Corby Spirit & Wine teams up with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) for New Year’s

For the seventh consecutive year, the TTC is partnering with Corby Spirit and Wine to help New Years’ partygoers stay safe, by providing a night of complementary TTC rides. Starting December 31st after 7 p.m., all TTC streetcars, buses and subways will be free of charge until 7 a.m. on January 1st.

Corby Spirit & Wine also promotes responsible drinking through this partnership by various activations and messages through its website and social media. For more information about Corby Safe Rides and for a chance to win one of 10 prizes of a year of free TTC transportation, visit CorbySafeRides.ca and engage on social media using the hashtag #CorbySafeRides.

“New Years’ Eve is one of the most celebrated nights of the year and we want to do our part in helping people get home safe,” said Corby CEO Patrick O’Driscoll. “For the last seven years, we’ve provided over 1.2m rides to Torontonians, keeping our streets safe on one of the biggest party nights on the calendar.

“We could not be more proud of this partnership and its results keeping people from driving when they have been drinking.”

Corby:  https://corby.ca/en/

Toronto Transit Commission: http://www.ttc.ca

 

 

 

 

 

15th Annual Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival breaks fundraising record

The 15th annual Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine and culinary fundraiser for medical research and innovation, raised a record-breaking $33 million for key programs funded by Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation (TGWHF), University Health Network (UHN) this past week.

Since its inception in 2005, Grand Cru has raised more than $63 million in support of UHN programs including: Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Sprott Department of Surgery, Krembil Brain Institute, Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute, McEwen Stem Cell Institute, Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre, the Arthritis Program, and the Diabetes Program.

Founded by Todd Halpern, TGWHF board member and UHN board trustee, the 15th annual Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival, co-chaired by Todd and Ellen Halpern and Cheryl and Rob McEwen, took place from November 1 to 2, 2019. The largest of its kind in the world, the Festival brings together the finest wine, gourmet cuisine, brightest minds in medical research, and UHN donors and sponsors. This year, Grand Cru featured wines from more than 80 vintners from around the world, private gourmet dinners throughout the city prepared by more than 33 world-class chefs, and participation from more than 30 UHN clinicians and scientists who are advancing ground-breaking medical research and innovations.

“Never before have four Michelin-star chefs cooked together for such a worthy cause,” says Todd Halpern. “This event is the largest culinary wine festival in the world. It’s an opportunity for people to unite around food, wine, and great conversation – all while supporting critical medical research. We are proud of how Grand Cru has grown into what it is today: a one-of-a-kind event with big impact.”

“Philanthropy fuels the many advancements we make across care, research and education at UHN. We are so thrilled to have achieved a record-breaking fundraising year that will directly benefit medical research that will help save lives,” says Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO, UHN. “A big thank you to all of our participating vintners, chefs, donors, dinner hosts, auction supporters and sponsors, and a special thanks to Todd and Ellen Halpern for their passion and for championing a healthier world.”

November 1 – 5,000 guests attended the bi-annual Halpern Portfolio Wine Tasting and the Grand Cru Live Auction at the Beanfield Centre.

November 2 –  over 800 guests attended the Grand Cru Exclusive Wine & Dine Experience – dinners which took place in 26 private homes and venues across Toronto. Each dinner featured menus prepared by top chefs, paired with extraordinary wines, as well as a UHN clinician or researcher who “served knowledge” on the latest discoveries and life-saving breakthroughs at UHN.

Website:

https://www.tgwhfonline.ca/grandcru/

WSET’s Wine Education Week comes to Canada

RAISE A GLASS THIS MONTH TO WSET’s WINE EDUCATION WEEK!

WSET marks its 50th anniversary with its first-ever international celebration of wine education.

Whether you’re a novice or knowledgeable, mad for Merlot or puzzled by Pinot, the world of wine is one that’s ripe for discovery. Having awarded over 500,000 wine lovers one of its qualifications since it was founded in 1969, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the largest global provider of wine and spirits qualifications, is celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary with the first-ever global Wine Education Week. The week, taking place from 9-15 September 2019, celebrates the diversity, taste, and culture of the world of wine with a program of interactive events, all of which are focused on learning about and enjoying wines from across the globe.

