Some of my best days ever have included cheese and wine and I am glad I can now add my evening at a TOCA Cheese Cave Event to this list.
Lead by power trio Head Chef Jitin Gaba, General Manager Peter Muir and resident Sommelier Lorie O’Sullivan, the event series will take place over one month, starting on December 5th, and will feature various cheese themed evenings. GREAT.
On my arrival to the Cheese Cave (I am still not over the fact that these guys have a CHEESE CAVE by the way) I was greeted with bubbles and smiles as well as delicious little cheese burger sliders. Yum.
Eventually sitting at a table with a plethora of cheese before me, we began our cheese and wine pairing adventure.
Handed handy little cheese note books so we could document our thoughts and cheese based musings, we started with a young cape vessey, a delicious goats cheese from Prince Edward Island. Salty and fabulous, I am told this cheese is made just 48 hours after the contributing goat is milked. OH and the cranberry tones of the Malivoire wine went nicely!
Next up we had a Lancaster cheese, made in Ontario from a family of Dutch descendants. This hardish cheese was my favourite of the evening and carried fruity and caramelly undertones. This went perfectly with our glass of TOCA Chardonnay (which we were also lucky enough to be able to take home in bottled form.)
The third cheese of the evening was an Avonlea Cheddar of Scottish descendancy but made in Canada with milk from Prince Edward Island cows. This cheese has won the Canadian Pick 1st prize on three separate occasions and deservingly so. The Cabernet Francs sweet flavour complimented the robust and earthy cheese plus I found a little dab of jam also went well with the cheddar.
Next came a TOCA Pinot Noir with a nibble on a 1608 cheese from Québec. This was another cow’s milk glory that to me tasted sweet, zesty and creamy at the same time. Hurrah.
Finally, we tried a mystery cheese and wine pairing, which we eventually identified as a Testunde Borolo, a cheese wrapped in the sediment of Borolo wine. Whilst this cheese as STRONG, its wine wrap made it pretty exciting!
Whilst we were on our cheese adventure, chef Jitin Gaba whipped up a paneer. In under two hours he was able to produce some pretty tasty soft cheese, so clearly he is some kind of godlike cheese genius.
Cheese is undoubtedly one of the greatest and tastiest inventions, and I am so sad that a good piece costs a small fortune here in Toronto. Luckily the Cheese Cave Event Series isn’t insanely expensive and you get a good amount of bang (cheese) for your buck. These upcoming cheese events in Toronto cost $45 and include:
Canada’s Award Winning Cheese Experience – Saturday, December 5th at 3pm – 4.30pm
Winter Retreat Cheese Tasting Experience- Saturday, January 9th 3pm to 4.30pm (this one is exceptionally exciting as it pairs cheese fondue with scotch whiskey)
International Cheese & Craft Beer Tasting Experience – Saturday March 5th 3pm – 4.30pm.
My advice is: go. I’ll see you there!
For further information on these cheese events in Toronto, visit www.tocarestaurant.com. For reservations, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-572-8008.