Not sure whether a Merlot goes well with fish?* Want to find out about the best values in Pinot Noirs? You’ll find answers to all of your culinary questions at the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo, which takes place November 17-20, 2011 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto. You’ll see celebrity chef demonstrations, attend special wine-tasting events, as well as sample wine; local, craft and import beer; spirits and food while enjoying live musical entertainment. Some of the exhibitors include Lake of Bays Brewery, E & J Gallo Winery, Rodney’s Oyster House, Pearl Vodka, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Brassaii Restaurant, Dan Aykroyd Wines, Erdinger Brewery, Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, Sonoma-Cutrer Wines, Switzerland Cheese Marketing, Pilsner Urquell, Crush Wine Bar, Corby Distilleries, Maritime Lobster, Chateau des Charmes Wines and Rickard’s Red. In order to sample drinks and gourmet food, you’ll need to purchase $1 sample ticket that are available in sheets of $20.
Chuck Hughes, Host of the Food Network’s Chuck’s Day Off and The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs will appear on the Food Network Stage to demonstrate his simple, delicious dishes on Thurs., Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. and Fri., Nov. 18 at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Other notable chefs who will be on stage preparing special dishes include Chef John Horne of Canoe, Chef Chris Kalisperas of Brassaii, Chef Carl Heinrich of Marben and Chef Rocco Agostino of Enoteca Sociale. You’ll also learn about the best values in French wines, Chilean cabernets and winter whites at the Connaisseur’s Corner, as well as how to make holiday appetizers, chocolate, oyster shucking, lobster tail and shrimp and Mexican tostadas. Enjoy complimentary cheese tastings at the All You Need is Cheese Stage happening Friday, Saturday and Sunday .
If you need a sommelier to help educate you on selecting wines, the Tutored Tastings seminars, which are separate ticketed events that cost between $75 and $95 and include a $40 value VIP access to the Expo, will help you learn more about topics such as cutting edge wines, Bordeaux blends, Australian favourites, California Cabernets, Chardonnays and Zinfandels, Burgundy wines and how to match food with wine. The Gourmet Gala, which happens Sat., Nov. 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. where you can mingle with wine experts, sommeliers and judges and taste sparkling wines and a six-course gourmet meal including squash ravioli with bacon, seared scallops with coconut crust, fennel and parmigiano-reggiano salad, chicken lobster Kiev with butternut squash risotto, chocolate timbale with coffee meringue and artisan cheeses with dried fruits and nuts.
The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo hours are Thurs., Nov. 17 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (VIP Preview Evening $40), Fri., Nov. 18 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sat., Nov. 19 from noon to 10 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 20 from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at door and include H.S.T.
* Some Merlots pair very well with salmon.