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CLASS DESCRIPTIONS & CELEBRITY SPOTLIGHTS


Ever wondered what it takes to become a wine expert? WSET has joined forces with the Tutored Tastings program at the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo offering tastings that will have you sounding like a pro in less than an hour!

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is the largest global provider of wine and spirits qualifications for beginner enthusiasts to expert professionals. Courses are offered through over 750 Approved Program Providers worldwide, including 37 across Canada, ranging from one-day Level 1 Awards in Wines, Spirits or Sake, up to the expert Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.

WSET’s Tastings join Tutored Tastings’ line-up of engaging and enjoyable wine and spirit seminars, presented by a who’s who of Canadian experts including Master Sommeliers John Szabo and Jennifer Huether, Master of Wine Eugene Mlynczyk, The Thirsty Traveler Kevin Brauch and VINES Magazine co-founder Christopher Waters. This is an unrivalled opportunity to taste incredible wines and spirits and learn what makes them so special.

 


Thursday Friday Saturday

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 17th

An 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
Christopher Waters
$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 18th

Burgundy’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!

American Classics
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.



 


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Presenter Spotlights

Kevin Brauch, The Thirsty Traveler

From a talented young bartender working in Toronto’s busiest bars and restaurants to the titleholder as the man with “the best damn job in the world,” Kevin Brauch has immersed himself in the world of drinks. On The Thirsty Traveler, he crosses the globe to drink the world’s finest spirits, wines and beers and eating the best food imaginable. His 60-episode series can be seen in over 75 countries around the world. This multiple-nominated, Gemini Award-winning presenter also hosts MegaWorld, CheF*OFF! and co-hosts Iron Chef America.


Courtney Henderson, DipWSET 

As the wine specialist for Corby Spirit & Wine, Courtney shares her philosophy that the magic of wine can be enjoyed and appreciated by all. She has built a dynamic career pursuing her passion for wine and has been a fixture on the Canadian wine scene since graduating from CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) in 2006.  She holds her WSET Diploma and is a judge for the InterVin International Wine Awards. A wine reviewer for VINES Magazine, she recently published her second book about touring wine country.


Jennifer Huether, MS

Jennifer works for California based Jackson Family Wines representing their brands throughout Canada. Her love affair and studies with wine started 20 years ago by taking an interest course at the local college in wine. From there, she immediately leapt into the Sommelier Certification, then Diploma of Wine, followed by the Advanced and finally the Master Sommelier Exams-becoming Canada’s first female Master Sommelier in 2011.


Elsa Macdonald, DipWSET 

Elsa has been a wine enthusiast for most of her life so it wasn’t surprising she left her consulting career to attend wine courses in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. Elsa was certified by CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) as a sommelier in 2006 and became an associate of the Institute of Wine and Spirits in 2009.  She received the OIWSBA Brian Kirkwood Memorial Scholarship for top student in the IWEG/WSET Diploma Program.  She is currently studying with the Institute of Masters of Wine.


Michelle Paris, DipWSET 

A love of wine fostered through travel inspired Michelle to leave the corporate world and become a certified sommelier through both the Court of Master Sommeliers and CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers)  and a graduate of the WSET Diploma. She is also a WSET Certified Educator and Professional Fromager. Michelle is director of education for CAPS and teaches in the CAPS Sommelier Program and the WSET curriculum in additional to being a professor at the Centre for Food, Durham College.

Ramesh Srinivasan, DipWSET 

Ramesh is Professor and Program Coordinator at Humber College in Toronto. He is committed to life-long learning and holds the WSET Diploma. He has worked in management positions in three continents of the world with leading hospitality organizations that include Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the InterContinental Hotels Group. In 2016 he travelled to Sri Lanka on a volunteer assignment with Uniterra as a curriculum development advisor for a degree in hotel management for the University of Vocational Technology. 


John Szabo MS

John was the first Canadian to add the “MS” after his name in 2004. Today he’s a partner and principal critic for WineAlign.com, and writes regularly for Wine & Spirits Magazine, among others. His books include Pairing Food and Wine For Dummies and Sommelier Management. But volcanoes are John’s current fatal attraction; his latest book, Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power, has just hit the shelves. With Zen-like focus and unquenchable curiosity, he roams the planet to find the world’s finest fermented grapes. It’s a real job.

 

Christopher Waters, VINES Magazine

Christopher is co-founder and editor of VINES, a national consumer magazine aimed at Canadians who buy, drink and enjoy wine and are passionate about the subject. His weekly wine column, Waters & Wine, is syndicated via the Postmedia Network across the country. In addition, Christopher is head judge of the InterVin International Wine Awards and an educator at the Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute at Brock University in St. Catharines.

 

Peter Wearing, DipWSET

Peter is IWEG's Diploma Program Coordinator and a leading instructor at the school. Peter's interest in wine goes back many years when he discovered that wine is just as much about the people and their story as the product itself. This interest led to his co-founding of The Small Winemakers Collection, an importing agency based in Toronto. What started as a way to write-off travel turned into a full-time occupation and he eventually quit his day job at the turn of the millennium. Today, he is managing director of the company which has 15 employees. Since completing the WSET Diploma, Peter has found a new outlet for his enthusiasm as an instructor. He enjoys sharing his experience in the industry and WSET with eager students. 

 

 

ScottZebarth

Scott is a sommelier, consultant, and writer in Toronto. Known for his work with some of the largest restaurant groups in Toronto, Scott served as Senior Sommelier for Icon Legacy Hospitality, overseeing all company wine programs in Toronto, Miami, and Dubai. Previously, he worked for Oliver & Bonacini, creating wine lists for a number of their venues. This year, Scott launched Interloper, a wine brand with writer Michael Godel, and winemaker Martin Werner. He is part of the Sommelier team at gargoylenow.com, and a contributing writer to VINES Magazine. 

 



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