Wine, Beer, Oktoberfest in Toronto, & Lots of Chocolate! Food & Drink Highlights for the Month of October!

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I’ve busted out my pumpkin spice loose leaf tea, I’ve eaten three different apple cupcakes from three different cupcakeries over the last 2 weeks and I’ve already started my fall season baking with some yummy butterscotch pecan cookie bars – it’s fall and I’m loving it!  October is such a fun month.  It’s fall, there’s Thanksgiving for us Canadians, harvest festivals, and jubiliant Halloween celebrations where candy and sweets abound.  I’m so excited to officially start the Fall Harvest Series again, and this time around I’ll be featuring butternut squash dishes and hopefully more soups, stews, and chili in addition to new pumpkin, apple, and pecan items.  I’m working on the next Cupcake Connection post (pumpkin edition!) as well as a comprehensive Thanksgiving post with a list of places that are featuring special Thanksgiving menus and/or dishes for the long weekend.  Bring on the turkey!  And if you are vegetarian or vegan, bring on the non-turkey and awesome veggies!

Not only does the month of October bring in a bounty of fall vegetables like squash, pumpkin, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and plenty of kale, it apparently features a whopping amount of beer, wine, and chocolate this year!  For those of you who love the brews and booze, there are so many events that put happy hour to shame!  During the month of October, we have the Annual Chilean Wine Festival tomorrow at the ROM, Toronto Oktoberfest on October 4th & 5th at St. Lawrence Market, Alexander Keith’s Birthday Festival at Evergreen Brick Works on the 5th in the evening, Oktoberfest beer and cheese tasting at Black Creek Pioneer Village on October 11,  Whisky Live Toronto on October 12, The Stop Community Food Centre’s Beer Garden on October 14, wine and cheese tasting with Rosewood Estates at Le Dolci on the 25th, and even a wine and beer canning and preserving workshop at The Depanneur on the 24th!

I don’t drink at all (with the exception of the dry apple cider wine I had at City Cider two weekends ago!), so these events are all for you guys!  I think it’s amazing how there are so many tastings and trade shows to showcase the local and global wine, beer, and spirits industry.  I may not engage in drinking culture, but it’s fascinating nevertheless and I know there are many foodies who take their alcoholic beverages very seriously, so if there was any month to jump with both feet, October it the one to do it!

October also welcomes back the return of the Toronto Chocolate Festival!  For 3 glorious weeks starting from October 13th, the city will be transformed into one decadent ball of rich chocolate joy.  There are so, so many events that go on during this festival including a chocolate ball gala, chocolate afternoon high tea, the luxury chocolate show, and ChocoliciousChocolicious is the fun city-wide  promotion that brings bakeries, patisseries, and chocolatiers together by way of the Chocolate Passport, your ticket to chocolate bliss with discounts, promotions, and coupons to use during the duration of the festival!

I cannot wait to attend another chocolate high tea because the first one I did almost 2 years ago at Windsor Arms Hotel was so much fun and such a wonderful experience.  I had never attended an afternoon tea before so I thought going to one during the Chocolate Festival would be a great place to start and boy was it ever fantastic!  This year, the King Edward Hotel on King Street East will be hosting the Chocolate Festival’s chocolate high tea and I’m really looking forward to it because I’ve never even been inside the hotel much less for a tea!  On top of that, I am going to make it my mission to go to the luxury chocolate show in November at Roy Thomson Hall as I didn’t go last year.  A whole show, dedicated to chocolate!  I love vanilla and chocolate equally (yes, it is possible not to have a favourite!), but not going to this show would be just as bad as my not attending the Baking & Sweets Show which, by the way, I haven’t, so this will sort of make up for it!

For the month of October I’ve also compiled a LOT more cooking classes and workshops.  I was really disappointed in how little I was able to put together for you guys over the last few months.  I’m not going to lie, I am busier than I’ve ever been and I’m pushing myself harder to do more, so I’m happy that I was at least able to put together a good calendar of cooking classes and workshops for you all this month.  Mind you, it’s not complete (it never is!) and there will be more added in the next few days to both the cooking classes page and the main Food Calendar, but I’m happy with what I have out right now.  And I’m especially excited about some of the classes that are happening this month!  I’m totally contemplating taking Le Dolci’s brand new croissant making class as part of Lisa’s new bread making class series!

And finally, don’t forget that Veggielicious is still going on until the end of the weekend!  I’ll be doing mine at the end of the week so I hope everyone who has taken advantage of the Veggielicious specials has enjoyed what they’ve ate so far!  This is going to be a great month with a lot of new and exciting things, both event-wise in the city and on the blog (read: working on a new layout and fresh new look!), so I hope everyone has a lot to look forward to for the rest of the month!

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