Sommeliers can sometimes get a bad reputation. Being a demi-god of the decanter wields a great responsibility, and with the pandemic finally lifting, the pressure is on to host, and after 18 months staring at my own four walls your bar better be ready for me! If you’ve been languishing for something spicy beyond the finds at your local LCBO, but feel intimated by the prospect of buying a new wine by the case, then you’re ready for Gargoyle Wine Club.
Coming to terms with your lack of wine education is the first step to admitting you need help. Face it, with quite literally THOUSANDS of wineries creating THOUSANDS of different wines, it’s impossible for novice wine enthusiasts to gain even footing with the pros. That’s why you end up buying the same Cali-Cab again and again, convenience, familiarity and a lack of knowledge. But what if you had an expert on hand? The team behind Gargoyle is just that, a group of seasoned sommeliers that do the digging for you, unearthing wines from around the world to wow your tastebuds, and maybe some actual IRL buds too.
“There’s so many different wines at so many different price points so we’ve come together to help you find great wines that punch above their weightclass and be great value. Wines that you’re going to enjoy and bonus- you’re going to get it delivered right to you.”Scott Zebarth, Co- Founder, Gargoyle Wine Club
The subscription-based service for both whiskey and wine follow a similar format. Orders flow in for monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly deliveries and you have access to the team to tackle any burning questions you have about wine. Planning a party? Call on the pros to help pull it all together, offering suggestions that go beyond the usual Kim Crawfords. Special celebrations or gift-giving for the holidays is a cinch with the right approach. Buying by the case can be a risky investment, you may buy twelve bottles but maybe not want all of the same wine. That’s a risky proposition unless you know what you’re buying.
Pair it like a Pro!
Resident sommelier Yuuji Nagaoka has some advice for those looking for something different to share with friends and family over the holidays.
“Dessert wine is totally underestimated. A Riesling or something from Niagara would pair well with savoury food- a lot of people hesitate but sweet totally goes well with salty food. Sweet red wines or sweet sparkling reds are fun to enjoy and go with many kinds of food. Whatever components in the food if you can find it in the wine it’ll work. A German Riesling that has really strong lime flavours works perfectly with Mexican or Thai food.”Yuuji Nagaoka, Sommelier, Gargoyle Wine Club
A delectable old-world red like this San Lorenzo Di Gino calls for a classic charcuterie board with all the deluxe trimmings. Spicy pork fats and peppery beef play on the charms of this bold wine. Pickles and creamy dijon bring balance to the board. Whites like this citrusy effort from Via Barrosa offer an alternative to your usual Chardonnay. Paired here with turkey, queso fresco and sweet corn, it’s like Thanksgiving dinner all to yourself, which in my case, is sad but true!!
Find out more about Gargoyle Wine Club by checking out their Instagram, or stop by their recently opened bottle shop on Bloor Street West at Shaw. For every bottle sold, GWC is donating a YEAR of water to those in need. Find out more about this amazing partnership with Water.org.
All images by Libby Roach.