As the chef sommelier of the Prince of Wales Hotel since 1978, Fred Gamula has assembled a wine cellar with more than 4,000 bottles. At the hotel’s Escabèche restaurant, Gamula expertly pairs wines to accompany each meal to heighten the flavour of both the food and the wine. Though he has sampled wines from around the world, Ontario wines remain his favourite. Here, Gamula gives WHERE Toronto readers his top picks for local vintages that best enhance whatever you cook up at home.
Chicken: “Inniskillin Reserve Chardonnay, oaked or non-oaked would work nicely.”
Steak “Any Cabernet blends will work well; some I would suggest are the Château des Charmes’ Equuleus 2002 or Reif Estate Winery’s Meritage.”
Pork “Cave Spring’s Riesling Off Dry 2005 or a Henry of Pelham 2004—guests seem to really enjoy this pairing.”
Lobster “Any kind of Riesling would pair well with seafood, such as a Flat Rock Cellars Twisted 2004 (a blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Chardonnay).”
Pasta “Rieslings work well with cream-based sauces, such as the Cave Spring Reserve or Reif Estate’s Chardonnay Reserve.”
Fruit and cheese “The perfect wine to complement a beautiful fruit and cheese platter is the Château des Charmes Late Harvest Riesling 2005. With blue-vein cheeses, ice wines make a perfect pairing, like the Henry of Pelham Riesling.”
Chocolate cake “It is difficult to match wines with chocolate, but one that does complement a rich chocolate cake is the Henry of Pelham Baco Noir Reserve 2004.”
Cheesecake “The flavour comes into play here, but the Cave Spring Dry Riesling makes a nice pairing.”
TIP! Looking for a good vintage? Sommelier Fred Gamula recommends Henry of Peham’s Cabernet Merlot, Unfiltered 2002.
A wine-themed getaway to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Vine Time.
Where to enjoy a centuries-old tradition, afternoon tea in Three for Tea.
Web Exclusive! From a wine route to a beer route: check out The Art of the Brew.—Linda Luong