Wine Education Week will kick off on Monday 9th September with food and wine pairing launch events across the world at 6 pm local time in 24 countries. Starting with Auckland, New Zealand and ending with California, USA, WSET is aiming for a continuous 24-hour global food and wine tasting session. In the UK the launch event will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for wine lovers to help break a Guinness World Record – for the largest ever recorded sommelier lesson. In Canada, there will be launch events in Toronto (hosted by IWEG Drinks Academy) and Vancouver (hosted by Statera Academy).

Following the launch, Wine Education Week will continue with more than 450 fun, educational events in 46 countries to encourage consumers to learn more about wine and to drink ‘better’. With sessions ranging from ‘Deciphering Wine Labels’ to ‘Matches Made In Heaven’ – and ‘World Wine Monopoly’, the events will help attendees make wiser choices when choosing a bottle and to discover the delights of lesser-known wines they might not have tasted before. In Canada WSET course providers are organizing 15 events in five locations over Wine Education Week:

12/9/19 Calgary Finding the perfect match CO.OP Wine Spirits Beer
13/9/19 Calgary Deciphering wine Labels CO.OP Wine Spirits Beer
14/9/19 Calgary Vine to glass CO.OP Wine Spirits Beer
9/9/19 Toronto Wine Quiz IWEG Drinks Academy
11/9/19 Toronto Cabernet and red blends IWEG Drinks Academy
12/9/19 Toronto Ontario wine masterclass IWEG Drinks Academy
9/9/19 Vancouver Secrets to great food & wine pairing Statera Academy
10/9/19 Guelph, ON Finding the perfect match University of Guelph
11/9/19 Guelph, ON Vine to glass University of Guelph
12/9/19 Guelph, ON Deciphering wine labels University of Guelph
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Finding the perfect match VinoZen
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Deciphering wine labels VinoZen
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Vine to glass VinoZen
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Mastering maturation VinoZen
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Wine trivia night VinoZen

WSET CEO Ian Harris comments: “Wine Education Week is a celebration of our mission to inspire and inform wine lovers across the world. With exciting events taking place everywhere from New Zealand to Thailand to Mexico and, of course, our home in the UK, I can’t think of a better way to mark WSET’s 50th anniversary and the progress we have made in wine education over the last half-century.”

Full details about Wine Education Week and the events taking place can be found at http://www.wineeducationweek.com .

LCBO ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING OF A LANDMARK STORE IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO

LCBO is welcoming it’s newest addition to its retail store network. The King and Spadina store is relocating two blocks south to 49 Spadina Ave. – Clarence Square. The 22,000 square foot store includes 13,935 square feet of retail selling space.

Housed on the main floor of the Steele Briggs Seed Company building, a Toronto heritage landmark, the space has been converted into one of the most impressive and enticing stores to-date. Located in the vibrant King West district, the new store serves the growing areas of Queen Street West, King Street West, the Entertainment District, and the Waterfront District.

The in-store features include:

Same Day Pick Up: The new location offers the Same Day Pick Up service, where customers have the option to place orders online at LCBO.com and visit one of the designated stores for pick up within hours of ordering.

Tasting Bar: A walk-around tasting bar in the Vintages section is a learning hub for year-round events and tastings, offering engaging experiences and opportunities to interact with makers, brand ambassadors and special in-store appearances.

Tasting Stations: Incorporated throughout the store, tasting stations spotlight new products for customers to sample and purchase.

Product Expansion: The new store is expanding the product offering, with over 1,900 products available for purchase with a large focus on VQA and Ontario Craft Brewer products for customers to bring local home.

Spirits Shops: Along with the established Whisky Shop, the store features the newly launched rum, gin and tequila shops with over 40 new, exclusive or premium selections.

Customers are invited to attend the grand opening on July 9 at 9:30 a.m. and enjoy week-long in-store tasting activations with brand partners and suppliers including: Stella Artois, Nütrl, Stoli, Pelee Island, Ketel One Botanicals, Family Wine Merchants, Côtes des Rosés and Steam Whistle Brewing.

49 Spadina by the numbers:

· 2,740 brands

· 134 VQA wines

· 219 Ontario wines

· 797 Vintages products

· 40 new spirits releases

· #1 LCBO store in Ontario Craft Beer sales

· 146 Local Ontario Craft Brewer listings

· 22,000 square feet

· 13,935 square feet of retail selling space

· 328 linear feet of beer refrigeration

· 40 linear feet of wine refrigeration

· 11 customer service checkouts

· 1 Same Day Pick Up Counter

· 42 employees, including 2 Product Consultants

Store hours are Monday – Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.., Friday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., Sunday, 10:00 – 8:00 p.m.

