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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.


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


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!


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


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.

facade 1A


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



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:


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.


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

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.


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

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

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. 

WOT logo


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


CSJ Sonoma Fume Blanc 2012
Etude Carneros Pinot Noir 2011

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

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

Red pepper and smoked tomato/adobo cream

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

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

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

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

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.


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


Filed under: Events, Wine, , , , , ,

Highlights from Villa Maria Dinner with Josh Hammond

A sold out crowd of 80 guests joined us for last week’s tutored tasting and dinner event with Josh Hammond, Villa Maria’s Marlborough winemaker.

Hammond grew up in the Marlborough region, in a grape growing family who sold grapes to this most award winning winery and one of the largest in the country. With over one million cases produced at the Marlborough facility, four winemakers to manage, and an intense Canadian tour schedule, Hammond certainly has his hands full and we appreciate the time he took to enlighten us regarding this exciting cool-climate region.

Villa Maria Winemakers Dinner

We had the opportunity to taste the Private Bin series of Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer as well as the Vineyard Select Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Lastly, we were treated to the Single Vineyard Series Southern Clays Pinot Noir showing remarkably well with a rich unctuous texture and an exciting depth of flavour. Minimalist intervention and careful bunch selection are the hallmark of these wines.

Villa Maria Winemakers Dinner

A very sumptuous, thematic and keenly paired menu was offered by the team at Rosewater Supper Club which featured duck prosciutto and roasted rack of New Zealand lamb (ensuring that Hammond didn’t feel so far from home). Thank you to the teams at Philippe Dandurand Wines and Villa Maria for helping to make this event so successful. For information on availability in your area, simply type “Villa Maria” into the Google custom search on WineAlign. We look forward to seeing you at the next exclusive WineAlign tutored tasting.

About Rosewater

Minutes from Toronto’s Financial and Theatre districts, the Rosewater offers a fresh and unique dining experience. From the intimate setting of the upper mezzanine level, which overlooks the main dining room, to the self-contained supper club on the lower level, this building lends an air of romance and casual decadence when dining on a fusion of modern classics.

Villa Maria Winemakers Dinner

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

Photos courtesy of Dan Trcka,

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Vancouver International Wine Festival 2014

“One of the Very Best Wine Festivals in the World”
February 24 to March 2, 2014

 Vancouver International Wine FestivalThe 36th Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s top wine show is fast approaching. The fest, which is presented by The Vancouver Sun, will pour 1,750 wines from 178 wineries and 14 countries at 54 events (including 10 events for trade only).

France is the theme country this year, and the global focus is bubbly. The Acura Tasting Room, the hub of the festival, has 780 wines, organized by country. The France Bon Appétit section offers a virtual tour of nine diverse wine regions, with 206 wines from 52 French wineries. And there are more than 110 sparkling wines in the room.

What Else is New this Year?

 Vancouver International Wine FestivalBacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction has moved to the Saturday (February 22) preceding festival week; there’s a first-ever afternoon tasting for the public (March 1, 3-5 p.m.); about 45 of the 178 participating wineries are festival first-timers; wines with a Shop the World neck tag can be ordered by the case and delivered within two weeks; and rock-star winemakers will sign their iconic bottles onsite.

Don’t Wine and Drive

And whether you’re coming from across the country or across a bridge, Don’t Wine and Drive: you can get a free tasting ticket (an $89 or $68 value) if you book a room in one of 37 downtown hotels through

All the tried and true things are back, of course, including fabulous dinners, lunches, seminars, wine minglers and more. And perhaps best of all, when you discover wines you like in the tasting room, you can buy them onsite at BC Liquor Stores’ wine shop and have them shipped for free to your nearest store.

Purchase Your Tickets Here

Event Tickets are going fast (and gone, in many cases) so act now.

Net proceeds go to Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

Details at

 Vancouver International Wine Festival

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Cuvée Weekend 2014 – WineAlign VIP Access

Cuvée Grand Tasting – Friday February 28th, 2014

WineAlign members are invited to celebrate the 26th Annual Cuvée in style with VIP Access and a special WineAlign price of $175 per ticket.

Indulge. Taste. Discover.  

Cuvee 2013-124_cmykThe Cuvée Weekend Wine Experience kicks off on Friday February 28th with the Cuvée Grand Tasting in Niagara Falls.

One Winemaker. One Wine.

