London is situated in one of the most agriculturally productive areas of farmland in Ontario, and for over a hundred and fifty years Western Fair has hosted fairs, competitions, sales and other events for farmers, producers and consumers from the surrounding region.
About ten years ago the Agriplex was constructed specifically to host livestock shows and agricultural events in the Western Fair District. Around the same time, Londoners flocked to the first annual Wine & Food Show, a three-day event that celebrates the culinary life of Ontario. This coming January will see a very apt convergence of venue and event, when the 10th Annual Wine& Food Show is held in the newly refurbished Agriplex.
Each successive year the Wine & Food Show has provided more visitors the opportunity to discover and enjoy more food and beverage products, and related businesses and services. The move to the Agriplex will offer a much larger space than the previous location (the combined Progress and Canada buildings). Upgrades to the electrical, heating/ventilation and air-conditioning systems, as well as improved food- and beverage-related facilities will make the new venue more pleasurable for both visitors and exhibitors.
So, what exactly can you expect from this show? Advance tickets are twelve dollars. If you plan to taste (of course you plan to taste!) you’ll get ten sample coupons for ten dollars. (There is a couple’s package available). Exhibitors offer samples for varying numbers of coupons.
Visit individual winemakers, brewers and distillers from across Ontario, as well as agents and international distributors. Check out booths where local and regional restaurateurs, caterers and hotels and inns offer information, as well as food samples from their chefs. Discover artisanal cheeses, chocolates and pastries, organic foods, and locally roasted coffees. If you can think of a food or a beverage that is produced in Southwestern Ontario, you’ll probably find it at the Wine & Food Show — offered by the people who make it, bake it, or brew it, ready and willing to answer your questions.
Have a taste (or a thirst) for knowledge? There are cooking stage presentations by chefs, mixologists and food producers. Take a seat to enjoy the action or get up close so you can be one of the lucky ones to get a sample of the finished dish. There are also demonstrations and sampling sessions for classic wine and cheese and other food pairings and tasting seminars on your favourite beverages: wines and beers, certainly, and perhaps even on bourbon or vodka. (Tasting seminars are free, and popular. So register when you arrive to make sure you have a place.)
And because you’ll be having fun with all this tasting and discovering, you might decide to plan your next day trip, weekend road trip, or extended vacation, with the help of regional tourism or winery association representatives.
The London Wine & Food Show has become one of the premier culinary events for both exhibitors and visitors. Don’t miss this one!
The 10th Anniversary London Wine & Food Show
Western Fair District
900 King Street, London
Thursday, January 15, 5–10:30pm
Friday, January 16, 5–10:30pm
Saturday, January 17, 12 noon–10:30pm
Must be 19+ years to attend.