Ever wondered what it takes to become a wine expert? WSET has joined forces with the Tutored Tastings program at the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo offering tastings that will have you sounding like a pro in less than an hour!
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is the largest global provider of wine and spirits qualifications for beginner enthusiasts to expert professionals. Courses are offered through over 750 Approved Program Providers worldwide, including 37 across Canada, ranging from one-day Level 1 Awards in Wines, Spirits or Sake, up to the expert Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.
WSET’s Tastings join Tutored Tastings’ line-up of engaging and enjoyable wine and spirit seminars, presented by a who’s who of Canadian experts including Master Sommeliers John Szabo and Scott Zebarth, The Thirsty Traveler Kevin Brauch and VINES Magazine co-founder Christopher Waters. This is an unrivalled opportunity to taste incredible wines and spirits and learn what makes them so special.
Taste Like a Pro! WSET Tasting Peter Wearing, DipWSET $55 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Peter is IWEG’s Diploma Program Coordinator and a leading instructor at the school. IWEG is Canada’s longest-standing provider of WSET qualifications with an expert team of tutors across all four levels. Peter will take you on a journey from absolute novice to tasting like a professional in just one hour. This session will change the way you approach wine — showing you how to be more adventurous, bold and confident in your choices and how to find the best quality wines in the myriad options out there. Learn how to train your palate and sound like a pro!
Discover Garnacha Scott Zebarth, Wines of Argentina $65 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Take a journey of discovery with one of the oldest and most widely planted grapes in the world. Welcome to the wonderful and exciting world of Garnacha aka Grenache! If you’re unfamiliar with the wines it produces, no worries, you’ve most likely experienced one (or many) already. A new generation of winemakers is crafting innovative wines in which the grape plays the starring role.
One sip of these compelling wines is enough to understand Garnacha’s ability to deliver complex, structured and delicious wines. Join Scott in the discovery of this unique grape.
Friday, November 23rd
The Faces of Chardonnay WSET Tasting Michelle Paris, DipWSET $55 5:30p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Chardonnay is one of the most planted wine grapes in the world. In this session we’ll discuss where it is grown and through a tasting of three wines you’ll learn how different climates, “terroir” and winemaking techniques impact aromas and flavours, and perhaps find a new favourite expression of this exceptional grape!
Friday Night Flights Christopher Waters, DipWSET $65 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Make the most of your Gourmet experience by discovering your hidden talent for wine tasting in this introductory session featuring samples from The Gourmet Food & WIne Expo’s exclusive Fine WIne Tasting Lounge. Let Christopher guide you through a wide range of aromas and flavours as you unravel the essence of fine wine. Learn to appreciate the subtle differences in wine styles and key in on which varieties you’re interested in before heading out onto the tasting room floor.
The Many Shades of Sake Rob McCaughley, DipWSET WSET Tasting $55 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Sake can seem shrouded in mystery and is often misunderstood, however, like wine and beer, sake comes in an array of styles to tantalize the taste buds. There is a sake for every palate and in this session we will take you on a whistle-stop tour of six very different yet equally delectable expressions of this exquisite brew.
Along the way we’ll provide some tips on serving, food pairing and cocktail applications and leave you with a new-found appreciation for this most versatile of beverages.
A Little Italy Michael Godel, Chianti Classico $80 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Why is Chianti more written about, consumed, and talked about than any other Italian wine in history? What makes Chianti the perfect food wine, as essential to Italian cuisine as extra virgin olive oil? Tackle these questions and more in mind- and palate expanding exploration of Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region. Michael invites you to join him on a personally guided tour of Chianti Classico’s wines, where farmers and producers have spent 300 organized years studying their soils to arrive at an understanding why this territory is better for growing Sangiovese than all of the lands beyond its borders.
Saturday, November 24th
Spain’s Great Red Grapes John Szabo, M.S. $65 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Spain: A country as physically diverse as it is culturally rich, and fun to visit. From the misty green river valleys of Galicia to sun-drenched Andalucía, dozens of grapes find a comfortable home and produce an amazing range of wines. Join master sommelier and hispanophile John Szabo on a tour of this beautiful and exciting nation, one of the hottest in the wine world today, with plenty of stops along the way to taste local wine specialties. Warning: this tutored tasting may cause an irresistible urge to fly immediately to Spain.
A Passion for Pinot WSET Tasting Christopher Waters, DipWSET $55 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Despite its fickle nature Pinot Noir has inspired winemakers around the world. In this session, tasting a range of wines - from its classic roots in Burgundy to beguiling newcomers from the United States and Canada, you’ll learn how climate and winemaking techniques have created such a diversity of styles (and discover which you like best!)