Mingle with the stars of Ontario’s wine and culinary scene at this black-tie-optional event. Sample each winemaker’s personal favorites’ and enjoy culinary masterpieces created at live cooking stations. With more than 50 wineries and 10 Chefs, it is an event not to be missed.

The party continues with Après Cuvée

Après Cuvée is back, so even as the Grand Tasting winds down, the party keeps going with live music, dancing, an Icewine and Bubbles Bar and Craft Beer.

Your passport to Cuvée en Route

Cuvee 2013-028_cmykEach Cuvée ticket is also a pass to Cuvée en Route, which allows guests to tour and taste along Niagara’s Wine Route from Friday through Sunday. En Route participants enjoy exclusive tastings at participating wineries and have the opportunity to shop for featured Cuvée wines direct from the wineries.  Click here for the Cuvée en Route Brochure listing all participating wineries and restaurants.

WineAlign VIP Access and Special Rate!

WineAlign members are invited to celebrate the 26th Annual Cuvée in style with VIP Access and a special WineAlign price of $175 per ticket. In addition to the Grand Tasting Gala, Après Cuvée and Cuvée en Route, WineAlign members have access into the VIP Pre-Gala Tasting – which until now has only been open to wine writers and Ontario wine industry leaders.

Order Your Tickets Now

Visit the Cuvée website for more information at: Cuvé

WineGlassTransparentSchedule for Friday February 28th:

VIP Access Tasting 6pm to 7:30pm
Grand Tasting 7:30 pm to 10 pm
Après Cuvée 9:30 pm to Midnight

Hilton Niagara Falls Hotel
6361 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Rooms are guaranteed until February 14, 2014

To make a reservation:
Call 1.866.873.9829 and mention Cuvée or download the Accommodation Order Form here.

Purchase Your Tickets Here

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Four-Course Dinner and Tutored Tasting with Villa Maria Winemaker – Josh Hammond

On January 27th, WineAlign is pleased to present a gourmet dinner & tutored tasting featuring wines from New Zealand’s most awarded and iconic winery.

New Villa Maria logo (2)

Villa Maria Estate is New Zealand’s most awarded winery. Proudly family owned, Villa Maria sources grapes from the best of New Zealand’s wine growing regions to produce wines of exceptional quality enjoyed by wine drinkers around the world. Founded in 1961 by its current owner and Managing Director Sir George Fistonich, Villa Maria Estate is now seen as an icon in the New Zealand wine industry. An unrelenting commitment to producing quality wine has allowed Villa Maria to cement its place as New Zealand’s most awarded winery for more than 30 years.

MW_MarlWinerymorning2 (3)Join us for an exclusive dinner at Rosewater with Marlborough winemaker, Josh Hammond, to celebrate a select offering of wines from New Zealand’s most awarded and iconic winery. Josh will guide you through a range of Villa Maria wines and speak about the unique viticulture and terroir of New Zealand as well as the history of the company that started with one man, George Fistonich, in 1961 and exports wine to over 50 countries worldwide and is recognized as New Zealand’s Most Awarded Winery.

Josh will be joined by WineAlign’s Sara d’Amato.

Event Details:Josh 4 (3)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Location:  Rosewater Supper Club (19 Toronto St., Toronto)

Reception: 6:30pm

Four-Course Dinner: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Enjoy remaining wines: 8:30pm – 9:00pm

Tickets:  $88.00 plus HST and fees

*Please note tickets are limited to 80, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Purchase Your Tickets Here


Reception Wine: Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc

1st Course
Asparagus and Micro Green Salad
Ravigot Dressing
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc

2nd Course
Duck Prosciutto
Braised Belgium Endive
Pomegranate Glaze
Kale Chips
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir

Main Course
Roasted Rack of New Zealand Lamb
Crusted with Minted Panko
Roasted Maple Acorn Squash, Turned Carrots, French Beans
Yukon Gold Pommes Anna
Pinot Noir Jus
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Pinot Noir

Pear Tart
Ginger Spiced
Goat Cheese and Honey Drizzle
Villa Maria Private Bin Gewürztraminer

About Rosewater

Minutes from Toronto’s Financial and Theatre districts, the Rosewater offers a fresh and unique dining experience. From the intimate setting of the upper mezzanine level, which overlooks the main dining room, to the self-contained supper club on the lower level, this building lends an air of romance and casual decadence when dining on a fusion of modern classics.

RW Dining Room (4)

Rosewater Logo

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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WineAlign Reviews

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2008