Posted on June 15, 2013


Most rainy days, I would love to curl up on my bed, watching the mesmerizing rain by my window. Last Thursday, the rain pitter-pattered but I still went out for the night. I don’t think I would pass up the opportunity to learn more about wines. Mavrik Wine Bar sent me an invitation to try their new healthier options tacos menu paired with carefully curated wines. For a newbie like me, it sure did help to get wine guidance. Call me a willing student. :)

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Alighting the TTC streetcar, I found myself 5 minutes early to the event. As I waited, I tried to peek through the big open window to see the interiors. Bar height tables for the most part and as expected, a wall full of wine bottles. The kitchen has a window connected to the bar, giving someone from the dining area access to what was happening in the kitchen. Cooks hustled as I watched and the same could be said for the people behind the bar. On the same brick wall with the kitchen window was a huge black board listing the new tacos menu. Conventional would be the last word I’d use for these tacos.

I settled myself by the bar table on the corner beside the window. Opting to sit in front of the window, I looked antisocial but a photographer has to get the best light. A server came by me and gave me a copy of the tasting menu. He then explained that each of us would get to try two of the four that was in the menu. Three of the four taco and wine pairings were vegetarian. For a carnivore like me, that might seem daunting but I kept an open mind.

The more I read about what goes into each, I found comfort. I actually skipped the chicken choice and selected Chickpea for my first and Sweet Potato for my second. The chickpea taco came with red wine, Hunt Shiraz 2011. The sweet potato one was with white wine, Lailey Muscat 2011. I just had a feeling that these two were the best of the list. Vegetarian it may be but the description made me take that blind leap of faith.

As I waited, a pretty glass of mimosa came my way. Nice company to keep while I watch more rain through the window. It seemed to rain even harder. The restaurant, oblivious to all the commotion outside,  bustled as more invitees came through the door. In no time, every chair has an owner. Sure glad I came early and I got a choice were to sit. If I came later, it would surely be hard to get information blog and relish the food.

The wines came first in two stemless glasses. Tacos followed suit minutes later plated in a wood cutting board. Photogenic came right to mind as I saw it. After my usual round of pictures, I started off the experience tasting the Shiraz first. I followed it with a bite of the Chickpea taco and then sipped the red wine one more time. I did not think that chickpeas could taste so robust with its spices made more prominent mixing with the last vestiges of the wine on my palate. I tried the sweet potato one in the same way, Muscat first followed by a bite of the taco. Sweet and fruity flavors fit harmoniously together. That being said, I must say my heart goes to the Chickpea/Shiraz one. That taco was memorable.

When one of the servers came by my table and asked me what I thought of the wine pairings, I told her that I tweeted that the chickpea taco/Shiraz was my first choice.  Because of the tweet, She told me that a sangria would come my way as a thank you.  I didn’t think that the signs on the table saying “a sangria for a Mavrik social media contribution” was going on for the night.  After all that I have tasted, that seemed to be over the top.  It was a nice note to finish my meal though.  Refreshing and a good thirst quencher.

Thank you Elizabeth for getting me to try your new menu at Mavrik Winebar.  That was a really good wine tasting experience from the Mavrik Wine Bar.  :)

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