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Behind the scenes at the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada 2014

A Quality Affair

Last month WineAlign converged on Penticton, British Columbia for the National Wine Awards of Canada. For five full days the ballrooms of the Penticton Lakeside Resort were transformed into a world class stage to judge the country’s best wines.

While we are busy tabulating the results – which will be announced later this month – we thought you might enjoy this insider’s look at what goes on behind the scenes of one of the best wine competitions in the world.

It’s as good as it gets!


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Campo Viejo Streets of Spain – 5 course Dinner – June 12th (second night added)

The Streets of Spain will transport you right to the heart of Spain.

Ever since two local winemakers – Beristain and Ortigüela – created the first vintage in 1959, Campo Viejo has been synonymous with innovation and a symbol of the expressiveness, colour and vibrancy that Rioja is renowned for.

Street of SpainThis June, experience Spanish culture, right in downtown Toronto. The Campo Viejo Streets of Spain will bring authentic Spanish street food and wine, music and urban art by Madrid natives, Okuda and Remed.

There is an exclusive once-in-a-lifetime five-course Spanish dinner featuring the wines of Campo Viejo – as introduced by winemaker Roberto Vicente. Co-created by Toronto’s Chef Stuart Cameron of Patria and Chef María José San Román of Michelin star-awarded Monastrell in Alicante, Spain, the dinner will take you on a journey of Spanish flavours and tastes.

WineAlign members can enjoy this dinner at a reduced rate – but tickets are limited!

Wines served at dinner:

Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rose (2013)
Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo (2012)
Campo Viejo Reserva (2008)

Details: Thursday, June 12th two seating at 6pm or 9pm (later, just like in Spain)

Venue: 2nd Floor Events (461 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4)

WineAlign Price: $50/ticket ($25-off the regular price of $75)

Click here to Purchase tickets  (Apply the promotional code: WineAlign to get your discount)

Enter promotional code WineAlign to get $25 discount.

Enter promotional code WineAlign to get $25 discount.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About 2nd Floor Events:

Welcome to 2nd Floor, Toronto’s perfect location for elevated events. Step up your next function in our fully licensed turnkey space that takes a fresh approach to the event experience through design, service, and an atmosphere that warms the heart. We genuinely love events and we are proud to accommodate all those that host and attend them. When the lights go on and the guests head out, we want to know that your event was the event.

2nd Floor Events

 

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Join Award winning Cape winemakers for an Exclusive Dinner, Tasting and Discussion

WineAlign is delighted to present a three-course, eight-wine pairing dinner on Monday, June 9th with four award winning South African wine makers. 

Join WineAlign host David Lawrason and Cape winemakers from Boekenhoutskloof, Fleur du Cap, Ken Forrester and Nederburg, for an exclusive, up close and personal tasting, dinner and discussion that will explore where South African wine has been and where it is headed.

These four award-winning properties and their purveyors are in Toronto for one night only. They bring exciting news from the Cape – the revival of chenin blanc, the ascent of new regions like Swartland, and the enduring success of wines from Stellenbosch. Each winemaker will have the floor for a few minutes and will rotate seating throughout the night to ensure you get time spent with each throughout the three course meal. An informal reception will kick off the event with passed canapés.

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Marc Kent – Natasha Williams – Ken Forrester – Pieter Badenhorst

The Winemakers:

Marc Kent – Boekenhoutskloof

Natasha Williams – Nederburg

Ken Forrester – Ken Forrester Wines

Pieter Badenhorst – Fleur du Cap

WOSA LOGO 19.06Click here to Purchase tickets

Event Details:

Date: Monday, June 9th, 2014
Location: 
Parts & Labour (1566 Queen West)
Reception: 
6:30 – 7:00pm
Dinner: 
7:00pm – 10:00pm
Tickets: 
$75.00 (includes all fees & taxes)

Please note tickets are limited to 60. Our events sell out quickly so please book early to avoid disappointment.

About Parts & Labour

Established in 2010 to major acclaim as the new cultural hub of Parkdale, this design infused space boasts an haute cuisine restaurant/bar, and a live-music venue on the lower level. The menu is overseen by Executive Chef Matthew (Matty) Matheson, who rose quickly through the culinary ranks in Toronto. He completed chef training and culinary management at Humber College in 2003 and from there took a job at Le Select Bistro. In three short years Matheson made it to junior sous chef, leaving in 2007 to helm La Palette in Kensington Market. Both Le Select and La Palette’s proper French training and Matheson’s own rogue Canadiana cooking skills have garnered an impressive following for Parts & Labour.

