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Pair It Forward

We’re introducing a new province-wide initiative we call “Pair It Forward,” which is designed to help rebuild our industry by celebrating Ontario’s spectacular food and beverage makers. This month, we've asked local wineries, brewers and distillers to Pair It Forward and share their favourite pairings for their products, while shining a spotlight on local farmers, growers, makers, and bars and restaurants throughout the province.

You can support and celebrate local too. Follow us on social media to get inspired by the ways Ontario businesses Pair It Forward and to share your own favourite local pairings. #PairItForward


Pair It Forward in the GTA

Barchef Project

Barchef Project

Co-created by renowned mixologist Frankie Solarik, Toronto’s BarChef produces all of its infusions, syrups and bitters in-house to craft the ultimate cocktails with the freshest ingredients. Those winning flavours are also available bottled in ready-made craft cocktails, like BarChef Project’s Toasted Old Fashioned.

Barchef Project Pairs It Forward to Nugateau Patisserie.

Nugateau Patisserie

Nugateau Patisserie

Canada’s first all-eclair patisserie, Nugateau on Queen West uses authentic French baking techniques and high-quality products with no artificial flavourings. From eclairs to macarons, its stunning assortment of decadent sweets is handcrafted in a rainbow of delicious flavours.  

Nugateau Patisserie Pairs It Forward to Chocollata Gourmet Inc.

Chocollata Gourmet Inc.

Chocollata Gourmet Inc.

Chocollata in the Upper Beaches introduced gourmet brigadeiros (Brazilian fudge balls) to Toronto in 2018. Featuring a range of flavours, from pistachio to dulce de leche to ruby passion fruit, custom boxes of these sweet treats are available in-store and online.

Chocollata Pairs It Forward to Lighthouse 971.

Lighthouse 971

Lighthouse 971

A casual eatery in the Upper Beaches, Lighthouse 971 serves up homestyle comfort foods, from beer-battered fish and chips to jambalaya and other signature dishes, including Maple Balsamic Glazed Salmon and Vegan Coconut Curry Udon.


Pair It Forward Ontario-Wide

Kinsip House of Fine Spirits

Kinsip House of Fine Spirits

At this old-school farm-based distillery in Bloomfield, Kinsip’s distiller Maria Hristova ferments, distills and ages all of Kinsip’s spirits on-site, using local raw ingredients, including the farm’s own wheat, corn, barley and rye, and local lavender and hops, to create  offerings like their Maple Whisky.

Kinsip Pairs It Forward to Centre & Main Chocolate Co.

Centre & Main Chocolate Co.

Centre & Main Chocolate Co.

Located at the corner of Centre and Main streets in Warkworth, this award-winning artisanal chocolatier handcrafts its upscale creations in small batches, blending the finest ethically sourced chocolate from around the world with locally produced ingredients in unique flavours, like Maple Glazed Cocoa.

Centre & Main Pairs It Forward to Four All Ice Cream.

Four All Ice Cream

Four All Ice Cream

Honey Ginger, Peach Pie, Salted Caramel Swirl: these are just a few of the enticing flavours at Kitchener’s Four All, which makes its ice cream using all-natural, locally sourced ingredients, like milk from a nearby farm. Its magical creations include vegan, dairy-free and foodie flavours with interesting culinary combinations, like whisky, caramel and spiced pecans.

Four All Pairs It Forward to AO Pasta.

AO Pasta

AO Pasta

Located in downtown Stratford, AO Pasta is a casual, family-friendly Italian pasta bar run by a team that earned its chops at some of Toronto’s best restaurants. The menu features simple Italian dishes, made-to-order sauces and cheerful wines.


Local Bartenders Pair It Forward

Alex Pearce

"Ontario rye gets a boost of spice with sumac, while the fresh sage adds an herbal element to the pleasingly bitter Ontario IPA used to lengthen this fall drink."

Alex Pearce,
Toronto

Christina Veira, Toronto

"This playful Mule-meets-punch showcases Ontario plums and grapes complemented by the allspice notes in the rye."

Christina Veira,
Toronto

Maleeha Ghani, Kingston

“Canadian whisky and Ontario red wine make an excellent match in this fall-inspired riff on sangria.”

Maleeha Ghani,
Kingston

Meghan Krys, Thunder Bay

"Fresh pear juice and a touch of local wildflower honey are the stars of this fall whisky cocktail."

Meghan Krys,
Thunder Bay


Pair It Forward in Niagara

13th Street Winery

13th Street Winery

A family-owned business with three generations of expertise, 13th Street Winery crafts wines that reflect the unique terroir of Niagara on its 60-acre vineyard in St. Catharines. It also shines a spotlight on Canadian talent, with its permanent exhibit of outdoor sculptures and collection of contemporary and historical art, available for viewing and purchase.

13th Street Winery Pairs It Forward to Con Gusto.