Thirsty with a Twist Kevin Brauch, The Thirsty Traveler $90 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
The most popular and energetic session in Tutored Tastings history returns for another triumphant year. Television personality and bon vivant, The Thirsty Traveler checks in from his ongoing global search for the world’s most unique beverages and looking to showcase his latest discoveries in this energetic session. Always entertaining and unexpected, this dynamic seminar is filled with Kevin’s signature tales from his travels and punctuated by surprise guests. He will provide an arsenal of his favourite spirits, beer and wine from around the globe, insight into their origin and more than a few moments of unabashed laughter to quench your thirst for the world’s best drinks. and the Santa Rita Hills.
The Marriage of Food and Wine WSET Tasting Michelle Paris, DipWSET $55 6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Never know if you should pair your merlot with meatloaf, chablis with shellfish, pinot with pasta?
Fear not. In this great introductory and practical session you’ll learn about the basics of food and wine interactions and how the main flavours in food - acid, salt, and sweetness - impact the perception of different types of wine.
Top Scoring Wines Christopher Waters, VINES Magazine $65 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
This exclusive session allows you to “sip” in the wine judges’ shoes and taste what it takes to win a gold medal at the InterVin International Wine Awards. InterVin Head Judge Christopher Waters and special guests will share highlights from the competition that saw some 1,200 wines from 15 countries put to the test. Taste and see why these red, white and sparkling wines ranked at the top of the class at this year’s competition. Find out which characteristics define great wine. Samples will include rare offerings from Winery of the Year finalists and highly regarded new releases. Guests will receive a free one year subscription to VINES Magazine.
Kevin Brauch, The Thirsty Traveler
From a talented young bartender working in Toronto’s busiest bars and restaurants to the titleholder as the man with “the best damn job in the world,” Kevin Brauch has immersed himself in the world of drinks. On The Thirsty Traveler, he crosses the globe to drink the world’s finest spirits, wines and beers and eating the best food imaginable. His 60-episode series can be seen in over 75 countries around the world. This multiple-nominated, Gemini Award-winning presenter also hosts MegaWorld, CheF*OFF! and co-hosts Iron Chef America.
Michelle Paris, DipWSET
A love of wine fostered through travel inspired Michelle to leave the corporate world and become a certified sommelier through both the Court of Master Sommeliers and CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) and a graduate of the WSET Diploma. She is also a WSET Certified Educator and Professional Fromager. Michelle is director of education for CAPS and teaches in the CAPS Sommelier Program and the WSET curriculum in additional to being a professor at the Centre for Food, Durham College.
John Szabo MS
John was the first Canadian to add the “MS” after his name in 2004. Today he’s a partner and principal critic for WineAlign.com, and writes regularly for Wine & Spirits Magazine, among others. His books include Pairing Food and Wine For Dummies and Sommelier Management. But volcanoes are John’s current fatal attraction; his latest book, Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power, has just hit the shelves. With Zen-like focus and unquenchable curiosity, he roams the planet to find the world’s finest fermented grapes. It’s a real job.
Christopher Waters, VINES Magazine
Christopher is co-founder and editor of VINES, a national consumer magazine aimed at Canadians who buy, drink and enjoy wine and are passionate about the subject. His weekly wine column, Waters & Wine, is syndicated via the Postmedia Network across the country. In addition, Christopher is head judge of the InterVin International Wine Awards and an educator at the Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute at Brock University in St. Catharines.
Peter Wearing, DipWSET
Peter is IWEG's Diploma Program Coordinator and a leading instructor at the school. Peter's interest in wine goes back many years when he discovered that wine is just as much about the people and their story as the product itself. This interest led to his co-founding of The Small Winemakers Collection, an importing agency based in Toronto. What started as a way to write-off travel turned into a full-time occupation and he eventually quit his day job at the turn of the millennium. Today, he is managing director of the company which has 15 employees. Since completing the WSET Diploma, Peter has found a new outlet for his enthusiasm as an instructor. He enjoys sharing his experience in the industry and WSET with eager students.
Scott is a sommelier, consultant, and writer in Toronto. Known for his work with some of the largest restaurant groups in Toronto, Scott served as Senior Sommelier for Icon Legacy Hospitality, overseeing all company wine programs in Toronto, Miami, and Dubai. Previously, he worked for Oliver & Bonacini, creating wine lists for a number of their venues. This year, Scott launched Interloper, a wine brand with writer Michael Godel, and winemaker Martin Werner. He is part of the Sommelier team at gargoylenow.com, and a contributing writer to VINES Magazine.