Click here to Purchase tickets

 

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Winemaker’s Dinner with Award Winning Inniskillin Wines (Ottawa)

WineAlign is delighted to present a multi-course dinner with each course expertly paired with the award-winning wines of Inniskillin on Thursday, May 1st in Kanata. 

Rod Phillips

Rod Phillips

Join us for an exclusive dinner at Graffiti’s Italian Eatery in Kanata with winemaker Bruce Nicholson, as he guides you through a select offering of Inniskillin wines, each paired with a specially prepared gourmet dish. Bruce will speak about the unique viticulture and terroir of the Niagara region and talk about some of the history behind one of Niagara’s most iconic wineries.

Bruce will be joined by Rod Phillips (WineAlign, Ottawa Citizen).

Event Details:

Date:  Thursday, May 1, 2014
Location: Graffiti’s Italian Eatery, Kanata
Reception: 6:30 – 7pm
Dinner: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Tickets: $40.00 (plus taxes and fees)

Please note tickets are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

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Purchase Your Tickets Here

Menu

Each course is paired with an Inniskillin wine.

Baby Arugula, figs, prosciutto, goat cheese, reduced balsamic vinaigrette.

Crispy Blue crab cake, mango relish, and shaved fennel.

Seared duck breast with roasted parsnip, shallots, potato and heirloom carrots in a tarragon and orange glaze.

Fresh fruit Martini with Chocolate Almond Biscotti

*There are no substitutions*

 

About Bruce Nicholson:

Bruce Nicholson

Bruce Nicholson, Winemaker, Inniskillin Niagara

Bruce Nicholson joined Inniskillin Wines, Niagara-on-the-Lake as Winemaker on January 1, 2007, after an outstanding career in the Okanagan where he was Senior Winemaker for Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate in British Columbia.

Born and raised in Ontario’s leading wine region, the Niagara Peninsula, Nicholson was intrigued by the winemaking industry from an early age. After studying Sciences at Ontario’s Ryerson University and University of Windsor, Nicholson apprenticed in winemaking in Niagara before heading out to Western Canada. Ironically he approached Inniskillin Co-Founder Karl Kaiser in his first attempt for a job in the Niagara wine industry. As fate would have it, that job did not materialize, and now Nicholson has come full circle to lead Inniskillin’s winemaking team following Kaiser’s retirement in 2006.

Recognized for his broad skills and talent, Nicholson was selected to lead Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Winery in 1993, and has since been credited for creating its award-winning Okanagan VQA wines. He has gained considerable recognition in the international arena as well as leaving an indelible mark in the history and growth of the British Columbia wine industry.

When the opportunity presented itself, Nicholson was eager to apply his experience and skills in Niagara leading the Inniskillin Winemaking Team which includes Assistant Winemaker Marc Pistor and thirty year veteran Cellar Master J.R. Patterson. Nicholson’s wines are both distinctive and defined. He is dedicated to his career goal of staying true to the individual characteristics of the varietals while ensuring that it reaches its maximum potential. He pays attention to both the Science and the Art of winemaking, commenting, “I enjoy working with the good acidities here in Niagara and I believe the potential is endless.”

About Graffiti’s

SEE and BE SEEN at the newly refreshed Graffiti’s Italian Eatery, conveniently located in the Holiday Inn Kanata. The ideal choice for breakfast or casual fine dining for lunch or dinner, Graffiti’s is perfect for special occasions or meeting friends and colleagues. Featuring modern italian cuisine, Graffiti’s offers a variety of “Venetian inspired” menu selections, including our clay oven fired gourmet pizzas and focaccia flatbreads, tantalizing pastas, plus a full range of entrees including Black Angus beef selections.

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Note: Our winemaker events have been consistently and quickly selling out.  If you are interested in attending then we advise you to purchase your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Purchase Your Tickets Here

 

 

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A WineAlign Event Report: J-T’s Marco Piccoli Shines at EPIC Dinner

An event recap by David Lawrason

A full house of fifty WineAlign guests gave a long ovation after a five-course dinner at EPIC Restaurant in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto on Thursday night. They were treated to one of the best wine and food pairing evenings in my recent memory, and in the process got to know the affable Marco Piccoli, the winemaker for Jackson-Triggs Ontario VQA wines.

