Monday, June 29, 2009

the pleasures of summer...

this past saturday, oliver and i joined 16 other guests at chez eric in our hometown of wakefield for a delightful "wine by mood" tasting with billy and his partner, kato.

amongst having their hands in many other culinary outlets, the duo spends alot of their time hosting what they refer to as 'alternative wine education' experiences for both the public and trades in the industry.

billy & kato were up visiting from toronto to host a tasting at the local bookshop (solstice), and a wine dinner at chez eric here in the village. i know billy from his jaunts in and around toronto and ensure i always keep a copy of "billy's best bottles" on hand with each annual release - it's a tremendously resourceful guide to lcbo wine selection.

billy & kato's approach to wine tasting is a laid-back, casual and most of all, fun. his philosophy is that you should always drink wine in tandem to how you are feeling, and plan parties accordingly, using your mood as your inspiration. this philosophy makes sense to me - shouldn't we always sip on what we are in the mood for? his practices illustrate how to take a party from start to finish with wines that vary in texture, feel, taste, and ultimately, mood. just like you set the tone with music, you also set the tone with wine. easy concept.

although it would appear that at any time the skies would open up and we'd have to scatter inside the cozy cafe at some point in the evening (which would not be a bad idea as i absolutely love the cafe's charming interior), the weather held out and allowed us to sit beneath the trees and enjoy the early summer breeze.

we sipped, savoured, chatted and laughed for about 90 minutes over the tasting (and of course, learned a thing or two, thanks to billy's Q&A in "wine school") and then were treated to three-course dinner by the talented team at chez eric.

as daylight slowly turned to twilight, it was on to kaffe 1870 for some local music, continued socializing and oh yes, to carry on the sipping under the stars....summer is here at long last.

here's hoping your weekend was full of wonderful wine!

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