Last weekend Quebec City launched their first annual food and wine show. Wine shows can be overwhelming, as there are so many merchants present and each one showcases a wide selection of their products. It usually takes a while to get the feel for the room, see where the crowds are and schmooze the other knowledgeable patrons to find out where the really good stuff is to be found. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of a personalized tour from the show's president, Rene Fontaine who led me to the best of the best. And what a selection there was! One full table of Sauterne, an outstanding collection when you consider that you can find maybe only one or two at any given LCBO outlet. To sample different areas of the region and vintages side by side was like a mini trip to Bordeaux. Aside from an outstanding selection of international wines the show attracted, French Canadians just know how to appreciate wine with food in a really authentic way. Rene had me save a mouth full of the silky Sauterne to enjoy with the Quebec produced mild blue cheese Le Ciel de Charlevoix being sampled a few tables down. As I savoured the blue, along with a few other samples of La Maison d'Affinage Maurice Dufouruer had on display, I spotted some charcuterie that looked like it needed sampling. Rene however would have none of it; "don't you think we need a red," he suggested? Well of course we did! How utterly classless of me to want to scarf down sausage with my Sauterne! So he found us an absolutely delicous and pungently barnyard-y Carbernet Franc that tasted of leather and tobacco, a perfect pair for earthy sausages fragrant with wild mushrooms. My weekend turned out to be a Sauterne extravaganza. The following night I was invited to a Chateau d'Yquem wine pairing dinner at the Chateau Frontenac. For those of you who do not know, Chateau d'Yquem is an auspicious wine produced in Bordeaux that carries a very hefty price tag. It was a truly unique experience to sample complexities of five different vintages side by side. I would definitely recommend a visit to Quebec City to take in the show next year. Admission is a mere $15.00 that includes a tasting glass to take away. It's also at a great time of year to take advantage of a value getaway for a foodie weekend. Via Rail offers first class train travel with excellent service. There's lots to do in the city when you get wined out; fantastic restaurants, skiing close by, sugar shack outings or even dog sledding! If you go to Quebec City check out Restaurant Le Saint Amour on 4 rue Sainte-Ursule for traditional Quebecois fair with an upscale twist - I had a delicious dinner there of Squab, Red Deer and Caribou with a hearty red wine from Spain, and of course a delicious foie gras terrine! Or try Portofino at the corner of Rue Saint-Jean, Rue Couillard, and Côte de la Fabrique for a lively atmosphere. Click here to sign up for Christine's Food for Friends e-newsletter!