iYellow Wine Club: South Africa Earth Day Taste + Tweet‏


By Megan Stulberg | Photos by Alice Prendergast

You know that dreadful folk song, “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”? If you replace “99” with “14” and “bottles of beer” with “glasses of wine” then you have my Tuesday evening. The iYellow Wine Club is a group based in Toronto that invites its members (and guests) to sample wines from all over the world, and meet and mingle with Toronto’s fellow winos. When I received an invite to attend their “South Africa Taste + Tweet”, I jumped at the chance to spend Earth Day 2014 learning about the growing sustainable wine industry. Hosted at the iYellow wine cave (243 Queen St. W) with an alleyway entrance, the event was hard to find but definitely worth the struggle.

10177992_10154040763845133_1999751232537004367_n 10268256_10153962197655538_1253845594_n

The moment I walked in the door, the coat in my hand was swapped with a glass of Pinot Grigio. Sweet to the taste, this was a great drink to start the night off with. Guests were given markers to label their glasses with in order to avoid confusion. Next up was a Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc. John McFarland recommended that guests pair this wine with a camembert cheese in order to balance the drink’s slight astringency, as this wine is less fruity than most being sampled. I decided to switch over to red at this point, and continued alternating back and forth throughout the night. Apparently this is a no-no — who knew? Ah well, a rookie mistake. Next I sampled Honey Badger Sweet Red 2011, a 95% Shiraz and 5% Pinotage from Western Cape. This wine was by far the sweetest of the night. Perhaps a little too sweet for regular consumption, but perfect if having a small glass with dessert. iYellow Wine Bar used the terms “approachable” and “picnic” to describe the new Inception Pinot Noir. My photographer/self-proclaimed wine connoisseur called this “the soda of wine” due to its easiness to drink and lack of aftertaste. A full-bodied beginner’s wine that should be monitored, due to its 13% alcohol content.

10246517_10154040718730133_7271166615512503329_n 10259654_10153962194215538_927403192_n

About halfway through the evening, a short presentation was given by Oliver Kristen, founder of The Grape Grinder. Oliver described the importance of eco-friendly wine, explaining that Grinder’s goal is to make a better product while encroaching less on the environment — keeping their “ecological footprint” to a minimum. Oliver explained that most South African wines, including Grinder’s, are labelled with a sustainability seal that certifies the wine has been produced sustainably, can be traced back to its exact origin, and confirms that it was bottled in South Africa. Individual bottle seal numbers can be checked online at swsa.co.za. After trying the Grinder Pinotage, I tried another Pinotage made by Cafe Culture. Hints of a smokey mocha were tasted in this; definitely one of my favourites. I was told that it would be paired well with a smoked meat or a pasta dish. Of the Pinotage wines, Grinder tasted smoother and Cafe Culture felt a bit heavier. 1625591_10154040716125133_7813166010512065751_n 10268399_10153962197650538_2126312175_n Next I tried a glass of Roodeberg red, the label describing it as a “classic blend of red varieties”. I found this wine to have a slightly lighter body than the other reds without losing that concentrated rich flavour. Seven glasses done, seven to go! If you’re wondering how I was even still vertical at this point, you’re not alone. Wine #8: The Pavillion Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. iYellow Wine Club used the terms “mellow,” “easy,” and “mineral” to describe it. Fruity and flavourful, my photographer and I both agreed that its aftertaste was strong but sweet, similar in taste and consistency to Bellingham Big Oak Red 2012, which we tried next. At this point I switched back to white, opting for a glass of Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2013. This was not only my personal favourite, but the most popular wine of the night for everybody! The aggressive taste was an overall crowd-pleaser, and I overheard guests describing the wine as “punchy”.


Number 11: a glass of Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012. This wine had a rather bitter taste. I enjoyed it, but its bold aftertaste was a bit too strong for my palette. Number 12: A second variety from The Pavillion: a Chenin Blanc Viognier from 2013. An incredibly dry and crisp wine that I liked very much. At this point in the night, my handwriting had become increasingly problematic. In my scribbles about this wine, I can make out “smells floral and tastes carbonated, so it’s pretty great”. Trust my drunken hand. Number 13: A 2011 Shiraz also from Durbanville Hills. This wine had a definite earthy taste to it, brought out by a variety of spices. Number 14: Place in the Sun Shiraz 2012. The sweet spiciness of this wine made me want to turn it into sangria and serve it alongside heaps of guacamole to all my friends.

Overall, this was a great night! I loved having the opportunity to learn more about the sustainable wine movement. To keep up to date with iYellow Wine Club’s future events, go “like” them on Facebook. Interested in seeing more from the night? Check out anything my fellow guests might have posted while live tweeting with the hashtag #ILoveSAWine.


