On Wednesday I was invited to an evening of oyster and wine education at the iYellow Wine Club with Stoneleigh wines. iYellow has invited me to two other events of theirs this year and each time I was so excited to go, and then something came up and I unfortunately had to cancel. So this time, that was it. I was going and nothing was going to stop me. I’m really grateful they even invited me again because I thought I had blown it by cancelling the first two times. But third time’s a charm and all that, so I made it out there. Thank you for the invite iYellow!!!
That is the entrance to the iYellow Wine Club, aka the wine cave. You enter from an alley way behind Queen West, and I felt like getting there was an adventure all on its own. Now, let me tell you about the iYellow Wine Club, because it’s kind of super awesome. It is a wine social club that is free to join and hosts monthly wine-related events (tastings, tours, classes, etc.) where you can meet and mingle with fellow winos in Toronto. It’s a pretty great idea.
The club meets in the wine cave, a dimly lit cellar that has a very cozy and relaxed feel to it. It reminded me of a man cave…but BETTER because it’s a WINE CAVE.
I loved all the quirky decorations. It was a really cool space to explore.
I brought my good pal Catherine/CathRON as my +1, and we were both excited to drink all the Stoneleigh wine!
The event was called the Sip and Shuck because in addition to sipping wine, we were learning how to shuck oysters.
I was fully intrigued about this. I can’t remember ever trying oysters before, so I was pretty excited to get my hands dirty.
Metaphorically speaking, since I was wearing gloves.
I was not a natural at shucking oysters. Not at all. The girl who was instructing us told us we had to be “firm yet gentle” which is certainly not my strong suit.
Plus it was dinner time and I was ready to eat my hand at this point so I just wanted to get it open and eat some damn oysters already. So I may have been a bit impatient. And I may have broken the shell.
I actually may have broken the shell three times… And the instructor may have told me that I needed to stop being so impatient…
So it wasn’t pretty but I eventually got that pesky shell off and was ready to enjoy my oyster.
With my blazer removed since I was all hot and bothered by that point from the effort it took me to open the silly thing. The oyster shucking did look really easy once you got the hang of it though, and I’m sure most people did not have the same problems that I did. But I ate that oyster and that’s all that matters!
The hosts were actually continually shucking the oysters all night long so there was an unlimited supply of pre-shucked ones around as well. I ate several of them throughout the evening, and I will just say that there is no graceful way to eat an oyster. I felt realllly awkward doing it and tended to end up with oyster all over my face, and one time I even cut my lip on the shell. But I thought they were delicious so I soldiered on.
There were also two cheese tables, so that is where Catherine and I hung out most of the time. We took to alternating between the two cheese tables so people wouldn’t notice our presence at one for too long.
We bonded with a lovely couple at this cheese table because there were limited utensils to dig into the cheese over there (the good cheese knives were at the other table), so the four of us kind of ended up just mangling all the cheese. That would be the before picture, and I wish I took an after because it looked like we had just been eating all the cheese with our hands (we were not). I thought we did the best we could with the tools we had.
And the wine! Ohh the wine. I love Stoneleigh wine, and there were samples of sauvignon blanc and pinot noir going around the wine cave.
Catherine and I used the same approach for the wine as we did for the cheese, alternating between the two wine stations so we wouldn’t draw attention to ourselves and the fact that we were drinking all the wine (though we were obviously encouraged to drink the wine). We started with a glass of sauvignon blanc (which pairs perfectly with oysters, by the way) and chatted about the wine with the woman serving it…and then we made our way over to the red station for a glass of pinot noir. Then back over to the white, and then back over to the red. Repeat.
Less bitchy than that though. We tried all four wines and then went back for seconds. They were all fantastic, but my favourite was the more expensive pinot noir.
And if you’re in the city and you like wine, check out the iYellow Wine Club!
Have a great long weekend!!!