LCBO Intro to Wine Class

red wine session
Here’s a secret. I don’t like wine. So when my friend mentioned taking a LCBO Wine Tasting class,
I was intrigued. Could this class help foster a love of wine? Only one way to find out!
We signed up for Intro to Wine, at the impressively massive Summerhill LCBO.

Each session focused on a different type of wine. Reds, Whites, Sparkling Wine (Champagne!) and Fortified Wines (Port, Sherry) were covered.The classes were entertaining, and our instructor, Neal Boven was energetic and passionate about wines. He had traveled all over the world tasting wines, and was responsible for selecting wine for the LCBO to sell each season.

the classroom

The classes were held in the kitchen, and had a really nice set-up. 8 glasses of wine would be set up with generous tasting amounts, with a basket of fresh bread along with spring and sparkling water. We learned all sorts of neat facts, like pinot noir (pictured below) is referred to “the heartbreak grape” by wine makers due to it’s fickle nature. Did you know that red wine get it’s colour from the grape peel? I also quickly learned that I liked wines high on the sugar scale, and did not like bitter wines at all.

the heartbreak grape
the heartbreak grape
we used this worksheet to review each wine

Here’s how to properly taste wine (according to me):

1. Take a deep sniff of the wine to see what notes you can catch.
2. Vigorously swirl your wine to mix with the air and release the scents. Sniff again.
3. Drink the wine, making sure to swirl it around in your mouth so it hits your palette.

Wine has some bizarre tastes. Some are what you’d want to taste. Honey, fruit, cake, spring blossoms, ginger Others…..gasoline, wax, cream of mushroom, Nivea cream, rubber, cat urine, mold ……definitely nothing I’d ever want to taste in my wine. Or my anything, really.

The very last session was about pairing foods with wine. We weren’t able to take this session with our regular instructor, and had to beg and plead to be allowed to take our final class at a different location. The final class was a lot of fun, and we tasted cheeses and chocolates with different wines.

Taking the course was a good experience. I now know what my favourite white wine is (Vouvray Lieu Dit Les Fosses D’Harengs) and how to pick a bottle of wine like a pro! I still don’t really like it though…
If you are interested in taking a course at the LCBO, go here! (They also offer cooking classes.)

A word to the wise…the Summerhill location is a particularly good one. When we visited another location for the final class, the instructor and class wasn’t half as interesting.

Covet: November

Some things that I am coveting this month!

I can’t get enough of lipstains! I also love all fresh products.

Tokyo Milk’s Dark collection. Everything smells oh-so-good, and the packaging is gorgeous.


Eveline Tarunadjaja’s 2011 Calendar. Eveline is one of my favourite illustrators. I am in love with each and every one of her illustrations. She is from Australia.

My old headphones broke, so I am on the hunt for stylish but portable headphones. I like these Nokia Purity Beats headphones, but they are very expensive and don’t come out until next year!

Indigo Fall Preview 2011

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Indigo Fall preview party. They had a twitter contest, and I was one of the winners! We were all invited to head office downtown on King street. The space was beautiful, with exposed brick walls and a stainless steel kitchen.
Indigo products were carefully placed around the room for us to look through, and tasty gourmet products were set out for us to try. Everything in the room, including the food would be for sale at Chapters in the fall. It was a really fun event. Indigo reps were on hand to tell us a bit about the products, and raffles were held throughout the evening.
I was super lucky, and ended up winning The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. (WHICH WAS AMAZING) Two of my favourite things from the evening was the Napa Valley olive oil and a cool feather pencil. At the end of the evening, they gave us a little Indigo swag bag with a classic book (I got Wuthering Heights) a notebook and a $5.00 gift card. All in all, it was a lovely evening!

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