Con Gusto

Con Gusto

Con Gusto is Italian for “in good taste.” And for this family-owned bakery in St. Catharines, that means using the highest quality ingredients, from the best butter to the finest flour, in its artisanal breads and pastries. They make everything from scratch using centuries-old methods that take more time but pay off in authentic flavours.

Con Gusto Pairs It Forward to In the Smoke.

In the Smoke

In the Smoke

Owner and chef Nathan Young works with local farmers and purveyors to create his “refined yet rustic cuisine” at this St. Catharines cookery. From ribs and brisket to pulled pork and burgers, his smoky dishes are available for pickup or delivery.

In the Smoke Pairs It Forward to OddBar.

OddBar

OddBar

The latest offering from the owners of OddBird, a popular French fusion bistro in St. Catharines with a hip-hop soundtrack, OddBar is a fresh take on Italian food with an early-2000s soundtrack of mainstream punk and rock (think Sum 41, Weezer). The menu here is focused on classic pizza, served by the pie or slice, and craft beer from around the country.


Pair It Forward in Prince Edward County

Rosehall Run Vineyards

Rosehall Run Vineyards

This 150-acre state-of-the-art winery (and former cannery) in Wellington is a pioneer in winemaking in the region. Surrounded by Lake Ontario, the rocky soil, limestone base and dry conditions create the ideal environment for crafting elegant and approachable Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, sparkling wines and innovative varietals.

Rosehall Pairs It Forward to Agrarian Market.

Agrarian Market

Agrarian Market

Located in a red brick house in Picton, this fresh food market and specialty shop is doing its part to support products made in Prince Edward County. It features freshly baked goods, local cheese and charcuterie, coffee beans, preserves and more, including a picnic-basket-packing service for visitors.

Agrarian Market Pairs It Forward to Millefleurs.

Millefleurs

Millefleurs

Nestled on the shores of Lake Ontario, this family-owned farm in Wellington raises honeybees and grows organic lavender to handcraft a range of natural products, including raw honey, lavender-infused tea, dipping oil and sea salts. They also use their herbs and honey in small-batch aromatherapy and personal care products, from essential oils to body butters.

Millefleurs Pairs It Forward to Flame + Smith.

Flame + Smith

Flame + Smith

Bloomfield’s Flame + Smith is a sustainably minded restaurant that specializes in wood-fire cooking with local ingredients. Many of the menu items are cooked over an open flame, on a 60-inch Argentine grill, in a wood-burning oven or on a rotisserie, which imparts incredibly woody flavours.


Pair It Forward in Huron County

MacLean's Ales

MacLean's Ales

While travelling and tending bar around the English countryside in the 1970s, Charles MacLean developed a passion for beer. Back in Hanover, Ont., he became one of the province’s pioneering independent craft brewers and created his signature Pale Ale, inspired by England’s best ales, with a creamy texture and a malty finish.

MacLean's Pairs It Forward to Roy'L Acres Farm.

Roy’L Acres Farm

Roy’L Acres Farm

Organically and sustainably growing produce that is GMO- and pesticide-free is the goal at this 100-acre family-run farm in Grey Highlands. The result: vegetables that taste the way nature intended, with vibrant colours and full flavours. Chefs from local restaurants must agree; they can customize a garden on the farm to suit their menus and have the farmers grow and tend to their organic produce.

Roy’l Acres Farm Pairs It Forward to Monforte Dairy.

Monforte Dairy

Monforte Dairy

A must-try for cheese lovers, Monforte is a premier artisanal cheese company in Stratford known for making delectable products from local goat, sheep and cow milk produced by grass-fed animals. The dairy produces butter, yogurt, curds and a wide selection of cheeses that are sold to local restaurants and markets, and available through the Door-to-Door Dairy Hotline.

Monforte Dairy Pairs It Forward to The Pine.

The Pine

The Pine

Trained in Europe and Asia, Jeremy Austin is bringing flavours from around the globe to his new restaurant in the heritage district of Collingwood. The 16-course tasting menu features Asian-inspired foods crafted with local ingredients, like Hong Kong French Toast made with bread that's baked by a local pastry chef, then deep fried in a wok and drizzled with condensed milk.


More Winemakers Pair It Forward Across Ontario

Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery Niagara-on-the-Lake

Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery
Niagara-on-the-Lake

"For a cheese-and-charcuterie pairing for our Chardonnay, we’d head to the Upper Canada Cheese Company in Jordan, where you’ll find amazing artisanal cheese and meats. We also like the local fruit stands along Jordan Road."

Kin Vineyards Carp

Kin Vineyards
Carp

“We want to tell everyone about Biagio’s Italian Kitchen in Ottawa. They have a great staff and offer plenty of amazing options for pairing with the Civil Grit Chardonnay.”

Bachelder Niagara Beamsville

Bachelder Niagara
Beamsville

“The Les Villages Niagara Gamay Noir goes great with sausage-stuffed jalapeño peppers with lime crema, made with sausage from Niagara Sausage and jalapeños from Johnson Farms in Welland. This pairing was recommended by Michael Olson, and the recipe can be found in his cookbook Living High Off the Hog.”

