Food & Wine Experience on a student budget

This week I went on a double date to a food and wine experience at FRESCOLIO on 5-1604 St Mary’s Rd..

For those of you who haven’t heard of FRESCOLIO, it is a fine oil and vinegar tasting bar — and it is magical. There are over 60 flavours of oil and vinegar and you can try AS MANY AS YOU WANT!

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Not only did this event suit my student-friendly budget ($35), I legitimately learned a lot about wine, oil and vinegar.

I knew olive oil was good for you, to an extent, but I didn’t know they act as antioxidants and are high in mono-unsaturated fats.

In order for balsamic vinegar to be true balsamic vinegar it must come from Italy. Just like champagne has to come from Champagne, France for it to be true champagne. Here is an article to help you realize if your balsamic vinegar is legit or if you are being fooled! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/09/balsamic-vinegar-fraud_n_5459425.html

Honoure Black from Poplar Grove Winery did the wine pairings for us, and she nailed it.

 

The first pairing was Munson Mountain Pinot Gris and Chèvre goat cheese, with southern hemisphere extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and lemongrass-mint white balsamic vinegar. I normally would never pick that flavour, but WOW I am happy I tasted that. Interestingly enough, my friend, Chantel, commented that she didn’t like the wine very much before she tried the oil and goat cheese, and then she really enjoyed it.

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Unfortunately, this is one of the better photos taken of me of the night. Just focus on how happy Chantel is to be eating the goat cheese.

I got a little too excited when the food and wine came out and wrote notes that don’t help me at all, but thankfully I have a decent memory.

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I also wrote a note for myself to watch the movie Sideways

The next pairing was a Poplar Grove viogner paired with prosciutto salad wraps and green limonite fused EVOO and another white balsamic vinegar.

Viogner can be like chardonnay in how oaky it tastes, but it is generally also a floral grape like a gewürztraminer. This one was sweeter at the front, and would pair well with spicy foods.

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These are the prosciutto salad wraps, and one of the family owners of FRESCOLIO. I can’t remember his name, so I guess my memory isn’t that great. He was very helpful, knowledgable and friendly. These would be a great snack to take to a potluck or wine tasting, and all the recipes are on the FRESCOLIO website.  http://www.frescolio.ca/recipes/course/appetizer/

The next pairing was the 2015 Poplar Grove chardonnay with mediterranean bulgar salad and mild intensity, southern hemisphere EVOO and traditional 18-year aged dark balsamic vinegar.

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I generally don’t like chardonnay, but this one was amazing! It wasn’t oaky and it would go well with creamy cheeses, pasta and mushrooms.

Next we moved onto the reds. Yay!

The Poplar Grove 2015 Merlot paired with blueberry Wensley Dale cheese and garlic infused EVOO and pomegranate dark balsamic vinegar. YUM.

Then the CSM 2012 (cab sav., syrah, merlot) with wine aged Bellevittano cheese and chipotle infused EVOO with strawberry balsamic vinegar. I think you all know how I felt about the wine aged cheese…

I honestly cannot say enough good things about this evening. The wine was fantastic, the hosts were kind and informative, the food was unreal, and to top it off we had great company with us. The only tragedy of the evening is that we couldn’t manage to take one nice photo together.

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The last pairing was the 2012 Poplar Grove Malbec with a macaron and milanese gremolata infused EVOO and black currant dark balsamic vinegar.

If our mouths weren’t stained already, they definitely were after the blue macaron. Hence the closed-mouth smiling in every photo.

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While this event was VERY fairly priced, Scott and I obviously didn’t leave before spending another $80 on oil and vinegars. It is a dangerous place for two people who love to cook and eat.

Poplar Grove Winery has a great website that you can order wine off of: http://www.poplargrove.ca

Check out the FRESCOLIO site for upcoming events. We were definitely the youngest people there, but it was still awesome. Lets try and fill it with young people next time and show them how sophisticated we are!

Cheers!

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