Reasons to Love Toronto 2014: #22. Because Boutique Wine is at Farmers’ Markets
For all the noise around transit expansion and cancelled gas plants in the past year, Queen’s Park did us one solid: they brought wine to our farmers’ markets. This summer, on your weekly run for heritage-breed pork tenderloin and plump raspberries still wet with dew, you can pick up a bottle of Prince Edward County pinot noir or Norfolk County chardonnay from a VQA-designated stall. The newly relaxed liquor laws are part of a $75-million provincial plan to support Ontario grape growers (it also includes subsidizing equipment, launching marketing campaigns and introducing LCBO boutiques into two Toronto grocery stores by year’s end). Connecting small-scale producers with locavore consumers is a clear win, but more importantly, shopping at our booze-friendly markets now feels a little more like a traipse through Les Halles. Why shouldn’t we be able to buy a silky red to go with that wedge of stinky blue? And if Kathleen Wynne took the next step—introducing legislation that allows us to uncork that bottle in a neighbouring park—we’d be well on our way to picnicking like adults.