The grand daddy of all things decadent opens tonight – the 23rd annual Gourmet Food & Wine Show is on until November 19 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building.

Hedonism Bot – Futurama

If you need me this weekend, I’ll be making my way through a carefully curated list of deliciousness. With 19 breweries and cideries, 28 wineries and import groups, and 20 spirits producers to choose from, I will end up looking like Hedonism Bot by the time I leave.

As a dedicated glutton, this event is my favourite annual indulgence. Top chefs offer up decadent food pairings, and the cavernous space is an excellent setting to sip and graze to sample new flavours. Caviar, cheese, and chocolate offerings? Yes, yes and yes please. Tutored tasting workshops? Sign me up.

The expo is a great opportunity to find unique gourmet offerings for the gourmand in your life, to sample some of the LCBO’s pricier offerings in an affordable size, and rub elbows with both local and international producers of some of the finest food and beverage offerings.

Tasting tokens are $1 each once you’re inside, and tastings typically range from $3-$7 for most offerings. While this expo ends up being one of the pricier events we go to, it is definitely the tastiest and we look forward to it all year. A common complaint we’ve had with other festivals and expos is accessibility – Gourmet Food & Wine is wheelchair accessible with proper washrooms, and easy to get to by both TTC and Go Transit out of Union Station. It’s also fairly easy to snag a taxi or an Uber at the exit, instead of being stranded in a remote part of the city. Please remember to use one of the options to get home – don’t be a shmo and drink and drive.

I’ve been prepping all week with a strict diet of salad and chicken soup to allow myself the influx of extra carbs and calories, of course.

Tickets are available on a limited basis at the door, or for purchase online. Door prices:

Thursday $40
Friday $35
Saturday $40
Sunday $20

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.


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