Thursday, June 23, 2011

How To Create The Ultimate Epicurean Experience...

We all know that a huge part of what makes Toronto summers so great are the food & drink festivals, Summerlicious, opening of new restaurants and even just dusting off and firing up that grill!

Well to quote Christopher Waters, Editor of VINES Magazine and Wine Consultant with the Niagara Food & Wine Expo, "As great as the food and drinks are on their own, when coupled together with the right partner, it completely escalates the taste experience."

So check out these basic guidelines for choosing summery dishes that will pair well with some of LCBO's top wine selections...

Oysters and Vodka or Riesling – For oyster lovers, you can't go wrong with a smooth tasting spirit like vodka or a dry Riesling. Freshly shucked oysters pair perfectly with the East Coast bottled Crystal Head Vodka or Niagara's own Hernder Sparkling Riesling.

Lobster and Chardonnay or Lager – Experience the East Coast right at home! The light tasting flavour of lobster mixes well with a delicate chardonnay or lighter coloured lager like Inniskillin's Three Vineyards Chardonnay or Nickelbrook's Organic Lager.

Smoked duck and Pinot Noir or Berry Wine – The perfect pairing with smoked duck is a dark and rich red wine or for the more adventurous, an alternate to traditional grape based wines. Try Lailey Vineyard's prized 2009 Pinot Noir or Muskoka Lakes Winery Cranberry Blueberry Wine.

Cheese and wine – This classic is the most popular and it's a favourite for a reason. So plan a picnic and bring along some Thornloe Cheese Devil's Rock Creamy Blue Cheese which is best balanced with Henry's Drive 2008 Pillar Box Red or GreenLane Estate Winery's 2008 Icewine Riesling.

Sliders and Merlot or Beer – It's patio time and gourmet burgers or sliders is a match made in heaven with either a red wine to match the beef or an imported beer to match the overall richness. Try Ravine Vineyards' Merlot or McClelland Premium Imports' De Koninck Belgium Beer.

The most important thing to remember is that everyone's taste is different so don't be afraid to try and mix and match to find the best taste sensation!

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