#SheratonToast Around the World @SheratonCentre

Posted on May 21, 2013


Last week, my EyeCandyTO partner, Abe Wornovitzky and I came to know about Sheraton Centre Toronto’s launch of Toast Around the World Sheraton Social Hour from a fellow foodie, Vicky Weiss a.k.a @momwhoruns.  The launch, hosted by Ben Mulroney, was simultaneous at different Sheraton Hotels worldwide.  This #SheratonToast social hour will be a regular event at the Sheraton Centre, from Mondays to Thursdays from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.  It would surely be a perfect spot for networking or wine tasting.

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I must confess that I came there with the palette of a neophyte. For my regular readers, if you so notice, I never talk about wines or cocktails. The most I would go for was beer and to that I also claim to be a newbie. As one who grew up from a tropical country, my preference was always a cold drink over something that would warm me up. Somehow, the sensation and taste of alcohol threw me off.  For this event,  I geekily consulted online the “Dummies Guide to Attending A Wine Tasting Event“.  So nerdy of me I know but I confess I am that green when it comes to wine.  From all of what I read, I understood the error of my ways.  The reason why I only taste alcohol to be too strong was that I always drink the wine too fast.  I never let it sit too long on my tongue to understand its flavors, nor stop to take note of its aroma or even just plainly see its clarity.  I was actually excited to try out what I read and see if I finally get to start understanding man’s love affair with wines.

The event was held at Burger N Bistro inside Sheraton Centre.  I saw that there was already a good cluster of wine lovers ahead of us and through the crowd we spotted Vicky.  At the middle of the room was a generous display of cheeses and a big slab of prosciutto, ready to be sliced.  Moving up further to the room, the table continued and transformed itself as a pulled pork taco bar.  So much food but I was not ready for eating.  I made it a point that I was full before coming to this wine tasting. I tend to get woozy if I drink in an empty stomach.  I half-regretted I was full to partake in the eating.

What I looked forward to were tasting the wines.  At the four corners of the room were different tables catering different red and white wines. All wines featured were said to be a Sheraton exclusive, rated 85 and up with Wine Spectator.  Walking around, I got to try two white wines (Dopff & Irion Alsace 2010 and Antinori Villa Toscano Blanco 2011),  two reds (Rufino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro 2007 and Alchaval-Ferrer 2011) and my special mention was the port (DelaForce Vintage Porto 2003).

While I enjoyed all four wines, nerdily following all the wine tasting points in the dummies guide, I must say I enjoyed the port the best as the experience came with some pointers from Sheraton Centre’s Food and Beverage Director Nelson Borges.  Vicky made a point to us that we should not miss the port table.  Reaching his table, Nelson had us pairing the a sip of the port with several flavors.  We started off with the dried cranberries, mixed with the port, eliminated the port’s sugary taste.  He then told us to follow it with walnuts and I find that it actually mellowed the alcohol after taste.  He then gave us slivers of chocolate and again it transformed that sip of port to something earthy.  Lastly, he gave us bits of bleu cheese.  I am usually not a fan of its moldy, earthy taste. I think I finally found  a way to appreciate it as its flavor transformed after a sip of port.  From its aggressive earthy profile, it turned mellow and creamy after a sip of the  port.  I believe I found a way to enjoy bleu cheese!

If the succeeding social hour would be so entertaining like the launch, I believe Sheraton Centre would be a good foodie destination.  It certainly took out the intimidation for a newbie like me where wine was concerned .  From this point on, I think you would be seeing me try wine a lot more. :)