It’s a beautiful early summer day. You’re enjoying the breeze off of the water, the sun warms your face as you close your eyes, head tilted toward the sky, and breathe deeply. With your toes in the sand you take a sip of your fresh strawberry daiquiri. Your friends laugh and tell you that if you relax any more you’ll probably fall asleep. You agree. You’re not at the cottage, or on holiday in the tropics, you’re at Sugar Beach on Toronto’s waterfront at the city’s first outdoor Wine & Spirit Festival.
Rolling into its eighth year, this hidden gem of a downtown festival ticks all the boxes when it comes to a great time. Beautiful surroundings…check. Family-friendly environment (Sugar Beach is a City park)…check. Fun, interactive seminars…check. Delicious local food options…check. And an impressive selection of some of the finest local and international wine, spirits, craft beer and cider. Check!
While the Wine & Spirit Festival boasts a beautiful locale and enough fun activities to keep you occupied all day, it’s about more than that. It’s about discovering your next favourite Ontario wine, or trying innovative products that are so new they aren’t even in stores yet; or being able to judge one of the entertaining and informative cocktail or culinary competitions in the Wine & Spirit School. And if you just want to sit on the beach and check out some great local musicians on the main stage, that’s okay too. It’s all about relaxing and seeing where the day takes you.
No one can plan your day for you, but we can definitely try and make sure you see a bit of everything!
Here are the top five things to check out at the Wine & Spirit Festival:
1. Be a judge in the annual Hogtown Smackdown or Cocktail Cage Match. When a competition happens in the Wine & Spirit School, it’s YOU who gets to choose the winner!
2. Relax in the Whisky & Cigar Lounge. This area, presented by 40 Creek Whisky and Mombacho Cigars, could possibly be the last (not to mention the most beautiful) public space you can enjoy a cigar with your whisky.
3. Spend some time on a Muskoka chair with a drink in hand and your toes in the sand checking out some of Toronto’s finest musical talent on the main stage as the sun sets over the lake.
4. Stop by Scottie’s Strawberry Social. Festival co-founder, Scott Rondeau, is a party-planning machine! It began well before he started Toronto’s Festival of Beer in 1996. Scott says, “While I was in college I started an annual blender party to celebrate the kick-off to strawberry season and the first day of summer. I called it Scottie’s Strawberry Social. So when we started the Wine & Spirit Festival it just seemed like a no-brainer to bring the party to the event.” Twenty-five years later and the booth is a main attraction at the festival.
5. Discover your new favourite wine, craft brew, cider or cooler in the ‘Introducing…’ area. Some of the products being sampled here haven’t even been released into stores yet. You could be the very first to try them. Maybe it’s a Gin Smash cocktail, maybe it’s a Riesling, maybe it’s a craft root beer. Whatever it is, it’s new and delicious… and we’ve got it ready to drink just for you!
So, what are you waiting for? It only happens once a year, June 16, 17 and 18, and this is the year you should be there! Tickets are available for this year’s Festival at wineandspiritfestval.ca
This is a sponsored post, which means it was paid for by our advertising partners. Learn more about Drink Inc. here.