Poppin’ Bottles of Fresita in the Petite and Sweet lab


Just the other week, I was invited out alongside my Fat Girl Food Squad co-horts to a fun and fabulous evening hosted by Fresita and Petite & Sweet Bakery.

This event was unlike any other event I had ever been to with promises of sweets, treats, some crafting and a lot of Fresita. I had never had the chance to try Fresita before and it was a pink Chilean sparkling wine that was made with hand-picked strawberries. Sound delicious? Well, it was.


I got to share in the evening with some other radical blogger babes like Lisa Jackson (from Eat Drink Travel), Kaitlin Wright (from She Does the City) and Taylor Stinson & Nathalie Sehgal (from the Girls on Bloor) while we walked through the doors of the Petite & Sweet headquarters (who were featured on Food Network’s own SugarStars) and took in the elegant beauty of the sweets table. It had everything from macaroon chairs to Fresita-flavoured marshmallows. It was heaven.


Bottles of Fresita were popped and we sipped and nibbled our way through the evening. The lovely ladies at Petite & Sweet gave hands-on instructions on how to frost our own cupcakes. For me, I had never used a piping bag so this was a whole new experience. For my friend Ashley who tagged alongside me, she was an old pro at this and helped me out. The results weren’t too shabby.


For me, I am not the biggest sweets person in the world so when we were shown to make Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Icing and Toffee Bits – it was game over. It was obviously my favorite snack of the evening and so simple to make. Melt some chocolate in the microwave, double-dip (no one is judging) and then carefully drizzle icing and toffee bits on top. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and you’ve got yourself one delicious snack.


As the night winded down, we were asked to take part in a little DIY crafting and prepare our own gift boxes. I’m not going to lie: I am not a crafty person what so ever. Thankfully my friend Rachelle who I brought alongside me was because the box she put together was off the chain! I attempted to make something myself but after getting two strands of ribbon and feeling disappointed in myself, I just gave up. Thankfully I had a glass of zee ol’ glass of Fresita to ease the pain.


This evening was everything a girl would want: sweet and crafty and delicious. Plus: I got to make some amazing new friends in the process. Thanks to Fresita Canada and Petite and Sweets Bakery for having me out.

All photos taken by Kailee Mandel

3, 2, 1, DRINK!


Coke vs. Pepsi

Beatles vs. Stones

Athens vs. Sparta

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning

These are some of the greatest rivalries known to the world. We’d like to add one more:

Beer vs. Wine


Restaurant International at Algonquin College is offering the opportunity for this rivalry to finally be solved, over a five course dinner specially prepared to match with five beers and five wines. A resident beer expert and sommelier will be on hand to help the diners decide on the ultimate food pairing winner.

The showdown occurs on February 27th, and Fat Girl Food Squad has ringside seats. Get your tickets and join us for the epic battle.


Cheers: The Gourmet Food and Wine Show Wraps Up For Another Year


Originally posted to Ama’s twice-weekly column on Toronto is Awesome.

On the weekend of November 15, Toronto wine and food nerds converged on the Metro Toronto Convention for the annual Gourmet Food and Wine Show. For three days, visitors were able to sample all sorts of wines and sprits from around Canada and the world.

Upon entry, we were greeted with 15,000 wines and spirits to choose from and didn’t know where to start. So we started where any respectable person would: with Beam’s Whisky Chef Matt Jones who wet our whistles with the Dark Horse Old Fashioned. How can you go wrong with that?

Next up, we made our way over to the BartenderOne station, home to many of the mixologists and flare bartenders at College Street Bar. BartenderOne’s master mixologist Gavin MacMillan talked to me a bit about their new fall/winter line-up of classes (I had previously taken their Vodka MasterClass) and passed me one of their drinks, not before being treated to a bit of a show.

YuliScheidt-GFWE_2Photo: Gourmet Food and Wine Show


After much zigging and zagging down the aisles and taking in everything from Sake to Beer, we stopped off at Cupcake Vineyards for a nice glass of chardonnay. What I can report back is that, yes: the wine does have some cupcake flavours to it like citrus and vanilla. Plus, the price point of the bottle: $15.45 in all LCBOs.

After the consumption of many drinks, we decided it was time for food and Fancy Franks was calling our name. Their delicious gourmet dogs are fast and filling. But across from them was the Buick Tasting Taste, which gave those in attendance a chance to gather at a communal table and eat smoked oysters and guacamole with pomegranate and chips. The Buick Tasting Table was a nice touch for the event. Plus, we grabbed one of the holiday inspired macaroons from Le Dolici (Candy Cane) which was simply irresistible.

