Thursday, November 16th
New World, Old Vines
John Szabo M.S.
$80 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Ancient grapevines are prized for the exceptionally concentrated, complex and naturally balanced wines they produce. These gnarled and twisted witnesses to history have stories to tell: tales of the pioneering families who have farmed them for generations, and the evolution of the regions which they helped establish. Join Master Sommelier and WineAlign critic John Szabo on his latest global adventure to track down the greatest wines from some of world’s most ancient vineyards in Australia, Sonoma County and South Africa. Think these are “New World” regions? These vines, some of which date back to the 1800’s, tell a different story. It’s one not to be missed.
Taste Like a Pro! WSET Tasting
Peter Wearing, DipWSET
$55 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Peter is IWEG’s Diploma Program Coordinator and a leading instructor at the school. IWEG is Canada’s longest-standing provider of WSET qualifications with an expert team of tutors across all four levels. Peter will take you on a journey from absolute novice to tasting like a professional in just one hour. This session will change the way you approach wine — showing you how to be more adventurous, bold and confident in your choices and how to find the best quality wines in the myriad options out there. Learn how to train your palate and sound like a pro!
The New Argentina
Scott Zebarth, Wines of Argentina
$65 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
For most people, Argentina is synonymous with Malbec and many would be surprised to know that it represents only 10 percent of the country’s total vineyards. So, what’s growing in the other 90 percent? Experience the range of wine styles that Argentina is producing — and drinking — within its own borders. Explore this wine nation’s unexpected diversity through an exclusive tasting of wines that prove Argentina’s special combination of sunny climates and high altitude can produce some of the most unique wines in the world.
Friday, November 17thAn Exploration of Sparkling Wine WSET Tasting
Elsa Macdonald, DipWSET
$55 5:30p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
What makes Champagne different from Prosecco? Where does Canadian Sparkling Wine fit into this? This session will introduce the main production methods of sparkling wines and take you on a guided tasting of diverse styles to fit all budgets! Ever wondered how the bubbles get into your glass? If so, then this session is for you!
A Little Italy
John Szabo, M.S
$80 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Back for his third year to host A Little Italy, John Szabo is one of Toronto’s most distinguished sommeliers. He has a passion for Italy’s food and wine culture that has been honed by leading the wine programs at some of Toronto’s finest Italian restaurants and fine dining meccas on three continents. Each year John pours eight hand-picked selections to showcase the very best of Italy, highlighting regions, producers and vintages that every wine lover should know about. An award-winning wine taster and consummate host, he invites you to join him on a personally guided tour of Italy’s bounty that’s not to be missed. One of the most popular Tutored Tastings sessions, this is sure to sell out. Book today.
South Africa Evolution/Revolution
$65 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
There’s a revolution happening in South Africa’s winelands that’s sparking new interest in wines from the Cape. Join VINES Magazine editor Christopher Waters for a tasting class on the Swartland region, which has proven to be a source of marvelously surprising wines made by a new generation of passionate winemakers. The so-called Swartland Revolution was launched in 2010 and has radically redefined how wine is made and marketed in South Africa. A regular visitor to the Cape, Christopher will guide you through a line-up of wines that capture the revolution and evolution afoot in this world famous region that has reenergized the whole spectrum of winemaking in South Africa. Be among the first to discover this important region that’s built on the best parts of old and new traditions.
Robert Mondavi, Napa Valley Pioneer
Eugene Mlynczyk, MW
$75 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
It’s impossible to imagine the success of the Napa Valley or even California wine without the pioneering efforts of Robert Mondavi. From the origin of Fumé Blanc (a dry oaked Sauvignon Blanc) to the advancement of site-specific Cabernet Sauvignon production from Napa and its sub-regions, including the revitalization of the legendary To Kalon Vineyard located behind the winery in Oakville, Robert Mondavi ushered in the modern era of wine in North America by rallying an industry around quality wine production. Join Master of Wine Eugene Mlynczyk for a tasting class tasting of specially selected wines that illustrate the legacy of fine winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery. Taste history and toast an American legend.
