Hosted by the Food Network’s Kevin Brauch, guests were treated to a delectable selection of nibbles from Ruby Watchco chef, Lora Kirk — like seared pork belly with pear purée, squash soup and glazed pickerel — and a sneak peak at a few InterVin international wine award, gold medal winners. Standouts included Coldhills 2008 Pinot Noir from Australia, Spy 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and Ontario’s own Norman Hardie, 2008 County Pinot Noir — the maker of which, Hardie himself, was on hand to talk wine and gastronomy with eager guests.
The full list of winners will be featured prominently at the Expo, and will also be announced in an upcoming issue of Vines magazine.
As an interesting twist to this year’s show, one of the featured wine regions will be the state of Texas. Not known on this side of the border for its viticulture, representatives from Texas Tourism told attendees that the Longhorn State is actually home to more than 150 wineries, and is the fifth-largest wine producing state in the union.
As in years past, this year’s edition will benefit Toronto’s Second Harvest, an organization that collects perishable food items across the city, to help feed the hungry. Executive director Stephen Faul told those gathered at the event that over the course of the last several years, the partnership between the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo and Second Harvest has resulted in more than 62,000 meals
The main event takes place from Nov.18 to 21 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.