European Wine is dominating Canada

New statistics released last month by Canada’s national statistics agency confirm that wine is increasingly gaining popularity. Canadian consumers’ attention seems to be drawn to foreign products. Statistics show that 70% of the total wine consumed in Canada between 2017 and 2018 was imported.

Canada is a market that the European Union cannot underestimate. While beer seems to retain its position as Canadians’ favorite alcoholic beverage (39, 68% of the value of total alcoholic beverages sales), Canada’s national statistics agency has data to confirm that wine is not far from gaining first place (32,43%). This is a tendency arisen within the last 10 years: wine sales in Canada have been consistently increasing year on year (averaging 4,2% a year; 4,6% compared with the previously investigated fiscal year, 2016/17). At a global level, analysis by Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) on the state of the viticulture in the world market has found that in 2018 Canada was the 13th country in terms of wine consumption, but the 6th for volume of imported wine (joint with the Netherlands). As mentioned above, Canada’s significant wine import rate is confirmed by Canada’s own data, which reports that 70% of the wine consumed in Canada between 2017 and 2018 was of foreign origin.

The Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union played a fundamental role in imported wine’s conquer of the Canadian market. The treaty was provisionally applied on September 21th, 2018, and eliminated 98% of the exporting tariffs between the signing countries. The CETA also signified the official acknowledgment of European denominations of origin, a remarkable achievement for high-quality European products. For the first time, the treaty banned the sale in Canada of imitations of 140 European delicacies, making European designations of origin an unequivocal guarantee of products origin and craft.

However, protecting these products from imitations is not enough. In order to make the most of this opportunity, the European quality system needs to be demystified and communicated to the ordinary customer. According to NGO participant Kurtis Kolt, wine consultant and sommelier, wine experts are aware of the superior craft of EU products marked with quality labels, but the difference is still unclear to the general public: It should not be taken for granted that everyone knows what PDO and PGI mean.

This is precisely why the European Union has created educational programs such as Native Grape Odyssey. Comments from participants confirm that the full potential of European wines in the Canadian market is still to be expressed: “Wine consumption, sales, intrigue and interest are on the rise in Canada currently and it is a great time for the premium wine market. Wine is currently on trend in Canada and it is a great time to focus on more niche or lesser known wines varietals and regions.“ commented Jeffery Osborne, Sales Manager at Grape Brands Ltd. and sommelier.

The situation seems promising for European exports in Canadian market, but these products need to be properly introduced and explained to the consumer. This is a role that only people of authority within the market can undertake. The above-mentioned 25 wine experts have thus found in NGO a way to deepen their knowledge about the subject, so that they can effectively express it to the Canadian market. Joanne DiGeso, wine educator, stated that NGO has perfectly identified what is needed to take European wine sales in Canada to the next level: «I think that NGO is doing great work at educating influencers, sommeliers and educators on the broader range of Italian wines. This, in turn, should ‘trickle down’ to consumers.» Sommelier Jeffery Osborne commented further by praising NGO’s educational activities content: «NGO-organised seminars are fantastic deep dives into perspectives on the grapes and wines which we are typically not exposed to by CMS or WSET. »

The success of this first edition encouraged NGO’s organizers to expand the program: large scale events have already been planned for the months to come, and this time NGO will literally bring European excellence to the world, organizing educational activities directly in the target countries.

About: Native Grape Odyssey is a project financed by the European Union and managed by Unione Italiana Vini and Zante Agricultural Cooperatives Union for the promotion of PDO and PGI European wines abroad, in particular in three countries: Japan, Canada and Russia. In order to achieve this, the Native Grape Odyssey educational program will organize wine seminars, workshops and b2b meetings both in these countries and in Verona, Italy, inviting wine experts and influencers from these countries. These events, realized in the span of three years (2019-21) aim at creating awareness about European native wines abroad, in particular, Italian and Greek wines, which share a long tradition and a high standard of quality.

Source:
Native Grape Odyssey (NGO), an EU-financed educational project for the promotion of European native grapes