About a year ago when Thomas Bachelder released his three 2009 Chardonnays we put one of each away, intending to open them about a year later with our friends Kaylea & Matt.

Last night we opened them, and we called it Bachelderannalia.

We actually started off with a 2008 Benjamin Bridge sparkling rosé. Well, the girls did; Matt and I had beer. Both went with the different cheeses we’d picked up — a cloth-bound cheddar, a triple creme, and something American that tasted like espresso. But then it was time to get into the main event.

We tried each one, made our notes, guessed at which was which, and picked our favourites. In the end, both Kaylea and I picked the three wines correctly. While we disagreed somewhat, the Niagara chard was collectively declared the favourite.

While we finished off the bottles, Matt cooked up a bunch of his homemade sausage, all of which was fucking delicious. We drank Tawse Members Select Chardonnay and Five Rows Pinot Noir, and an ill-advised bottle of Marynissen Cab Franc. The evening ended abruptly when Nellie yelled “Danger!” and stalked off to bed.

It was a fun night, an interesting lesson in terroir, and a perfectly good excuse to eat a huge pile of sausage. Success!

"It's pronounced verst."

 After a very long week, Nellie and I wanted some place to relax, drink a few good pints of beer, and eat some great food. I convinced her that we should take a chance on Wvrst (ratebeer), a place on King West I’ve been wanting to try for a while.

And man, did it pay off. We had a great night. We’re already anxious to go back.

Here’s why we liked it so much:

  1. The space is pretty different: it was a giant beer hall with communal tables, somewhat smaller tables along the side, a long bar, and a kitchen on the south wall. We chose to sit at the bar; everything else seemed to be reserved.
  2. The atmosphere was pretty unlike what I’d expect to find at a newish place on King West. Read: not at all douchey. It was a very young crowd, but there were no popped collars or sunglasses on backs of necks. These, we would discover later, were unofficial house rules of the place. Which made us like it more.
  3. The house speciality, as the name suggests, was sausage. Many, many kinds of sausage. I went basic with a calabrese, but can’t wait to try some of the more advanced options like venison or wild boar or kangaroo. You could also choose whether to eat the sausage on a bun or in a tomato curry sauce; I chose the latter. Nellie, meanwhile, had a pile of Belgian-style fries with chipotle and maple/rosemary dipping sauces. I ended up eating a lot of those too.
  4. The beer selection was very solid indeed. I had a Dieu du Ciel Route des Epices, a Black Oak nut brown, a Central City Red Racer, and a Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel. Nellie had equally tasty selections. While we both steered toward Canadian offerings, they had some interesting international bottles on offer as well. Definitely worth some return visits.

Throughout the course of the evening we ended up meeting the manager Bram, who gave us a couple of samples and introduced us to Justin from the Beer Academy. Twitter: helping tipsy introverts meet each other since 2009.

If I weren’t still full of turkey (MLK and CBGB had us over last night; we ate their food and they drank our wine…the perfect symbiotic relationship!) I’d be there right now.