Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

Darcy O'Neil :: November 20, 2007 8:39 PM

Last Friday (November 16) I headed down to Toronto for the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo with Paul from the Booze News. We arrived around 6PM and picked up our media badges and then headed straight into the action. For the most part this show was all about wine with a a number of gourmet food booths. I would have preferred more spirits, but there were a few that kept me interested. Also, there were a good number of breweries in attendance so it wasn't completely wine. There were a few highlights, which I've noted below.

Taboo Absinthe
Previously I did a review of Taboo Absinthe, from Okanagan Spirits, which I found to be a very good product. They happened to be at the show so I stopped by to have a chat and see what was new. They have released Taboo and it is available to purchase at their webiste (Okanagan Spirits). The interest in absinthe seemed to be pretty good, so hopefully this will help get this product into the mainstream market where everyone can enjoy it.

Black Oak Brewery
For most of the evening I seemed to drink more beer than anything else. Luckily one of my favorite breweries was present with their beer line up. Black Oak Brewery is a small brewery in Oakville (just outside of Toronto) that makes two beers, a Pale Ale and Nut Brown, plus they make a number of seasonal brews. I’ve previously reviewed the Chocolate Cherry Stout, which was very good. The seasonal beer this time around was their Christmas beer which was very smooth with hints of cinnamon. Black Oak Brewery

Wine Sceptre
At these trade type shows you come across a wide variety of products, many that are gimicky or just a twist on a long standing technology. But every once in a while you see something that looks unique and the Wine Sceptre is one of those. Basically, it is a metal rod that you place in the freezer to chill. When you are ready to serve the wine, you insert the Sceptre into the bottle (full length of the bottle) and it helps to maintain the temperature of the wine. One of the things that can ruin a good wine is temperature variation and anything that helps keep a stable temperature is a good thing. This product interests me because it is such a simple idea but works so well. Wine Sceptre

Clase Azul Tequila
Now, I like tequila, but the LCBO doesn’t stock a wide selection, so when the opportunity to taste a new tequila arises I’m right there. In this case it was Clase Azul Tequila which comes in a handmade, ceramic, bottle. Not really my style and it would be a pain behind the bar, but it’s not what the bottle looks like but what is inside that counts.

Upon tasting I decided this may very well be the best tequila I’ve ever tasted. With my preferred spirit being rum, with its subtle sweet side, this tequila had a slight sweetness that I found very pleasant.Unfortunately, I didn't have more time to savor this spirit, so hopefully at some point I will get to revisit it. Unfortunately it is not on the general list at the LCBO, which means I'd need to order a case. The other limiting factor is that it costs $120 per bottle. Tre Amici Imports

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