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Evelyn Reid

Apéros Bordeaux Montreal: Wine Meets Food And More Recently, Fashion

By October 24, 2012

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Apéros Bordeaux Montreal is a regular wine tasting event held a few times a year in different Montreal restaurants.Above: José Manuel St. Jacques (far left) and Simon Bélanger, the design duo behind what's fast becoming one of Canada's most promising fashion labels, UNTTLED. Three models showcased some of their 2013 spring/summer designs, a fashion first for Apéros Bordeaux. Coincidentally, their collection was my favorite at the last Montreal Fashion Week. Note enthusiastic response. Photo © Evelyn Reid

So I finally checked out Apéros Bordeaux for the first time last week. For those not in the know, it's a wine tasting event that's been around since May 2011 and pops up a few times a year in different restaurants across Montreal with the express intent of promoting France's Bordeaux region. The October 17 edition was held at Rosalie Club House -- the "club" portion of the upscale Italian restaurant -- and from what I was told, it was a little different from its usual vino sampling format. This time, fashion was added to the mix, with Montreal's UNTTLED under the spotlight, with models roaming the room showcasing some of my favorite pieces from what turned out to be my favorite collection at last September's Montreal Fashion Week. A certain insider birdie told me Apéros Bordeaux might very well repeat the fashion-meets-wine fusion at future editions.

Did I mention there's food too? Host restaurants whip up a trio of dishes, charge a nominal fee and voilà. Fed.*

But here's the kicker. Wine by the glass is only $5 and the initial tasting is free, a prime opportunity to discover anywhere from 5 to 7 different wines readily available in Montreal liquor stores. Naturally, I tried them all, took copious notes and wrote up reviews for my three top choices: one red, one white and one dessert wine. All budget savvy options too, oddly enough, which I had discovered only after the fact when I looked up the prices while prepping the reviews.

By the way, the next Apéros Bordeaux is coming up already, this November 13, 2012. And its host restaurant is none other than Auberge St. Gabriel, home to my favorite charcuterie platter in the city and my favorite bartender in all of Montreal, an illustrious Welsh beauty named Sherry. Or maybe it's Cherie? Either way, she is the kind of veteran professional I wish we had more of in this town. Her welcoming, everyone-is-invited presence, entertaining anecdotes, clever observations and conversational skills are a rare find this side of the pond. Also be on the lookout for chef Eric Gonzales -- he's also at the helm of Montreal's ice restaurant -- who plans on pairing Bordeaux offerings with chocolate-based creations.

*Permission to gripe? The portions left more than enough room in my tummy. A couple of acquaintances chuckled when they saw the size of my focaccia sandwich. It was delicious, mind you.

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