While our festival attendance usually dwindles with the cold weather, there is one annual event that the Boozehounds look forward to every year: the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo. Taking place until Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building), this event is one I make sure not to miss.

Tickets start at $30 a person ($20 for the final Sunday session), with optional upgrades to enjoy the WSET tutored tasting sessions. This 24th edition of the expo hosts exhibitors from around the world including very strong local representation, sampling over 1500 fine wines, tantalizing spirits, refreshing beers and ciders, and satisfying culinary options.  Tickets at the door are $35 a person if you’re wandering around downtown and want to try something different.

I’m usually a fan of trying a wide range of wines at the event – as it’s ok to sample and spit out wines, I can keep my own consumption level down. Kole usually tries the cocktails, spirits and beers – even our well-loved breweries tend to brew up something unique for the occasion. And then there’s the food – with a range of complimentary treats to try and small bites available for purchase, we sample our way through the event at a relaxed pace.

A critique I’ve had of other events is accessibility: some venues leave a lot to be desired in terms of public transit access. Fortunately, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is in easy walking distance of Union Station, connecting you to the TTC and Go Transit to get home safely.

Come and say hello this evening if you see us around – we’ll be enjoying our Elite Pass entry tonight to the show.

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around. A dedicated Booze Hound, Shawna completed the Wine Specialist Certificate at George Brown College in 2018.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com