Wine And Cheese Show kicks off this weekend

Attendees will get to taste Ivanhoe cheeses, above, and Black Fly coolers.


Want to know where you can drink and eat this weekend for less than the cost of a pack of 24? The Toronto Wine And Cheese Show, which starts tomorrow and features more than 100 exhibitors, is inviting the city to sample the finest wines and cheeses the world has to offer.

One of the exhibitors is a two-year-old company called Black Fly, a micro-distillery in London, Ont., which is owned by husband and wife Rob Kelly and Cathy Siskind-Kelly.

The company makes vodka coolers and gets its name from the notorious insect known to terrorize cottagers up north. “We thought we’d give the black fly a good name,” says Siskind-Kelly, who says they named the drink after the bug because it leaves a lasting bite despite its size. The Kellys will be at the show handing out samples of Black Currant Wild Blueberry and Cranberry Blueberry.

Siskind-Kelly says what that makes Black Fly unique is the taste of real berries, despite its low-sugar content. “People who don’t usually drink coolers like this,” she says.

Along with being able to taste some of the finest wines from Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Canada — and the chance to win a trip to France — attendees will be able to learn how to pair, present and store cheese.

Ivanhoe Cheese, which was founded in Canada in 1870, will be at the show handing out samples of four of their most exotic cheeses.

Another food making an appearance will sweeten the palate. “Chocolate is one of the hidden secrets that go beautifully with wine,” says Marti Milks, Wine And Cheese Show manager. Five chocolate companies, including Hershey, will also be handing out goodies.

But if you’re still wondering about that case of 24, don’t worry: Milks says there will be “mighty fine beers.”

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