George Brown College – Two Events and a Podcast Miniseries

Don’t miss these two great events put on by The Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts

Monday, October 25: In Conversation With: Jancis Robinson

Tuesday, October 26: D.O. Rueda Wine Pairing Dinner

Spain Uncorked Podcast Series

In Conversation With: Jancis Robinson

Join us for this exceptional opportunity to learn from Jancis Robinson, one of the world’s foremost wine experts. Michael Fagan, an internationally recognised professional and expert in the wine, spirits, and beer industry, will join her for the discussion. They will discuss anything and everything about wine, including education, business, writing, pairing, and past and present wine trends. CAPS Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator James Pollock will moderate.

Date: Monday, October 25

Time: 10am – 11:30am

Place: Online

Cost: $25 (including HST and Eventbrite fees)

Jancis Robinson

D.O. Rueda Wine Pairing Dinner

WineAlign members save $20 on regular ticket price.

The Spanish D.O.(Designation of Origin) Rueda will host a curated dinner in partnership with George Brown College at The Loft in the Distillery District on Tuesday, October 26. This unique evening will feature five Spanish wines paired with a five-course menu created by Catalan Chef Ramón Simarro of Madrina Bar y Tapas, Toronto. Chef Ramón is known for his work in some of Spain’s top kitchens, including Fábrica Moritz and the Michelin-starred restaurants Pearl Restaurant and Fabes Restaurant. John Szabo, Master Sommelier, will guide the wine tasting and lead the participants on a virtual tour to Rueda. After dinner, there will be an additional wine sampling of ten wines to explore Rueda in the glass further.

Wine production in D.O. Rueda dates back to the sixteenth century when King Alfonso VI granted the land to monasteries. Now, the appellation has 74 wineries and over 1,500 vine-growers. Located 170 km northwest of Madrid, near the River Duero, Rueda is known for the Verdejo grape, a 1000-year-old indigenous grape. This varietal is renowned for its unique palette of aromas and flavours — fennel, grassy, and citrus notes with intense fruit and refreshing acidity.

Rueda is the only Spanish wine region specialising in white wine. Ninety-six per cent of Rueda’s vineyards grow white varietals, and eighty-seven per cent of those develop Verdejo. Verdejo is Spain’s most popular white wine, and of all wines in Spain — red, white, or rosé — it is second only to Rioja.

Chef Simarro will create a five-course meal of northern Spanish cuisine paired with Rueda wines. Chef Simarro is known for his tapas-style cuisine incorporating traditional Spanish dishes and ingredients from Spain, with a Canadian influence.

John Szabo, Master Sommelier (MS) — one of only five Canadians to achieve the rank of Master Sommelier — will discuss Rueda’s history, winemaking styles, and the flavours and structures of the wines presented. Recently named “Canada’s best-known sommelier” in Meininger’s Wine Business International Magazine, he is also a partner and critic for WineAlign and a co-host of a podcast, The Wine Thieves.

These wines have been selected for the guided tasting:

  • Finca Montepedroso, SLU, Finca Montepedroso 2020
  • Javier Sanz Viticultor S.L. Javier Sanz Verdejo 2020
  • Diez Siglos De Verdejo, S.L. Momento Diez 2019
  • Vinos Sanz, S.A,. Montesol Sauvignon 2020
  • Bodegas José Pariente, José Pariente Fermentado en Barrica 2020
  • Marqués de Riscal, Marqués de Riscal Verdejo 2020
  • Bodega De Alberto, Monasterio de Palazuelos 2020
  • Bodega Hermanos Del Villar, Oro de Castillo Verdejo 2020
  • Bodegas Verdeal S.L., AYRE – VERDEJO 2019
  • Palacio de Bornos, Palacio de Bornos Verdejo 2020
  • Bodegas Castelo de Medina, Castelo de Medina Verdejo 2020
  • Bodegas Castelo de Medina, Castelo de Medina Sauvignon Blanc 2020
  • Bodegas Protos, Protos Verdejo 2020
  • Grupo Valdecuevas, Valdecuevas Verdejo 2020
  • Javier Sanz Viticultor, V Malcorta 2020

Date: Tuesday, October 26

Time: 6pm – 9pm

Cost: Reg: $95 WineAlign: $75 (use discount code: DoRueda) Price includes HST and Eventbrite fees.

