Chocolate Tales offers artisan chocolate-making classes to entertain and amaze chocolate enthusiasts at its headquarters or on-location at bridal showers, birthday parties, and corporate events. The 90-minute cocoa fest is led by a master chocolatier who will start the adventure with a brief history of chocolate from bean to bar, including seven chocolate tastings along the way—helping teach how to discern good chocolate from bad chocolate or deceptive mud pies. Next, participants learn to engineer a variety of specialty Belgian chocolates, mini chocolate bars, decorated bonbons, and Roman chocqueducts. After learning basic cocoa-wielding techniques, sweet-toothed students make truffles and chocolate fondant (chocolate soufflé) before dipping giant marshmallows into molten chocolate until one of them spills its gooey secrets. Chocolate Tales only uses high-grade Belgian chocolate in its workshops, so sophisticated taste buds need not attempt another mouth filibuster. At the evening’s close, participants are sent home with their own creations wrapped in ribbon-tied parcels, their minds a-flutter with holiday gift ideas and their bellies plotting a stealthy dessert heist. The following class times are currently available:
Wineries are often found far down country roads, shrouded by the curling tendrils of their vineyards. At The Wine Garden, though, the entire winemaking experience can be had without setting foot outside of the city.
Yeast bubbles busily in stainless-steel fermentation vessels, transforming the juices of grapes from fertile regions of Chile, Argentina, and California. The fermentation process yields wines that range from crisp chardonnay to heady cabernet franc, the progenitor of cabernet sauvignon, and oak barrels bestow some of the elixirs with a rich maze of tannins. Fruit wines made with peaches, cranberries, or strawberries make refreshing summertime drinks and help work friends mingle with hummingbird friends at parties. Patrons play a major role in the entire process, selecting grapes and siphoning finished wine into bottles. The Wine Garden's gourmets also brew craft beers and stock hot sauces with humourous names such as Blair's Chipotle Death Rain.
Erie Meats packages wholesale meats of all kinds into tidy parcels ready to cook at home or at local restaurants. Chicken nuggets, individually seasoned frozen chicken breasts, and strips from Watson Ridge join an inventory of Harvest Creek–brand super crunch hot dogs. The Mississauga shop also stocks food-service-ready kilograms of extra-lean ground turkey and boneless chicken bites.
Alicia's Fine Foods stands proud as a playground for the inventive European, stocking fresh organic fare and imported European products. A 45-foot counter of cold cuts and cheeses, more than 100 varieties of jams and condiments, and fresh specialty breads play nice within Alicia's imported emporium, along with fresh store-made pierogies, soups, and more. Explore the aisles with a sense of adventure more moving than an Indiana Jones wind-up doll, stopping to inspect this month's specials, such as Diane fine Belgian truffles ($4.99 for 200g), Krakus sauerkraut ($2.29 for 796ml), and German eierspatzle ($1.99 for 500g). Organic bison ($7.99 per lb) and country ham ($4.99 per lb) coo sweetly over to the bread selection ($3.29–$3.49), uttering fantasies of a better life together, and more than 20 varieties of organic tea ($2–$5) supplement any meal with a thorough gastro-warming.
Purchasers of this Groupon can also use it toward The Gourmet Emporium's lengthy wine list and luscious libations. Housed in a restored bank building, The Gourmet Emporium offers an architecturally appealing interior for dining or late-night dancing. Live music is often found cruising the crowd, and themed nights spicy up the week, such as Latin night on Thursday, when guests dressed in sweater vests bring resurrected textbooks of the long-dead language. Free parking is available.
At The Wine Place, would-be vintners can mix and bottle their own reds or whites using varietals from around the world. Visitors can choose a vino-to-be from a selection of wine kits derived from grapes grown in such locales as South Africa, South America, California, Italy, and the mythical land of Shangri-La. Once guests have decided on a variety for their batch—including cabernet sauvignon, syrah, pinot gris, and more—friendly, knowledgeable staff members help pour nascent libations into a large jug, mix in crucial ingredients, and stir.