Co-hosted by WineAlign, the evening showcased five top-of-the-line Grand Reserve wines by Jackson-Triggs, each paired with a course by EPIC’s chef Joshua Dyer.

Marco Piccoli, Jackson-Triggs

Marco Piccoli, Jackson-Triggs

The Royal York’s EPIC was a fitting locale for the event as it was the first downtown, fine dining restaurant in the city to embrace Ontario VQA as its core wine list, back in 2001. That was the year, by the way, that the Canadian Wine Awards (now the WineAlign National Wine Awards) were launched, at The Royal York Hotel.

Marco Piccoli, who was raised and schooled in Italy, talked constantly about the quality, diversity and potential of Ontario’s best wines, and at the end of the dinner, he encouraged the guests to continue to bring VQA wine to their tables on all occasions. “It absolutely works with food as well as any wine in the world” he said.

At this point a guest asked if any of the wines contained off-shore fruit, a good question, I thought, from a consumer perhaps more familiar with Jackson-Triggs “International Canadian Blends”. Marco Piccoli replied simply that these were all VQA wines, and that means they are 100% Ontario grown.

Over a flute of Jackson Triggs 2010 Entourage Grand Reserve Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc Marco spoke of his childhood fascination with wine thanks to his father’s home winemaking efforts in his home in Udine in Friuli, an important white region in northeastern Italy. He also recalled reading about Canadian wine in school texts during his college program – which covered the subject in less than two pages. A chance meeting with Donald Ziraldo, then of Inniskillin who also was raised in Udine, encouraged him to come to Niagara for a season in 2005, and he has never left.

The first course of the evening carried on with the sauvignon blanc, as the Jackson Triggs Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 was niftily paired with a sweet pea and crab soup. Cool as a cucumber. Piccoli, who admitted being a fan of sauvignons in his native Friuli and makes a similarly restrained but fresh style in Ontario, considers it one of the best white varietals for Niagara.  Production at J-T has jumped to 40,000 cases a year.

Course number two matched an excellent truffle-scented mushroom and ricotta ravioli with Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate 2011 Grand Reserve Shiraz – an elegant, lighter weight shiraz with well tuned pepper, fruit and earthy notes. Piccoli recalled having no expectation for the syrah grape in Ontario when he arrived, but with subsequent experience since Jackson-Triggs first bottled syrah in 2004, he now thinks it is one of the best red grapes for Ontario.

The third course was the greatest surprise and perhaps best match of the evening: butter poached lobster claw in a chili spiked broth served with a brilliant, pure and exacting Jackson Triggs 2012 Grand Reserve Gewurztraminer. The lychee/mandarin fruit played beautifully against the chili broth, and rich texture of the wine was ideal with the lobster. Piccoli explained how the difficult gewurz grape is ideal in Niagara, but that it requires determination to grow and make it well.

The main course presented a tender cornish hen served à la coq au vin, matched with Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate Grand Reserve Merlot 2011. Again, a refined melding of flavours and textures as the wine presented classic Niagara lightness and freshness.  Piccoli explained how merlot – despite its sensitivity to winter cold – has become a mainstay in Niagara’s ‘Bordeaux’ reds, both solo and blended with cabernet varieties.

The dessert course showcased a lemon lime curd with the 2008 Jackson Triggs Proprietor’s Grand Reserve Riesling Icewine – again a brilliant pairing picking up on the maturing almost marmalade citrus notes in the wine. Here Piccoli’s passion for ice wine clearly showed through, calling it Ontario’s greatest wine and explaining that his original curiosity about Niagara was piqued by the fact that Ontario – which makes a drop of the world’s wine bucket – had become globally famous thanks to this one style.

It was a great finale to an evening that surpassed all expectations.

