the festival doors are open. Syrah will be the global focus grape this year.
Consumers and Trade: Advance tickets for the 2015 festival go on sale on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. All public events go on sale Tuesday, January 6, 2015. Tickets to the Trade Days Conference go on sale Tuesday, January 27, 2015. Tickets go on sale via www.vanwinefest.ca and it sells out fast.
Ottawa Wine & Food Festival Spring Edition March 2015
Ottawa Convention Centre, 55 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa; Featuring more than 1,400 wines and spirits and up to 25,000 wine and food enthusiasts, 613-523-8355, email@example.com, www.ottawawine andfoodfestival.com
April 2015 Toronto and Ottawa – County in the City
386 Carlaw Ave. Toronto
5:00 PM -9:00 PM
Admissison: $49 in advance, $60 at the door (subject to availability)
Admission includes all wine samples and food samples.
On April 3rd you don’t need to travel to Prince Edward County to try the region’s most spectacular wines, because we are bringing The County to YOU! One night only at Berkeley Church in Toronto!
At the 3rd annual County in the City, samples of more than 50 different wines will delight the palates of guests and introduce them to some of the most enticing flavours of Prince Edward County; the world’s fastest growing wine region.
Try and Buy wines that are not available at wine retail outlets and have them delivered right to your door – with free shipping.
April 2015 Toronto – The Good Food & Drink Festival
6-10 p.m., April 3; Noon-9 p.m., April 4; 10 a.m.-9 p.m., April 5; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., April 6; Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto – Christine Wong, Premier Publications & Shows, 905/842-6591, Ext. 278, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.goodfoodand drinkfestival.com
April 2015 Ottawa and Toronto – Somewhereness Tasting of Niagara Wines
Meet 12 Stellar Niagara Winemakers, Media and Trade only
Register now: email@example.com
April 2015 Winnipeg: 14th Annual Winnipeg Wine Festival
Gala Wine Dinner & Auction, 6 p.m. Wine Reception, 7 p.m. Dinner; May 2, 7-10 p.m.; May 3, 1-4 p.m. and 7-10 p.m.; RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, 375 York Avenue, Winnipeg; Featuring Australia as the theme country – www.winnipegwinefestival.com
Wine Australia is proud to be the host of the 13th annual Winnipeg Wine Festival in 2014 bringing together 25 Australian wineries under one roof. Winnipeg’s public tastings boast the highest attendance in the country, with well over 8,000 people enjoying hundreds of wines from around the world.
Over 150 wines will be poured at the Public Tastings, May 2nd & 3rd at the RBC Convention Centre, and at ‘Party’s Outback’, Wine Australia’s annual celebration of food and wine and part of ‘Wine Down’ at the festival.
More information can be found at the following links:
Party’s Outback – A Celebration of Australian Food & Wine
Wednesday, April 30th
Qualico Family Centre
Tickets on sale soon!
Winnipeg Wine Festival 2014
May 2 and 3
RBC Convention Centre
Tickets on sale now!
May 2015 Niagara Food & Wine Expo
May 2015 – Prince Edward County
Terroir – A County Wine Celebration
The Crystal Palace
Noon – 5:00 PM
$35 in advance (inclusive of all taxes and service charges)
$40 at the door (subject to availability)
Admission includes all wine samples and 3 food samples
Join us for Terroir’s 9th year! An annual showcase for new County wines presented by Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association.
Many County wineries will introduce their new spring releases while showcasing their own unique wines. Over 25 wineries all under one roof! Guests will also have the opportunity to take part in seminars, demonstrations and meet the winemakers themselves while tasting some of Ontario’s finest.
California Wine Fair April-May 2015
Free events for the trade are usually held in the afternoon for the dates below, while the public/consumer events are in the evening with a ticket cost. No tickets are sold at the door. For more info visit www.calwine.ca. Get yourself on the mailing list now for the trade portion by e-mailing Brianne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Tuesday, April 1st: Quebec City, Espace Dalhousie
• Wednesday, April 2nd: Montreal, Quebec, Le Centre Sheraton
• Friday, April 4th: Ottawa, Ontario, Westin Ottawa
• Monday, April 7th: Toronto, Ontario, The Fairmont Royal York
• Tuesday, April 22nd: Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver Convention Centre
• Wednesday, April 23rd: Calgary, Alberta, Hotel Arts
• Thursday, April 24th: Edmonton, Alberta, Shaw Conference Centre
• Wednesday, May 7th: Moncton, New Brunswick, Casino New Brunswick
• Thursday, May 8th: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Pier 21
New Zealand Wine Fair April-May 2015
This series of tastings also offers both free trade events and evening consumer tastings. Contact Robert Ketchin, New Zealand Winegrowers, email@example.com, www.nzwine.com/events.