BuickPhoto: Gourmet Food & Wine Show


Next up, it was time to head over to Bite Bar who were serving up Martinis with a Cupcake garnish. The drink wasn’t the best that I had the entire show, but the thought process behind the drink was incredibly genius! Nobody offered up a food/drink combo, so this was brilliant marketing on their end.

We were treated to some delicious suds from Niagara Oast House Brewers, whose Barn Raiser, which was a perfect country ale. This craft beer company definitely has a delicious product on their hands and I’ve been seeing them out more and more throughout the months. Good job, boys! We also treated ourselves to a Samuel Adams Winter Lager, which had wicked citrus notes and delicious taste.

All in all, the Gourmet Food & Wine Show has everything you could want (and more) under one roof. Don’t miss it next year!


Cafe Bar Pasta Serves Up Authentic Italian in DuWest




Originally posted to Ama’s twice-weekly column on Toronto is Awesome.

Cafe Bar Pasta is exactly what it sounds like: an authentic Italian restaurant serving espresso during the days and beautiful pasta and wine at night. This gorgeous space opened by Tom Bielecki in the regenerated area of Dundas West has great splashes of red, white and black all on the walls. It’s eye-catching and visually appealing.



A private dining room in the wine cellar doubles as a classroom for pasta-making, preserving and wine tasting workshops. Imported from Italy, there is a pasta maker which makes beautiful fresh cut pasta. All wines are on tap. A beautiful communal butcher block style table made of a hard white and wormy maple, with built in power outlets for your computer or phone, along with an exposed brick wall. No detail has been spared.


Executive Chef Jay Scaife works the pans in the back and what I appreciated most was the chef’s respect for the ingredients. I was treated to a chef’s side tasting of his different pastas made in house: Bucatini Amatriciana, Rigatoni, Ravoli and Tagaletrelle Carbonara. Pasta dishes can be a complicated thing to master and Chef Jay did them justice with them truly shining and playing the lead role. My personal favourite was the Bucatini. Rich in flavour and full of slurp-tastic goodness.



The servers were all very friendly and knowledgeable of the menu and the wine options. The tartar and the meatballs were to die for. Along with all the desserts. Everyone enjoys some good wine and beautiful dishes. With dishes ranging in price from $10-$28, this is definately the perfect date night restaurant.



Gourmet Food & Wine Show is Coming


Next Thursday (November 14, 2013), the 2013 Gourmet Food and Wine Show kicks off for another year for an entire weekend of all things food and wine. Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, you’ll encounter everything here from wine seminars, cheese tastings and people walking around in bacon costumes. True story.

But the Gourmet Food and Wine Show is more than just a expo of all thing gourmet: it’s more of a mingling party. Down aisle one you’ll find Caesar Clint from Mott’s but if you’re feeing a bit pretentious you might find the boys from BarOne putting on a mixology show and mixing you up a Cosmopolitan. No matter what you’re looking for: this show has your bases covered and let’s your inner food & drink geek come out.


Be warned: there are crowds at this event, but the wait times are surprisingly short. You can either make a game plan ahead of time or just play it by ear. Either way, wait times are never more than a couple minutes for sampling tickets.

Most importantly: have fun with it and experiment. Last year at the Gourmet Food and Wine Show, I took a Chilean Organic wine tasting class and also tried a Molson Canadian cocktail, which was surprisingly tasty. Don’t stick to the old favourites. Push your boundaries, make new friends and have fun. There are over 1,500 wine, beers and spirits to choose from – so go nuts.


Tickets often sell out and are limited to those 19 years of age or over. Pricing ranges from $40 (VIP) to $25 (Weekend). Check the website for more details.


[CONTEST] Angela Aiello Founder of iYellow Wine Club Inspires New Generation of Winos


If you’re like me, wine only meant what was cheapest and what was easiest to consume. I never really understood their was difference in wine and flavours until I reached my late twenties and I discovered my passion for good wine from different regions.

Oddly enough, there are many other like-minded young urban professionals in Toronto who also share this passion for wine-tasting and good food. This is where iYellow Wine Club comes into play, filling in a void in the Toronto’s urban market. Angela Aiello, owner of iYellow offers a unique wine club that host monthly wine events at an affordable cost and specialize in reputable wineries region each month.


The secret to iYellow’s success lies in Aiello knowledge and love of wine. I chatted with her about the club, building wine confidence and what people can experience.

