When someone offers you free wine, you take it, right? What if the citys best empanadas are included in that
price? Are you sold yet? OK, okay.. last chance. How about if this free wine tasting / flaky puff pastry heaven is hosted at the most authentic Argentinian restaurant in the city? It’s time to RSVP.
Well, it’s actually too late to RSVP (sorry), but at least I can share my experience with you! This past month I had the chance to drink copious amounts of a new vino by wine maker Silvia Corti called Esquinas De Argento. You’d think this was the best part of my evening, but as with all things fun, it only gets better!
The wine flowed heavily while a delicious bite sized selection of golden brown empanadas, spinach puffs, chorizo on toast and mini caramel flans helped soak up the drink. A live DJ and singer provided some killer ear candy and the venue, EL ALMACEN, proved to be one of the most endearing spots i’ve ever been in the city.
El Almacen is an adorably-sized cafe and snack bar on Queen West with an original front facade and inviting aesthetic inside and out. The coolest part for me, however, was the maté experience I was instantly drawn to taking part in.
If you don’t know what maté is, you NEED to check this place out. You know how in those super white tea shops (David’s tea) they sell these awkwardly ‘new-age’ versions of a gourd cup thing with a metal straw that none of the employee’s know the history of? Well, this device is a hollowed calabash gourd used in the South American tradition of drinking maté. The straw, usually called a bombilla, is used to sip caffeine- rich steeped yerba leaves, usually leaving the sipper with a one-of-a-kind experience similar to a hookah- high.
El Almacen provides this authentic experiences sans David and his uneducated tea paraphernalia, and it’s time for you to indulge. The owner of the spot talks you through the whole steeping process, and ensures you follow the proper sipping instructions that South Americans have been practicing for decades.
I went for the wine, I stayed for the venue … and the wine. Snaps to you #EsquinasTO 🙂
PS. the wine was delicious and can be found in LCBO’s now!