Grappa in Toronto?

That and Much More!

On a recent jaunt to Toronto I had an amazing meal. The perfect end to this feast, of course, was Grappa.

We arrived at restaurant Canoe early, wanting to enjoy cocktails-with-a-view from the 54th-floor bar. The views of downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario were hypnotizing as we watched day turn to night. Our drinks were perfect.

We were lucky indeed to have the same view of nighttime Toronto for dinner. We chose the “Expo 67” retro-themed tasting menu with wine pairings. The meal was amazing, but the wine pairings were stunning. Without getting off track, I just want to say that the Weingut Schloss Gobelsburg Kamptal Grüner Veltliner blew me away, I had never before tasted such a rich Grüner. Much respect to Sommelier Billy Woon.

Sommelier Billy (that’s him in the picture) also has a small, but well-curated Grappa section which paired very nicely with desserts.

The three Grappas were all from Distilleria Marzadro (a distillery in Nogaredo, just south of Trento) that The Grappa Guy visited in Summer 2018. All three Grappas were immediately recognized from our visit, and two had been tasted, each offering a unique flavor profile. The third one was a chamomile-infused Grappa and had not been tasted – the Grappa Guy shies away from herb-infused Grappas, preferring to let the expression of the grape speak for itself.

Le Diciotto Lune” (the 18 moons, how long the Grappa is aged) Is composed of 5 grapes: Marzemino; Teroldego; Merlot; Moscato; and Chardonnay. It is then aged in barrels of 4 different woods: Cherry; Ash; Oak; and Robinia. This is a well thought out blend that delivered complex yet smooth flavors on the palate, perfect for dessert.

Anfora”, named for the Tuscan terracotta amphoras it is aged in is distilled from the vinace (pomace) of 6 grapes: Teroldego; Marzemino; Merlot; Chardonnay; Müller Thurgau; and Moscato. This is an experimental Grappa from Marzadro, the terracotta accelerating the ageing process because of it’s higher oxygenation rate, but it has no wood influences on the palate. In the future I want to try this with a citrus-based dessert, something I think it would stand up nicely to.

Needless to say, our visit to Canoe was a smashing success: not only because of the inspired cuisine of Chefs John Horne and Ron McKinlay; not only because of the amazing views; not only because of the wines and Grappas curated and poured by Sommelier Billy; not only because of the expert service by Godwin; not only because of the star treatment afforded every guest by the staff; but because of the total experience, brought together in a synergy of all these elements.

The night was stellar, and you can bet that when I return to Toronto, I will be dining at Canoe. And ordering Grappa, of course!

Salut! — at Canoe.

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