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Review: Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival

A Paradise of Drink Diversity for your Palate!

Not ready to spend your Friday night committed to the same bottle of wine? The Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival is a refreshing excuse to brush up on your cocktail creation skills, dig into the Niagara region wines (without the drive!) and immerse yourself in a good-looking crowd of 20, 30 and 40-some Torontonians.

Photo by www.lovebeinghere.com

Lovebeinghere.com grabbed a plastic wine glass and went tent-hopping to see what sort of fun we could have during this three-day (June 18-20th, 2015) paradise of drink diversity at Toronto’s Sugar Beach.

Waterfront Festival

The waterfront festival is an affordable $35 (including $5 in tasting tickets) and offers many food options through tents and food trucks, with the main focus around wine, spirits and craft beer.  Some guests dressed to impress, while others were comfy in summer dresses, beach gear and flip flops.  Whatever your style, leave the heels at home – you’ll have your toes in the sand while sipping away!

Photo by www.lovebeinghere.com

All the vendors have different prices depending on the size of the sample and the quality. Late on a Friday, the Jamison tent was fairly popular, offering $1 cocktails but lovebeinghere.com decided to first go on a Vodka exploration – sampling some new products from the big and smaller brands.

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The new Smirnoff Light White Peach flavor promised to be lower in calorie than the regular product and flavored with Stevia instead of artificial sweeteners. A sweet sorbet taste, complimented with simple soda water.

Photo by www.lovebeinghere.com

Over at the Magic Moments Vodka tent, we were treated to vodkas infused with some wonderful flavors.  Advertised as completely gluten free, these vodka’s come from Radico Khaitan Ltd., one of India’s oldest and largest liquor manufacturers.  The delicious Chocolate flavored vodka isn’t overly sweet, but instead intense with its strong cocoa-bean flavor – perfect on the rocks. The Ginger and Lemongrass flavored vodka could be an impressive way to compliment spicy Thai food at your next dinner party.

Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc

After the opening cocktails, we moved onto the wine tents to see who was there, and which varietals proved popular. As Niagara is known for it’s Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc’s, we went straight for a couple Cab’s that sounded promising.

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Between the Lines Winery hooked us in early, with their un-oaked Cabernet Franc. Plum, blackberry and fruit forward while affordably priced at $15.95.  A small winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, look for the Big Red Barn literally between Line 5 and 6 Rd.

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Greenlane Estate Winery describes themselves as “Sophisticated wines, passionately produced”.  The two wines we tried from them fit the description well. We first found a delicious dry Rose made from a blend of Cab Franc and Merlot – perfect for those muggy summer nights in the city.  The rep explained that the winemaker has a passion to create dry wines and they are known especially for their dry Riesling.

Sounds like a wine adventure lovebeinghere.com will have go on in Lincoln this summer!

Festival Favorite

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The favorite of the festival goes to the Cabernet Franc from Greenlane. We may have come back to this tent twice just to have another taste of this delicious full-bodied wine that’s full of spice, oak and with a satisfying dry finish. This NWAC14 Bronze Medal winner can be found at the LCBO for $23.95.

Saturday Adventure

With a gorgeous waterfront (and dog-friendly!) location, perfect summer sunshine, and live music – this festival is a hit!

Today is the last night of the festival. Head down to Sugar Beach and check out all the action.

For more info follow the links below.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | #TOwinefest

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words by | Taylor Jukes

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