The Marriage of Food and Wine WSET Tasting
Michelle Paris, DipWSET
$55 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Have you ever had the perfect food and wine pairing? It is a magical experience. In this session, you will learn the fundamentals of food and wine interactions — which combinations work well, and which are less successful. Wine pairing isn’t as simple as saying red wines go with red meat. There is a certain way to think about wines and food that will help increase the chance that you make a successful wine pairing the next time you host a party or go out for a meal. This is a fun and interactive session where we get our hands dirty as we play with food and wine.
Saturday, November 18thBurgundy’s Finest
Michael Vaughan and Jason Woodman
$85 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
With more than 1,000 years of viticultural history, Burgundy holds a unique significance for wine lovers. Experience the beauty and legacy of its fabled landscape through an impressive range of wines from Domaine William Fèvre in Chablis and Bouchard Père & Fils in the Côte d’Or. Vintage Assessments editor & wine critic Michael Vaughan and importer Jason Woodman, of Woodman Wines and Spirits, will share their keen insight into these fine expressions of Burgundy’s sub-regions as they taste through village, premier and grand cru expressions.
Why is Cabernet King? WSET Tasting
Courtney Henderson, DipWSET
$55 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Take a whirlwind tour of Cabernet Sauvignon and discover just how diverse it can be. Find out why there are so many varied styles out there, and discover which one you like best! In just 45 minutes you’ll be able to differentiate between wines made in either hot or cool climate, those that have been aged in oak for long periods, and those that are made for easy drinking. From France to California we will discover why, or indeed if, Cabernet is King!
Spain’s Great Red Grapes
John Szabo, M.S.
$65 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Spanish wine is anchored in Tempranillo and the traditions of Rioja, the source of some of the world’s great aged classics. But less well-known regions are emerging with bold, new wines from indigenous grape varieties, such as Cariñena, Garnacha and Monastrell. Master Sommelier and principal critic for WineAlign.com John Szabo has visited many of these regions and will bring you up-to-date with a tasting of personally selected reds that reflect the vibrancy and value of modern Spain. Our Spanish Tutored Tasting seminar is always a crowd-pleaser as guests come to a better understanding of the value and complexity to be enjoyed across the broad and distinctive portfolio of wines available at the LCBO and Vintages.
Thirsty with a Twist
Kevin Brauch, The Thirsty Traveler
$90 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
The most popular and energetic session in Tutored Tastings history returns for another triumphant year. Television personality and bon vivant, The Thirsty Traveler checks in from his ongoing global search for the world’s most unique beverages and looking to showcase his latest discoveries in this energetic session. Always entertaining and unexpected, this dynamic seminar is filled with Kevin’s signature tales from his travels and punctuated by surprise guests. He will provide an arsenal of his favourite spirits, beer and wine from around the globe, insight into their origin and more than a few moments of unabashed laughter to quench your thirst for the world’s best drinks.
The Amazing Diversity of Port and Sherry WSET Tasting
Ramesh Srinivasan, DipWSET
$55 5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Ramesh is Professor and Program Coordinator at Humber College in Toronto. He is committed to life-long learning and holds the WSET Diploma. This session will uncover the complexities of Port and Sherry just in time for the holiday season! By learning the basics we will arm you with the knowledge to confidently choose between the different styles depending on your taste and budget. Generally only bought once a year for the festive season we are 100% certain that after this session you’ll be stocking up on the Sherry and looking at port and sticky wine with new eyes!
Jennifer Huether, M.S.
$70 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
With an unwavering focus on superior quality and stewardship of the land, Jackson Family Wines has amassed an unparalleled portfolio of premium wineries and vineyards dedicated to producing some of the finest, most distinctive wines on earth. Join Jennifer Huether, Canada’s first female Master Sommelier, for this comparative tasting of specially selected Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Sauvignons from some of the family’s premier wineries in Napa Valley, Sonoma County and the Santa Rita Hills.
Top Scoring Wines
Christopher Waters, VINES Magazine
$65 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
This exclusive session allows you to “sip” in the wine judges’ shoes and taste what it takes to win a gold medal at the InterVin International Wine Awards. InterVin Head Judge Christopher Waters and special guests will share highlights from the competition that saw some 1,200 wines from 15 countries put to the test. Taste and see why these red, white and sparkling wines ranked at the top of the class at this year’s competition. Find out which characteristics define great wine. Samples will include rare offerings from Winery of the Year finalists and highly regarded new releases. Guests will receive a free one year subscription to VINES Magazine.