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Spotlight on Ontario wine

May 23rd, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Finally, the weather is putting Toronto in the spring spirit!

It’s perfect timing for the next event in FRANK’s Curated Dinner Series, a monthly event that features a six-course meal with wine pairings. For this month’s instalment, happening on May 24 (make your reservation now!), the theme is “Springtime in Ontario.” Along with dishes featuring locally-sourced ingredients like lamb loin, maple, whitefish, dill and ramps (wild leeks), we will also feature Emma Garner from Thirty Bench Winery, who won Winemaker of the Year at the 2015 Ontario Wine Awards. Garner will speak to each wine – some of which are only available at the vineyard.

We spoke to AGO Executive Chef Renée Bellefeuille, Restaurant Manager Eva Lam, and The Small Winemakers Collection’s Richard Godin to get a taste of what’s to come. The interviews have been compiled below.

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

AGO: Why is spring an exciting time to try new flavours and wines?
Everything is fresh, vibrant and green when the first harvest of the season emerges after a long cold winter. It is rejuvenating to see things spring to life – literally!

AGO: What are some of the first steps in choosing a wine pair for a dish?
Understanding what the key flavour components of the food are (sweet, sour, acidity, salty) and finding an accommodation in the world of wine to enhance the flavour experience.

AGO: What does a properly-chosen wine add to a meal?
Wine can complement food and vice versa. Creating balance between food and wine brings out different dimensions in both by adding complexity.

AGO: What flavours are going to be featured in the dishes, under the theme of “Springtime in Ontario”?
Wild leeks and rhubarb – two key flavours of spring in Ontario.

AGO: What can you tell us about Thirty Bench Winery?
Thirty Bench is an important historic winery in Niagara and is considered one of the pioneers in the Beamsville Bench area, one of the most significant growing zones in Ontario. The winery is known for its Rieslings – it has helped illustrate the differences in terroir (the natural environment that a grape grows in) and how it impacts Riesling varietals.

Is your mouth watering yet? Book your spot today!

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