EPIC Restaurant - Fairmont Royal York

EPIC Restaurant – Fairmont Royal York

Note: Our winemaker events do tend to sell out quickly. If you are interested in attending a future event then we advise that you to purchase your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


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WineAlign’s First Wine Tour to the County: Terroir Wine Festival & More

Inaugural WineAlign Wine Tour

Saturday May 3rd, 2014, Prince Edward County

Please join us for a fun (and wine) filled day in the ‘County’. We’ve planned an excellent adventure to Terroir, the County’s premier wine festival, as well as several other stops. Terroir is an annual showcase for new County wines.

WineAlign BusIt’s a full day including:

Luxury coach travel from Toronto
Gourmet lunch at Huff Estates Winery
Terroir Wine Festival in Picton, Ontario
Wine tasting at Rosehall Run
Gourmet pizza dinner at Norm Hardie’s winery
David Lawrason providing colour commentary

Click here to Purchase tickets

Lunch at Huff Estates 

Buffet lunch at Huff Estates includes a sparkling wine on arrival and a glass of their Chardonnay or Pinot Gris to accompany your lunch.

Huff LogoSalads: Chef’s Caesar; Roasted vegetable pasta
Soup: Carrot, citrus and ginger
Sandwiches: Roast beef, tomatoes, mayo on a bagel ; Ham, brie & apple sandwich
Dessert: Chef’s choice

Huff Estates Winery

Terroir Wine Festival 

The Terroir Wine Festival is held annually in the historic Crystal Palace in Picton Ontario. Many County wineries will introduce their new spring releases and serve their own unique wines paired with delicious cheeses and other gourmet food tastings.  We’ll spend three hours enjoying and sampling the best wines the County has to offer.

Wine tasting at Rosehall Run

Enjoy more wines with an exclusive wine tasting in the winery. You can also visit the Greer Road Grocer. After Rosehall it’s literally a hop across the road to Norm Hardie’s for dinner.

Rosehall

Dinner at Norman Hardie Winery

Norm’s gourmet wood-oven pizzas are almost as famous as his Pinot Noir. As his guest you’ll get to enjoy a pizza, salad, wine (and Norm!) during our visit.

Norm Hardie

David Lawrason will be doing colour commentary during our travels. David lived in the County for several years and is one of the most knowledgeable individuals around regarding its history, wineries and wines.

We’ve put together a fantastic day. The cost of lunch, Terroir, tasting and dinner including all taxes and gratuities is about $130.00.  Add onto that a tank of gas for a round trip from Toronto and you’re north of $200.00. The price of our trip is $150.00 including all wine, taxes, fees and gratuities. On top of that you’ll have room on the bus to store any wine you purchased at our stops, not to mention the peace of mind of not having to drive.

Click here to purchase tickets

Itinerary:

9:15am depart Yorkdale shopping plaza
11:30am Lunch at Huff Estates; sparkling welcome and wine
1pm Terroir wine festival in Picton
4:30pm Rosehall Run wine tasting
5:00pm Gourmet pizza and wine at Norm Hardie’s
6:30pm Depart the County
8:30pm Arrive at Yorkdale

Please arrange a designated driver to and from Yorkdale, or take public transit.

This is our first foray into bus trips and we want to make it a great experience for everyone. The last thing we want to do is deal with anyone who has over-indulged.  So while there will be lots of wine to drink, we encourage our members to spit a lot in order to keep their palates sharp and enjoy the amazing wines available in the County.

WineAlign promotes the responsible legal and enjoyable consumption of wine to adults over 19 years of age. Please drink responsibly.

Note: We will be emailing a RELEASE, WAIVER OF LIABILITY, AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK AGREEMENT out to all participants that will have to be signed and collected when boarding in Toronto.

Click here to purchase tickets


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County in the City 2014 – Try and Buy Event

Special Offer for WineAlign Members:  $5 Off the Ticket Price (Promo Code: winealign)

Join us on Thursday, April 3, for the 3rd Annual County in the City, and sample some of the best wines Prince Edward County has to offer! Many County wineries all under one Toronto roof!

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At the 3rd annual “County in the City”, samples of more than 50 different wines (including many vintage and specialty wines) will be showcased from 5pm-9pm to the public. This tasting event will delight the palates of Torontonians and introduce them to some of the most enticing flavours of Prince Edward County; the world’s fastest growing wine region. Wine Spectator magazine dubbed the County as the “world’s least-known great wine zone“.