April 29: Calgary – 29 1:30-2:30 p.m., Regional Tour of New Zealand Pinot Noir Seminar -Sommeliers/Media/Wine Buyers only; 2:30-5:30 p.m., Trade Tasting; 7-9:30 p.m., Consumer Tasting; Ranchman’s Club, 710 – 13th Avenue SW, Calgary; Annual tasting featuring 13+ premium New Zealand wineries and more than 55 wines
May 1: Vancouver – 1-2:30 p.m., Regional Tour of New Zealand Pinot Noir Master Class Seminar – Sommeliers/Media/Wine Buyers only; 2-4:30 p.m., Trade Tasting; 6:30-9:30 p.m., Consumer Tasting; Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver; Annual tasting featuring 20+ premium New Zealand wineries and more than 80 wines
May 5 Ottawa: 1:30-2:30 p.m., Regional Tour of New Zealand Pinot Noir Seminar – Sommeliers/Media/Wine Buyers only; 2:30-5:30 p.m., Trade Tasting; 7-9:30 p.m., Consumer Tasting; Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa; Annual tasting featuring 15+ premium New Zealand wineries and more than 75 wines
May 8 Toronto: 1:30-2:30 p.m., Regional Tour of New Zealand Pinot Noir Seminar – Sommeliers/Media/Wine Buyers only; 2:30-5:30 p.m., Trade Tasting; 7-9:30 p.m., Consumer Tasting; The St. James Cathedral Centre, 65 Church Street, Toronto
Okanagan – Spring Wine Festival May 1-11, 2015
What started in 1994 as a kick start to the wine season in a fledging one day festival with just 16 wineries, has blossomed two decades later into a much anticipated ten day celebration of local food and wine. Now with 119 wineries, over 70 culinary and wine events, a Best of Varietal competition, and a delicious partnership with Dairy Farmers of Canada; the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival offers a uniquely Okanagan experience for every palate.
Some delectable new festivities this year include: the Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada, Apprentice Chefs competing in the Cheesiest Sweet and Savoury Competition, a Bubbly Bootcamp, and grand openings of the newest architecturally distinctive tasting rooms, to name but a few of the highlights.
A more intimate event with a hint of wine education, the Blind Wine and Cheese Soiree presented by Valley First on Saturday May 10th, is a perfect opportunity to test your palate in a fun environment with local wineries and Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Over 7,500 guests are expected to participate over the ten days of activities this spring. From farm to table winery dinners, barbeques and picnics in stunning settings, the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival brings visitors face to face with the chefs, winemakers and growers that have not only built our wine and culinary industry but those poised on the leading edge of change.
Visit www.thewinefestivals.com for additional information.
Niagara – 20th Annual Ontario Wine Awards Gala Celebration May 2015
6-10 p.m.; Medal Awards Ceremony and five-course dinner paired with gold-medal winners; Queen’s Landing, Niagara-on-the-Lake — Sandy Kurbis, 416/398-3335, Ext. 2#, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ontariowineawards.ca
May 2015 Toronto: Terroir Hospitality Industry Symposium
7 a.m., Registration; 8:30 a.m., Sessions; Arcadian Court, 8th Floor, Simpson Tower, 401 Bay Street, Toronto; This event brings together the innovative and creative influencers of Canada’s hospitality industry including chefs, food writers, wine and food experts and business leaders – Arlene Stein, Evergreen Brick Works, 416/596-1495, 1-888/426-3138, www.terroirsymposium.com
Niagara June 2015 Niagara New Vintage Festival: From Vine to Wine
(Various locations, Niagara Region) – Kimberly Hundertmark, Niagara Wine Festivals, 905/688-0212, email@example.com
June Toronto – Wine & Spirit Festival – 2015
We return to Sugar Beach!
The Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival; Toronto’s first outdoor wine and spirit festival, is back for its 6th year!
We return to the city’s fabulous waterfront, centrally located in downtown Toronto. Join us at Sugar Beach, located at Jarvis and Queen’s Quay!
Thursday 6pm – 11pm
Friday 5pm – 11pm
Saturday Noon – 10pm
July 2015 Niagara: The Rebirth of Cool
White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa, 253 Taylor Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara; The International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration 2014 features Chardonnays from over 60 of the world’s foremost winemakers) — Dorian Andrewes, i4c, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.coolchardonnay.org
July 2015 Toronto Vintages Presents Summer Wine Fest
6:30-9 p.m., Walk-Around Tasting; Corus Atrium, Queen’s Quay & Lower Jarvis, 25 Dockside Drive; Toronto; Featuring the latest selection of wines from the LCBO’s summer lineup; Food pairing stations featuring the wines of New Zealand — LCBO VINTAGES Sales and Service Centre, 416/365-5767, 1-800/266-4764
July 2015 Shores of Erie International Festival Wine Competition
Steve Gunning, 647/435-4855, email@example.com
Ongoing Events by City
Join the National Capital Sommelier Guild. Don’t let the name scare you, they’re a group of wine enthusiasts that make learning and tasting fun! In fact, you don’t have to be a sommelier or work in a restaurant to join. The Guild hosts many wine tastings and dinner events throughout the year that are educational, unpretentious and all about having a good time. Visit the website at sommelierguild.com for more information.
Toronto and Ottawa
The LCBO Vintages division hosts regular wine events that sell out quickly, often before I can post them here. Bookmark this page and/or sign-up for their newsletter to be first in line to know about them.
International Wine Events
April 29 Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour (7-10 p.m.; New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway Avenue, New York) – M. Shanken Communications, 212/684-4224, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 1 Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour (7-10 p.m.; Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.) – M. Shanken Communications, 212/684-4224, email@example.com
3 Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour (7-10 p.m.; The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Boulevard Suth, Las Vegas, Nevada) — M. Shanken Communications, 212/684-4224, firstname.lastname@example.org
11-19 Portugal Wine Tour (Tour of the Bairrada and Dao areas) — AnaBela Torboda, Portugal Wine Club, email@example.com, www.portugalwineclub.ca; José Duarte, VistaSol Tours, 416/598-3999, firstname.lastname@example.org
27-29 Vinexpo Asia Pacific (Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong) – Anne Cusson, Vixexpo, +33 (0)5 56 56 01 68, email@example.com, www.asiapacific.vinexpo.com
June 2-4 34th London Wine Fair (Olympia Conference Centre, London; Featuring 10,000 wines; Attended by 15, 000 wine trade professionals from 79 countries) – www.londonwinefair.com
14-16 VieVinum International Wine Festival (Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria; Bi-annual wine fair featuring 14,500 visitors and 500 winegrowers from 40 countries) – Dagmar Gross, +43 1 236 26 64, +43 676 319 31 89, firstname.lastname@example.org
22-24 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen (Grand Tasting Pavilion, Aspen, Colorado) — Lori Lefevre, 914/630.0961, email@example.com, www.foodandwine.com
16-18 Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience (New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway Avenue, New York) – M. Shanken Communications, 212/684-4224, firstname.lastname@example.org
December 4-6 13th Shanghai International Wine & Spirits Exhibition (Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China) – Mr. Yangpeng, (86-21)6439 -6190, 5013-1760, email@example.com, www.winefair.com.cn
March 2015 ProWein 2014 (Dusseldorf, Germany; Featuring 4,700 exhibitors from 48 countries, 45,000 trade visitors and 950 journalists from 34 countries; LCBO’s Igor Ryjenkov and Greg MacDonald attending) – Messe Dusseldorf, +49 (0) 211- 4560-7613, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 2015 Taste of Vail (Various events and venues; Vail, Colorado) — Kristin Yantis, Malen Yantis Public Relations, 970/949-7919, email@example.com, www.tasteofvail.com
April 2015 Vinitaly 2014 (Verona, Italy; 48th edition; Billed as the world’s top exhibition in the wine sector with more than 4,000 exhibitors and 140,000 visitors) – Gianni Bruno, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vinitaly.com