Eat, Drink and be Wary: The Prose & Cons of Wine Shows

The Ottawa Wine and Food Show is the opposite of the Betty Ford Center: lots of booze and free advice, but no beds. (Why isn’t there a napping booth?) It arrives just in time to launch my fall re-toxification program: I come from a long line of hard drinkers, and a summer of sound sleep, diet and exercise has made me irritable. In the exhibit hall, gastronomic gusts waft up and over me from different corners — some carrying alcohol laced with spicy meatballs, others sweat and cheese, new leather and yeasty crackers, perfume and vanilla waffle cones. Sounds, too, […]

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10 Tips to Make The Best out of any Wine Fest

By Tania Thomas Have you ever found yourself standing in the middle of the tasting floor at a wine show or festival and felt confused and overwhelmed, wanting to taste as many wines as possible but did not know where to begin? Attending a wine event of any kind can certainly be a confusing and overwhelming experience that leaves you bouncing from table to table without a direction, other than circular. On the other hand, attending a wine festival is an excellent opportunity to learn, taste new varietals and have fun with just a little bit of preparation. Apart from […]

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Wine Events and Tastings in Canada

Here is my Top 10 List of Wine Shows in Canada: 1. Vancouver Playhouse Festival: January 2016 2. La Grande Dégustation de Montréal: November 5-7, 2015 Montreal, Quebec 3. World Wine & Food Expo: October 30 – November 7, 2015 Moncton 4. Californian Wine Fair (5 cities): April-May 2016 5. Winnipeg Wine Festival 6. Port of Wines Festival: Halifax   Dates change, so register online with the event to get alerts on the most current information. You’ll find tips on getting the most from wine shows here. I find that the larger shows that attract 20,000+ attendees are designed more […]

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Stratus Wine and Food Pairing Dinner with Beckta Cuisine

Stratus Winery hosted a spectacular wine and food tasting dinner in Niagara on September 28 that featured the cuisine of Ottawa restaurateur Steve Beckta’s three establishments: Beckta Dining & Wine, Play and Gezellig.  I found that the Stratus wines paired beautifully with partner and executive chef Mike Moffatt and chef de cuisine Katie Brown Ardington’s dishes. Click on the arrow above to play the short Instagram video clip. The missing word at the end is windmill ;) Chef Moffatt is a two-time Gold Medal Plates winner and Katie is a rising star on the Ottawa restaurant scene. This dinner paired […]

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