Many of the County wines showcased at the event are not available at retail wine outlets in the GTA, so guests can take part in the “Try and Buy” program and have delicious County wines delivered right to their door. Mix and match bottles from different wineries and receive FREE shipping (minimum 6 bottles).

Along with the delicious wines there will be fabulous food pairings from the Berkeley Events’ kitchen including, Butter chicken with quinoa and naan, roast beef on mini Yorkshire pudding w/ horseradish cream, Mini gourmet grilled cheese on brioche, Pierogies (bacon optional), Plus a surprise dish!

Event Details:

Thursday, April 3, 2014
Location: Berkeley Church – 315 Queen St. East
Time:  5pm to 9pm
Tickets: $49.00 in advance (includes all wine and food samples)
Tickets: $60.00 at the door (subject to availability)

WineAlign Members receive $5.00 off tickets purchased in advance – Use Promo Code: winealign

 Purchase Your Tickets Here

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Participating wineries include:

Broken Stone Winery
Casa Dea Estates Winery
Devil’s Wishbone
Grange of Prince Edward County Vineyard and Estate Winery
Harwood Estate Winery
Huff Estates Winery
Karlo Estates
Keint-He Winery and Vineyard
Lighthall Vineyard
Norman Hardie
Rosehall Run
Sandbanks Winery
Stanners Vineyard
ThreeDog Winery

 

About Berkeley Church:

berkeley-st-church1Built in 1871, The Berkeley Church has been transformed into Toronto’s most original event venue.Nowhere else will you find such a beautiful blend of traditional ambiance and modern decor. Details such as the original 17-foot stained glass windows, hard wood floors and Victorian Inspired bar makes the Berkeley Church a stunning escape from the ordinary. This location is accessible by TTC, taxi and Green P parking is available on all surrounding streets for responsible designated drivers.

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Five-Course Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings guided by Jackson-Triggs Winemaker Marco Piccoli

WineAlign is delighted to present a five-course tasting menu with wine pairings on Thursday, April 10 featuring the wines of Canada’s award-winning Jackson-Triggs Winery.  

Join us for an exclusive dinner at EPIC with winemaker Marco Piccoli, as he guides you through a select offering of Jackson-Triggs wines, each paired with a specially prepared gourmet dish. Marco will speak about the unique viticulture and terroir of the Niagara region and talk about some of the history behind one of Niagara’s most iconic wineries.

Marco will be joined by WineAlign’s David Lawrason.

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Event Details:

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Location: EPIC (The Fairmont Royal York Hotel)
Reception: 6:30 – 7pm
Dinner: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Tickets: $95.00 (plus taxes and fees)

Please note tickets are limited to 50, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Purchase Your Tickets Here

 

Menu

Reception Wine:

Entourage Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

Sweet Pea & Dungeness Crab
Davinci Caviar, Double Smoked Bacon, Spruce

Wine pairing:  Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

Wild Ontario Mushroom & Ricotta Ravioli
Maitake, Honey & King Oyster Mushrooms, Cipolini Onion, Cress, Butternut Squash Emulsion

Wine pairing:  Grand Reserve Pinot Noir

Butter Poached Lobster Claw
Monforte Chevre Polenta, Chili Spiked Lobster Broth

Wine pairing:  Grand Reserve Gewurztraminer

“Yorkshire Valley” Organic Cornish Hen “Coq Au Vin”
Winter Savory, Pearl Onions, Asparagus Tips, Patty Pan Squash, Rye Berry Risotto, Cabernet Jus

Wine pairing:  Grand Reserve Merlot

Lemon Lime
Lemon Lime Curd, Steamed Meringue

Wine Pairing:  Riesling Icewine

*There are no substitutions*

 

About Marco Piccoli:

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Marco Piccoli

Growing up in Northeastern Italy in one of the world’s most established wine regions, it is hardly surprising that Marco Piccoli’s interest in winemaking started at an early age. However, it wasn’t until his late teens that his true passion was fully realized.

In 1995, after completing high school where he specialized in agriculture, Marco started work as a cellar hand at a local winery called Bidoli Vini. Recognized for his unbridled enthusiasm and keen desire to learn, he soon assumed more supervisory roles, including winery assistant. He then spent the next few years working at wineries and receiving a joint masters degree in grape growing and winemaking from the University of Udine in Italy and the University of Applied Science in Wiesbaden-Geisenheim, Germany.

