Wine Your Way Through Toronto: The Wine Shop on Bay

For those of us living in Toronto we’re just a couple hours drive away from several different Ontario wine regions, but it can be difficult to make the trip as much as we’d  like (every weekend would be nice!).  But there’s now no reason to go further than 1000 Bay Street to taste some of Ontario’s best wines. You’re probably familiar with The Wine Shop; there are over 100 locations throughout Ontario carrying wines from Peller Estates, Trius Winery, Thirty Bench Wine Makers and Wayne Gretzky Estates. What you’re probably not familiar with is The Wine Shop on Bay! It’s the first location in a new concept for The Wine Shop stores – along with a trendy new look The Wine Shop on Bay offers a fabulous tasting bar and so many fun wine experiences. And if you’re in the market for a saber, this can even be picked up at The Wine Shop on Bay!

The Wine Shop on Bay

On my visit to The Wine Shop on Bay, I did a rosé tasting at the tasting bar. I was led through a flight of three different Ontario rosés by on of the store’s very knowledgeable staff. Without the drive to Niagara, I felt that I got to know each of the wineries and sample some of their great wines. I even tasted what is now my favourite Ontario rosé – the Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé. If you have not tried this rosé than that is excuse enough to head over to The Wine Shop on Bay where it is sold exclusively, outside of the winery.

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Like my rosé tasting, you can customize any type of wine experience that you like. The helpful staff are happy to organize the perfect tasting for you to celebrate a birthday, bachelorette or just a Sunday afternoon! There are also standing experiences that you can book like the Big Cheese Theory and Vino & Cocoa. The Wine Shop on Bay is starting to host fun events too! The first is Wine 101 with Thirty Bench winemaker, Emma Garner covering some of Niagara’s most popular rosés. For more information about booking an experience or attending an event, contact events@thewineshoponbay.com or visit their Instagram.

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If you haven’t been to The Wine Shop on Bay yet, it’s definitely worth the short trip to 1000 Bay Street. This new concept store for The Wine Shop is really great and changing  how Torontonians can experience Ontario wines without leaving the city. And if anything, you must try the Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé!

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Cheers!~GDW

 

My Favourite Wines from the Wine Rack

If you live in Ontario, you probably find yourself at a Wine Rack every now and then. The Wine Rack doesn’t have a large selection of wine but they are open late, have a lot of  locations and offer free samples. Also, as a fur mama it’s super convenient that they are dog friendly and offer treats. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that my French Bulldog, Cosette, knows the words “wine rack” and how to get there.

For whatever reason you may find yourself in a Wine Rack, I’m sure you typically wonder which wine to choose. While they stock great Ontario wine producers like Jackson Triggs and Inniskillin, the selection beyond these wineries is pretty limited. Not to worry, I’ve got you covered with my top 5 picks. From sparkling wine to cider, you’ll be set whatever your craving the next time your dog drags you inside. Treat for dog, treat for human – the Wine Rack is win-win!

Jackson Triggs Entourage Sparkling Brut

Jackson Triggs Entourage

I have been loving the Jackson Triggs Entourage Brut since I first tried it a couple months ago at The Keg. It has creamy flavours of toasty brioche and a structured tropical acidity. Read about how I paired this bubbly with a brunch menu here. The Sparkling Brut is part of Jackson Trigg’s Grand Reserve wine collection and available exclusively at the Wine Rack or through online purchase from the winery. When you’re in the mood for some bubbly, the Jackson Triggs Entourage Sparkling Brut is my recommendation.

Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé

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I have blogged and Instagramed about this wine a lot! The Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé  is one of my go-to weeknight wines.  It’s a medium-bodied dry rosé with full flavours of cranberry, strawberry and rhubarb followed by a crisp finish. This wine is also exclusive to the Wine Rack or the through online purchase from the winery at $14.95. When you don’t know what you feel like, head to the wine fridge and grab yourself a bottle of the Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé – you will not be disappointed!

 

Long Hand Sauvignon Blanc

Long Hand Sauvignon Blanc

A sales representative recently recommended the Long Hand Sauvignon Blanc when I advised I was in the mood for a crisp dry white. It was really good and I still cant believe I’ve NEVER noticed it! It has bright citrus and herbaceous flavours – reminded me a bit of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Made with Ontario VQA grapes, it’s exclusive to the Wine Rack at a great price point of $14.95. This is your bottle for summer sipping.

 

Open Cellar Select Smooth Red

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Sometimes you’re craving an easy drinking smooth red, and that’s exactly what the Open Red is! It’s a full-bodied red wine with deep velvety flavours of dark berries. This red is also exclusive to the Wine Rack and made with 100%  VQA  grapes. When you’re unsure of a hostess gift, or hosting yourself, this is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Your next barbeque event will go very well with the Open Cellar Select Smooth Red.

Growers Pear Cider

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The Growers Pear Cider is not a wine, but a nice alternative. The Wine Rack stocks a very large selection of Growers Cider by the pack or individually. While the Pumpkin Spice is hands down my favourite during the holiday season, the Pear flavour is my spring/summer pick.  At $3.05 each, Growers Cider is great to pick up on your way to an impromptu park picnic!

 

Cheers!~GDW

Wine Your Way Through Niagara: Kew Vineyards Estate Winery

This is the first post in a new series, “Wine Your way Through”, and I’m starting with what has to be the cutest winery in Niagara, Kew Vineyards Estate Winery. I visited the winery with my family last month and had a wonderful afternoon sipping bubbly in their pretty tasting room. Kew Vineyards encourages guests to soak in, waste time and enjoy their experience on the estate and with their wines – I definitely felt this warm hospitality when I found myself several hours later finished a cheese board and second tasting flight!

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Located in the Beamsville Bench on a 160 year-old estate, Kew Vineyards has some of Niagara’s first Riesling vines, brought over from Germany by Mr. Hermann Weis in 1975. Since then, Kew Vineyards has been passionate about growing uniquely Niagara terroir wines, allowing the cool climate vineyard tell it’s story. Today, they are well known for their sparkling wines, producing several different types.

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On my visit the Kew Vineyards, I started with the bubbly flight for $10 and tried the 2013 Blanc de Noirs, 2013 Tradition and the 2010 Rosalie. We also ordered the cheese board and finished with a tasting flight of the reds. The Blanc de Noirs, Organic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay bread dipper from Wildly Delicious came home with us. This was all enjoyed in the prettiest tasting room with pleasant and helpful hosts. Kew Vineyards was also very accommodating, allowing us to bring our little Frenchie girl!

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I can’t wait to go back this summer and enjoy the beautiful outdoor space!

Cheers!~GDW