Celebrating Ontario for Dinner with the LCBO

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Wine Country Ontario… harvest season! And this year, we have lots to celebrate, as 2018 marks 30 years of VQA (the Vitners Quality Alliance, the provincial regulatory authority that administers Ontario’s wine appellation system) and 25 years of the iconic Food & Drink Magazine. And this past week, we had the incredible opportunity to celebrate these milestones with local winemakers, representatives from the VQA, LCBO staff, the Food & Drink dream team, and some of the magazine’s super fans at an intimate dinner.

One of the best parts about Ontario is that it’s easy to bring local home! Ontario is rich with opportunities for wine discovery, boasting 3 wine regions, all producing unique styles of terroir-driven cool climate wine. If you see the “VQA” label on a bottle, it means that the wine is produced from 100% Ontario grown-grapes, and has been approved through a strict quality assurance program.

The LCBO is proud to offer a selection of 651 VQA finds, and each bottle of VQA wine purchased generates significant growth for Ontario. We’re huge ambassadors of VQA wine, and the best way to discover local is to venture out and visit our beautiful wine country, and share your findings (that being delicious VQA wine!) with friends and family. If you can’t visit wine country, then check out the “Our Wine Country” section of your local LCBO!

Before we sat down for dinner, we had the chance to meet the team behind Food & Drink Magazine – a staple in our household for as long as we can remember! And the best part? They passed along some of their tips and tricks to use when it comes to food photography. As you know, we love a good Instagram post! 😜

Not to toot our own horn, but… pretty sure we nailed it! 😎

Food & Drink is uniquely Ontarian, and has been the go-to source for entertaining ideas and product discovery for 25 years. As part of their 25th anniversary, they have released a special anniversary issue celebrating “Ontario for Dinner”. The magazine features six different dinner party stories, offering readers everything from food and drink recipes to décor and gifting ideas – all with a uniquely local twist!

And now for the food! 😍 Dinner was served, focusing on recipes crafted from the magazine, alongside local wine pairings. We had the chance to hear about each wine from the proprietor or winemaker from the wineries themselves. Including one of our fav guys in the industry, Paul Speck from Henry of Pelham!

We also had the opportunity to engage with George Soleas, CEO of the LCBO, and to chat about all things Ontario over dinner.

From Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Soup paired with a delightfully fruity Gamay from The Grange Winery

To BBQ Lamb and Roasted Vegetables served with Creekside’s bold Syrah…

To Plum and Berry Dessert Shooters paired with Peller Estates Iced Cuvée Sparkling (with an Ice Wine dosage!)…

It was an unforgettable meal and experience… and oh so uniquely Ontarian!

Be sure to grab your copy of Food & Drink’s special 25th Anniversary issue at the LCBO while supplies last (or download a digital copy online!) and pick up some local VQA Ontario wine and celebrate the fruits of this great province. Cheers to 30 years of VQA, and 25 years of Food & Drink! 🥂