Prior to beginning his master’s studies in Germany, Marco jumped at the opportunity to come to Canada when a new partnership between the University of Udine and the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University was announced. Keen to learn more about new world winemaking, and the unique terroir of the Niagara Peninsula, Marco set his sights on returning to Canada to pursue a career as a winemaker.

In September 2004, Marco accepted an internship at the Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winery and was then rewarded the position of assistant winemaker at Vincor International. While there, he heard about the winemaker opportunity at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery and eagerly applied. Marco has been part of the Jackson-Triggs team since September 2005 and has worked diligently to bring Jackson-Triggs recognized style to each wine that he makes.

About EPIC

Located in The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, EPIC takes a reputation for innovation and quality and infuses it with premium quality regional elements. EPIC’s fluid, contemporary design is an effective backdrop for a menu that features the best of Ontario’s growers. Seasonally, hand-nurtured herbs from the rooftop garden, 15 stories above Front Street brighten each dish. Desserts are flavoured with hand-harvested roof top honey. And as a certified Ocean Wise restaurant, EPIC’s fish and shellfish choices contribute to sustainable oceans for generations to come.

Note: Our winemaker events have been consistently and quickly selling out.  If you are interested in attending then we advise you to purchase your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

 

Purchase Your Tickets Here

 

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California Wine Fair 2014 – Canadian Tour

The 2014 California Wine Fair is fast approaching!2014-03-06_12-52-23

The California lifestyle embodies all the characteristics of a fine wine – vibrant, spirited and full of excitement. You are invited to drink in the famous, sun-kissed wine country of the Golden State and share the passion for liquid sunshine in a glass.

Raise a glass to California and enjoy a unique opportunity to sample a wide selection of more than 400 premium wines from 150 of California’s top producers.

This is the largest tasting tour of California wines in Canada!

Ottawa: Friday, April 4, 2014 (The Westin Ottawa)

Toronto: Monday, April 7, 2014 (Fairmont Royal York Hotel)

WineAlign Members receive $5.00 off the ticket price for the Toronto and Ottawa Shows – Use Coupon Code: WACALI
(The coupon code can be submitted on the checkout page.)

Click here for other Canadian cities.

Read about John Szabo’s and Sara d’Amato’s top picks from the California-themed March 15th VINTAGES release here.

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Top 10 Reasons to Attend the California Wine Fair

10.  Get Inspired – learning about California wines at the California Wine Fair may just inspire you to visit the Golden State in 2014.  Get help planning your trip at www.discovercaliforniawines.com.

9.  Great Value for Money! – for one fair price you can sample a myriad of wines at varying price points without having to purchase extra tasting tickets.

8.  Amazing Flavour Sensations – along with California’s most beloved varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel), get ready to taste wines made from a huge range of varieties such as Pinot Noir, Viognier, Rhone varieties, Bordeaux varieties, and Sauvignon Blanc.

7.  Appellations Abound! – drill deep into the stylistic differences of wines from a variety of appellations including Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Coast, Oakville, Sta. Rita Hills, Monterey County, Lodi, Carneros and Paso Robles, to name a few.

6.  California Wines are Eco-Friendly – the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) developed the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing in 2002 to promote environmental stewardship and social responsibility in the California wine industry.

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5.  Largest California Wine Tasting in Canada – and it’s all under one roof.  Explore the types of wines you like and experience the many flavours available at this event.

4.  Diversity of Styles – vintners will be coming from all over the Golden State and bringing a huge range of wines with them.  It’s a convenient way to learn the differences between the varieties and styles of wine.  There’s definitely something for everyone.

3.  Exciting New Wineries – explore a number of new wineries never before seen in Canada.  Check out the complete list at www.calwine.ca.

2.  More Participants than Ever – the event is bigger and better than ever before – 165 wineries, 450 wines, and numerous friends from the wineries and vineyards.

1.  Let California Sunshine Brighten your Spring! – after the winter of 2014, we could all use a little California sun this spring.  Come out to the California Wine Fair and experience sunshine in a glass.

To find more information about California wines, please visit http://www.discovercaliforniawines.com.

Purchase Your Tickets Here


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An Intimate Evening of California Luxury: Dine with Four Esteemed Winemakers

WineAlign is delighted to present a four-course gourmet dinner & tutored tasting on February 19 featuring top wines and engaging winemakers from four iconic California wineries: Beringer, Chateau St. Jean, Etude & Stags’ Leap. 

