Tastings: A “highlight” for wine and food lovers

Written by The Editors



There are wine tasting events and then there is Tastings, an exceptional, black tie fundraiser for London Health Sciences Foundation presented by CIBC Wood Gundy | The Seabrook Financial Group and CIBC.

This annual event always attracts a knowledgeable crowd, including one of the world’s leading wine experts, Canada’s first master sommelier John Szabo – one of only 188 people worldwide to hold the MS credential.

Master Sommelier John Szabo says the annual fundraiser is one of his favourite tastings of the yeay

Master Sommelier John Szabo says the annual fundraiser is one of his favourite tastings of the year

“This is one of my favourite tastings of the year,” says Szabo. “It’s a highlight on the calendar for any wine and food lover.”

According to Szabo, Lifford Wine & Spirits, which each year invites some of the world’s best wine producers to Tastings, has one of the top portfolios in the province. This year they are featuring a number of select vintners from Argentina, Australia, British Columbia, California, Chile, France, Italy and Ontario.

The event’s silent auction includes a table featuring Szabo’s pick of favourites and “hidden gems” from amongst the donated wines. He says London wine collectors are very savvy and, as a result, the quality on the silent auction tables is extremely high.

chefsTastings co-chairs Tod Warner and Kevin Ross say that Tastings’s exceptional guest experience improves each year, and this year is no exception with a new chef coordinator and a new tasting feature.

“We’ve been working with outstanding chefs from some of the best restaurants in the region and they’ve produced a menu that is brilliant and dynamic,” says Ross.

The evening’s bill of fare includes various tasting plates of salmon, duck, lamb, tuna, scallops, boar and more – each designed with mouth-watering accompaniments to pair well with the selected wines. To top it all off, guests can sample decadent pastries, cakes, cheesecakes and fire roasted coffee.

The Scotch tasting which proved popular last year will be returning, and a new olive oil station featuring selections from Jill’s Table and The Pristine Olive Tasting Bar is being added.

“You can even purchase an excellent bottle of olive oil for $25,” Warner explains. “Each bottle is valued at $25 or more and is numbered. One purchaser with the lucky number will receive a rare bottle of oil made from trees that have been bearing fruit from the time of Christopher Columbus.”

Proceeds from the event benefit London Health Sciences Centre’s London Regional Cancer Program, supporting the purchase of advanced genetic sequencing equipment that will help treat cancer patients in a more customized way, faster than before.


If you go: Thursday, May 8 at London Hunt and Country Club. Tickets are $275 pp, in advance. For more information visit

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The Editors