Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful event hosted by OPEN Wines in partnership with Matt Basile. OPEN Wines is currently working on re-launching their new and improved look, and wanted to work with the best in the biz to bring wonderful food pairings to their guests. Matt Basile, most well-known for his amazing food truck Fidel Gastro’s, also has a great Toronto restaurant called Lisa Marie. Both companies are all about being open to trying new things and enjoying new experiences, and that is one of the reasons they complement each other so well. The evening was all about enjoying the wine pairings with the lovely food offerings, and understanding how to properly taste wines and match their flavours with the notes in the meal.
We were treated to two types of wine; one red and one white. Their ‘Smooth Red’ had some deep aromas and oak undertones, with a hint of berry essence. Their ‘Riesling-Gewurztraminer’ was very light and easy to drink, with apple and citrus notes. Two of the lovely representatives from OPEN talked to us about their wines, their history, and their variety of flavours. Matt Basile then came and spoke with us about each course and the reasons for his choices. The meal included seared scallops on a bed of fennel slaw and blood orange, a dish of cinnamon top mushrooms in wine butter on toast with a soft-boiled egg, and carne asada, an amazing steak dish that included guacamole, blistered piquillo peppers and queso cheese. It was amazing to experience the pairings and compatibility of the dishes with the wine. It was also great to learn the techniques of properly enjoying and tasting a glass of wine to get the full experience.
Some fun facts:
-OPEN Wine is the best-selling VQA Wine at the LCBO
-They recently decided to ‘re-focus’ and target themselves to people who don’t want wine to ‘be snobby’-Matt Basile, chef & owner of Fidel Gastro’s & Lisa Marie, is untrained in the culinary field