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4Winemakers

The Treasury Wine Estates luxury portfolio represents a collection of some of the most storied and revered wineries from around the world. These extraordinary wines have garnered over 400 90+ scores in the past three years, a total of 112 Wine Spectator Top 100 wines and four times named Wine Spectator #1 Wine of the Year. We invite you to a special winemaker tasting from premier regions of Treasury’s Californian portfolio.

2014-02-07_15-26-34The underlying philosophy at Etude is that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the grapes are harvested. Etude specializes in Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, producing wines that are modeled on the best from Burgundy and Bordeaux, but speak clearly to their contemporary California origins. Winemaker: Jon Priest.

The original Stags’ Leap winery continues a proud winemaking heritage in the prestigious AVA bearing its name. The 240-acre estate was founded in 1893, and is divided into 23 blocks that perfectly match each grape variety with its ideal soil type, rootstock and trellising system. Winemaker: Christophe Paubert.

Chateau St. Jean, founded in 1973, is the winery that put Sonoma County on the wine map and established it as a world-class growing region. Today, Chateau St. Jean continues to set the quality standard for offerings from Sonoma County AVA’s, including the coveted Cinq Cepages, Sonoma’s most lauded Bordeaux-style red. Winemaker: Margo VanStaaver.

In 1876, brothers Jacob and Frederick Beringer established Beringer Vineyards and began making world-class wines from a previously undiscovered region. Since then, Beringer has built a legacy crafting renowned wines from a prized collection of Napa Valley vineyards, celebrating the uniqueness of each site and remarkable winemaking heritage. Winemaker: Laurie Hook.

Event Details:

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Location: Sassafraz (100 Cumberland Street, Toronto)
Reception: 7:00pm – 7:30pm
Dinner: 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Tickets: $135.00 (includes HST & all fees)

Please note tickets are limited to 70, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Purchase Your Tickets Here

Wines:

Reception:
CSJ Sonoma Fume Blanc 2012
Etude Carneros Pinot Noir 2011

Dinner:
Beringer Quantum Cabernet 2010
CSJ Cinq Cepages Cabernet 2009
Etude Napa Valley Cabernet 2010
SLW Napa Valley Cabernet 2010
Beringer Luminus Chardonnay 2012
CSJ Robert Young Chardonnay 2010
Etude Carneros Chardonnay 2011

Menu:
Reception:
Wild Mushroom Tart with Truffle Essence
Mini Crab Cakes with Lemon Saffron Aioli

First
Soup
Red pepper and smoked tomato/adobo cream

Watercress
Purple watercress/heirloom cherry tomato/cucumber ribbons/black garlic vinaigrette

Second
Ontario Beets
Walnut crusted chevre croquettes/field lettuce/pickled fennel/maple tarragon vinaigrette

Third
Wild Salmon
Sunchoke basil puree/fennel parsnip hash/blistered shoshito/béarnaise

Bell Pepper Risotto
Roasted red and yellow peppers/wood sorrel/mascarpone/Parmigiano Reggiano

Cornish Hen
Winter squash stuffed/polenta/vintage cheddar/wild mushrooms/sauce Perigueux

PEI Beef Tenderloin
Foie creamed cauliflower/roast parsnips/Tuscan kale/sauce Bordelaise

Fourth
Cheese & Chocolate
Artisan cheeses served with dried fruits/apples/grapes/crisps
House chocolates

Pineapple
Pineapple and gingery jelly/crème cheese mousseline/thyme tuiles/strawberry black pepper coulis

About Sassafraz

Set in an array of Victorian rowhouses, Sassafraz has evolved through the decades to become a magical space in the heart of historic Yorkville. Located at the corner of Bellair and Cumberland, the little yellow house has “seen it all” from the early hippie movement of the 60’s to the lack of movement that comes from too much Bordeaux. Sassafraz offers an exceptional menu serving market-driven, French-inspired Canadian cuisine.

SassafrazOutside

Sassafraz-11 HR
Note: Our winemaker events have been consistently and quickly selling out.  If you are interested in attending then we advise you to purchase your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

 

Purchase Your Tickets Here

 

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Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2008