Megalomaniac/John Howard Cellars Vineland

Megalomaniac/John Howard Cellars
Vineland

“We recommend pairing the Sparkling Personality with an arugula salad with shaved parmesan and Pingue Prosciutto from Niagara Food Specialties.”

Closson Chase Vineyards Hillier

Closson Chase Vineyards
Hillier

“In Picton, Blumen Garden Bistro chef (and owner) Andreas Feller’s signature house-pulled braised rabbit over house-made gnocchi with leeks, oyster mushrooms and lardons, all topped with Reggiano, pairs exceptionally well with the 2017 Pinot.”

Cave Spring Cellars Jordan Station

Cave Spring Cellars
Jordan Station

“We work very closely with Mario Pingue and Niagara Food Specialties. They produce amazing prosciutto, sausages and meats. Mario himself recommends salt-and-pepper sausage on the BBQ for our Cab Franc.”

Pelee Island Winery Kingsville

Pelee Island Winery
Kingsville

“When you’re putting together your meal to go with the Lola Cabernet Franc Rosé, get your meats from the Butcher of Kingsville and your fresh farm produce from Lee & Maria’s.”

 Reif Estate Winery Niagara-on-the-Lake

Reif Estate Winery
Niagara-on-the-Lake

“A perfect pairing for our Icewine is a blue cheese from Thornloe Cheese. They’ve been making cheese for over 70 years. The Devil’s Rock blue is bold enough to stand up to the intensity of the wine.”

Adamo Estate Orangeville

Adamo Estate
Orangeville

“For the Lepp David’s Vineyard Riesling, our sommeliers recommend seacuterie; specifically, organic PEI mussels sourced from the sustainable seafood craft cannery Scout.”

Tawse Winery Vineland

Tawse Winery
Vineland

“The Vermouth pairs with our dessert course of summer berries, mint and lemon curd at our Redstone restaurant. We use strawberries from Tigchelaar Berry Farms, raspberries are from Ohme Farms (both in Vineland), and the mint is from our kitchen garden. For our lemon curd, we use Emerald Grasslands butter sourced through 100km Foods.”

Kew Vineyards Estate Winery Beamsville

Kew Vineyards Estate Winery
Beamsville

“We suggest pairing the Soldier’s Grant with the braised lamb osso buco with porcini mushroom risotto from Just Cooking. The restaurant is right around the corner from the winery, and owner Tim Cherry has been a huge supporter of ours.”

Henry of Pelham Family Estate St. Catherines

Henry of Pelham Family Estate
St. Catherines

“For the Baco Noir, grill a steak seasoned with Barberian’s Steak Seasoning (from the Toronto restaurant) and rest it on a salad with one or two slices of Pingue Prosciutto from Niagara Food Specialties and cubed Nanny Noire goat’s milk cheese from the Upper Canada Cheese Company in Jordan.”


Local Pairings From Vintages September 19 Release

Creekside Estate Winery  Jordan Station

Creekside Estate Winery
Jordan Station

"Our chef Ross Midgley likes VG Meats in Beamsville and uses their charcuterie here at Creekside. You’ll be able to find something wonderful there to pair with our Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir."

Colchester Ridge Estate Winery (CREW) Harrow

Colchester Ridge Estate Winery (CREW)
Harrow

“Our Riesling is a really easy one – it pairs smashingly with Brigid’s Brie from Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese in Woodstock, and Top Shelf Preserves rhubarb-raisin chutney from Ottawa.”

Huff Estates Bloomfield

Huff Estates
Bloomfield

“We want to give a shout out to Fifth Town cheese shop located here in Cressy, Prince Edward County. We use their cheese for our cheese board pairings and charcuterie platters, great options for the Cuvée Janine."

Rosewood Estates Winery Beamsville

Rosewood Estates Winery
Beamsville

“Afrim Pristine at Cheese Boutique in Toronto loves our meads and honey. For the Mead Royale, we often recommend a nice blue cheese or a fresh unripe goat cheese (good local options can be found at Monforte Dairy in Stratford).”


Good Partners Making an Impact

Collective Arts Brewing

Collective Arts Brewing

The Hamilton grassroots brewery created the More charitable initiative to financially assist charities that are in need and working to bring more equality to and improve the well-being of people in our communities.

Dillon's Small-Batch Distillers

Dillon's Small-Batch Distillers

During the COVID-19 crisis, this Beamsville spirits maker distilled, bottled and distributed more than 60,000 bottles of sanitizer free of charge to first responders all across Ontario.

Georgian Bay

Georgian Bay

To help combat COVID-19, Collingwood’s Georgian Bay Spirits Co. connected with over 70 organizations in need across Ontario, including hard-to-reach communities, and donated 25,000 bottles of hand sanitizer.

Megalomaniac

Megalomaniac

The Niagara winery introduced Much Obliged, a wine created to honour our province’s brave health-care workers. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold goes to Food Banks Canada.