If you’re new to wine but curious, here’s a way to learn a lot in a short time. If you’re an oenophile, you’re probably already aware of Santé: Toronto International Wine Festival. The event features tastings, lectures and, big surprise, interesting pairings with meals.
It’s hard to believe the event is already 10 years old. They’re celebrating it stylishly and promoting the tannins out of it. In fact, while it doesn’t officially begin till this Monday May 5, lasting till Saturday, it’s already well underway. The Deconstructing Dinner Series happened April 7 – 21. Meals pairing interesting flavours were hosted and discussed by chefs, sommeliers and wine experts. Currently there’s Santé in the City, wherein a winery is paired with a local restaurant which creates a unique menu for the wines. There’s a long list of decent restaurants participating through till next weekend.
But Monday is when the real party begins. Leave the car at home. There’s a different theme every night. They’re a bit predictable sounding (Santé Down Under and California Cruisin’) but what do you want? It’s a wine party, not an Xbox release.
The whole thing takes place largely in Yorkville at the many restaurants there. That should say it all: it’s not for the faint of wallet. But it is probably the best access you’ll have to these kinds of experiences this year.
Perhaps your best value for money is next Wednesday night’s International Wine Tasting at the Carlu. For $65, you have access to 300 wines from 74 wineries and 12 countries. Even if you’ve been before, 42 of the wineries are appearing for the first time at Santé.