Place: The Loft (18 Tank House Lane, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4)

John Szabo, MS

Spain Uncorked Podcast Series – Discover the world of Spanish Wines

Join Canadian wine personalities Renee Sferazza and Michael Fagan as they travel to Spain virtually for great conversation with some of the county’s brightest wine minds.

Learn about Indigenous varieties with Ferran Centelles, sommelier at world-renowned el Bulli for 13 years. Discover more about Cava, Tempranillo, and Women in Wine with esteemed Masters of Wine Almudena Alberca, Alvaro Ribalta, and Pedro Ballesteros. Then, dive into Sherry with D.O. Jerez President Cesar Saldaña, or travel to Spain’s new enchanting wine regions with Elsa Errea.

This special educational miniseries leaves you reaching for your glass and thirsty for more.

Indigenous Varieties of Spain

Spain is home to hundreds of native wine grapes! The country was a haven forVitis vinifera during the last Ice Age, causing a boom of developing grape species that are part of the tapestry of this winemaking country. As we explore Spain’s interesting range of indigenous varieties, we are joined by Ferran Centelles, Spanish Wine Specialist for Listen here.

Tempering Tempranillo

Tinto Fino, Tinto Del País, Tinta De Toro, Tinto de Rioja and Cencibel — so many different names for just one grape! Tempranillo is intrinsically linked to the winemaking culture of Spain. Grown all over the country in varying names, you might not even know you are drinking a Tempranillo! To help us unravel the mystery of many names, today, we are joined by Pedro Ballesteros, MW. Listen here.

Women in Wine

Wine regions worldwide have seen a major shift in the last couple of decades, a shift that’s seen more women at the helm from making wine to running wineries and more!. Any professional would agree that the judgement of their work should be on what they can accomplish around the world rather than their gender or any other characteristics. Wine regions around the world have seen this culture shift, Spain being one at the forefront. There are so many amazing women influencing the wine industry in Spain, including our guest today, Almudena Alberca. Listen here.


It’s champagne and crémant in France, sekt in Germany, sparkling wine in the new world, and in Spain it’s Cava! Today we explore that wonderful range of sparkling wines from Spain, catch up on new developments, and learn about some maverick producers breaking the rules. Ever wondered what makes Cava unique, where or how it’s produced, why it’s so affordable, or what the best foods are to pair with this wine? If so, this is a must-listen. In this episode, we are joined by Master of Wine Álvaro Ribalta, who will be taking us on a tour of Cava! Listen here.


Joining us is César Saldaña, President of the Regulatory Council for the Designations of Origin “Jerez-Xérès-Sherry”, “Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda” and “Vinagre de Jerez.” From Andalucía in Spain’s southwest, sherry is one of the most well-known fortified wines. Within the region, we find Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Puerto de Santa Maria — together they form “The Sherry Triangle.” The region’s unique terroir where land, environment, winemaking style come together to craft the many styles of sherry we get to explore in the glass! Listen here.

Enchanting Wine Regions of Spain

Spain is considered an “old world wine region” — a blend of tradition and innovation where superb quality goes hand in hand with unparalleled value. Working with indigenous grape varieties, winemakers craft robust reds, crisp whites, lively sparklers and world-renowned fortified wines. Spanish wines have a classification system based on the “Denominación de Origen”, also known as a D.O. or designation of origin that indicates where the wine was produced. In this episode, we’re joined by Elisa Errea as we look at seven enchanting wine regions across Spain. Listen here.

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