The Toronto Food and Drink Market is a culinary and libations fiesta (show) that has graced the city of Toronto for 23 years. It has gone through a few name changes over its span, but continues to offer the same small and intimate flavour of local food, wine and kitchen accessories. My modus operandi  for going to this show is primarily to speak with vintners or winery representatives and get a gander at what wines they’ve chosen to feature. Hmm, and if I am to be completely honest, I must admit that the cured meats, cheese, and the sweet pastry treats also capture my attention. So, the below is my take on the show highlights, coming with the biases listed above.

Toronto Food and Drink Market Highlights


Toronto Food and Drink Market_WH 6Frogpond Farm – Organic Winery

Niagara on the Lake


Where have you been all my life Frogpond Farm? A five-wine sampler and a purchased case later, I came away smitten with this winery.

Frogpond Farm is stated to be the first, 100% certified, organic winery in Ontario and all of their wines use grapes grown on the family farm. The wine that stood out the most for me was their 2013 Gamay Noir, with its plum, cherry, and spicy finish. I can’t say I’ve had an Ontario Gamay Noir with such delicacy. I am thoroughly looking forward to the arrival of that Frogpond Farm case of wine!


Toronto Food and Drink Market_WH 5Trail Estate Winery

Prince Edward County

Trail Estate Winery is a small-batch winery located in the heart of Prince Edward County.  While they had several wines set for sampling at the show, their 2013 unfiltered Pinot Noir took my wine heart. On first sip, I realized that this Pinot Noir was very different than many of the other Ontario wines of the same varietal. When I made this comment aloud, it was met with the winery representatives Cheshire cat-like smile and a story. “The difference is in the fermentation process” he said. After some additional prying I found out that they owe the smooth, fruit intense and earthy taste of this wine to a few things, but the most notable is the amount of time they leave the grapes with their skins, during the fermentation process.


Toronto Food and Drink Market_WH 4Keint-He Winery & Vineyards

Prince Edward County

Keint-he boasts of producing terroir driven Pinot Noir that though created locally, give off a Burgundian air. I fell in love with their 2012 Queenston Road Pinot Noir, a red berry and chocolate palate party.



Toronto Food and Drink Market_WH 8Pillitteri Estates Winery

Niagara on the Lake

Pillitteri Estates may be known for their ice wines (they are the largest exporter of ice wines in Canada), but it was their 2012 Cabernet Franc that caught my attention. This Cabernet Franc impressed by how well it balanced its spicy boldness, silky fruit and light oak.  (The 2012 Cabernet Franc is aged for 19 months in French oak barrels).




Toronto Food and Drink Market_WH 3Between the Lines Winery

Niagara on the Lake

The first time I was introduced to this winery was by way of their 2010 Pinot Noir.  I found it to be so well rounded and balanced that I purchased a few bottles as gifts for friends and family.  So, there is no wonder that their 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve was my Between the Lines winner at this show. Truth be told however, I was hoping they’d have their Lemberger Reserve on hand.  I am dying to get my hands on a bottle.


Of course, no Food and Drink anything could be complete without the food. Thank you  Superior Meats for turning me on to your Hot Summer Salami and Indulgables, so glad you talked me into picking up one of your Crispy Treats!

Toronto Food and Drink Market_WH 2Toronto Food and Drink Market_WH 7

See you all again next year.