(1) Tell me about iYellow Wine Club and how did you come up with the concept?

iYellow Wine Club was created when I moved from wine country to Toronto and wanted to share wine with friends. When I moved to Toronto in 2005 after University, I worked in the wine business for close to a decade. I had a fun time throwing wine parties built around wine education for friends, which inspired iYellow Wine Club. Now the club is 10,000 members strong!

(2) For people who are attending the wine club, what if they don’t have a background in wine – should they feel intimidated?

I’ve designed the iYellow Wine Club to be fun, social and very un-intimidating. Wine has always been so stuffy, and I think it needs to be more indie. The vision has always been around helping people understand wine, not making them feel stupid just because they don’t know. One of the greatest things about wine is that no one knows everything, so we all get to learn together.

(3) What is the average cost per class and what does an attendee get?

We run over 24 classes per year for iYellow Wine School and with each class you receive a tasting and tutorial through 6 wines and light food pairings. You can also book a small group or corporate experience through us as well, we have a really cool venue for you to use. When you enroll in 4 or 8 classes you receive a diploma as well.


(4) Does the world of wine only end at red and white? What other kinds of wine are there that people may not know about and can experience through the club.

The world of wine doesn’t end anywhere!! There is so much to learn from sparkling wine to fortified, there is so much great juice out there!! The only way to learn about wine is to taste it and I think, you need to live it! That means it becomes a lifestyle where you love to eat, sip, travel and enjoy life.

(5) People think that wine can be a very expensive beverage to purchase but does the iYellow Wine Club help recommend good bottles in varying price points?

I’m a BIG believer in anything that offers value! So yes recommending great value and good tasting wines is what we’re all about. But more than anything we’re about Wine Confidence and by that I mean we help give you the tools to make your own decisions on whether you feel wine is your favourite or worth the money.

(6) Who are the type of people to attend and join?

A glass of wine unites everyone, but suffice it to say that we are all wino’s, foodies, travellers and friends!


Fat Girl Food Squad is giving away a pair of tickets to iYellow Wine Club’s November 18th VQA Blind Tasting. It’s easy to win!
Contest runs from THURSDAY NOVEMBER 7th and ends on THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14th @ 5PM.

1) Like Fat Girl Food Squad on Twitter.

2) Like iYellow Wine Club on Facebook.

2) Tweet the following: “Send me to the VQA Blind Tasting with @iyellowwineclub #FGFSlovesiYellow”

Eat, Drink and Play at the Summer Camp for Adults – Two Islands Weekend


Everybody longs to be a kid still.  We hang onto those memories oh so dearly.  As a kid, we all remember being sent off on the yellow school bus off to Camp and enjoying roasting marshmallows over the open fire with friends.  This September, Danielle Goldfinger (coordinator of The Stop’s Night Market) has developed this one-of-a-kind experience for adult’s that will have you reminiscing of your childhood days. Say hello to the Two Island’s Weekend.  an adults-only, two-day retreat at Camp Timberlane in Halliburton.

For $300 all-in, campers will feast on meals prepared by top Toronto chefs (including Tom Brodi a private chef, formally of TOCA, Joshna Maharaj, a food activist, Rossy Earle, Elyse Wahle of Sullivan & Bleeker, Trish Gill of Catch Seafood, Amanda Ford of Citygirl Catering, Daniel Sanders of Globe Bistro, Jason Cox of Opus, Tony Cammalleri of Pusateri’s, and Kristina Groeger) But that is not all.  .Camp admission also includes all remarkable programming and an all-you-can drink bar with spirits included by Rosewood Estate Winery, McAuslan Brewery, and Black Fly Spirit Beverages.

I had the chance to speak with Danielle regarding her newest project and what potential attendees can expect from this whirlwind weekend:

(1) Tell me about the Two Islands Weekend?  How did you come up with the concept?

I came up with a concept while hanging out with a friend last summer.  We were reminiscing about our childhood summers at camp and how as adults were just don’t have those opportunities to take off and literally run around outside all summer.  We joked about starting a summer camp for grown-ups.  After that conversation, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.  I started to do some research and found that a summer camp for adults don’t really exist her in Ontario, despite our plethora of children’s camps.

(2) When you were developing the programming, how did you come up with what would take place and did you fear that some people would not want to be involved.

Camp Timberlane provided a lot of support on this front.  They gave me insight into the activities that usually do well with adult groups.

I’ve definitely considered that some people will not want to participate.  No one has to participate in any activity they don’t to – unlike camp for children.  No one is going to force you to play baseball, when you really want to hang out by the beach.  That being said, there are so many great activities – there will definitely be something for everyone.

 (3) Tell me an experience you had a camp (bad or good).

I went to camp for 6 summers – so I have a lot of memories and they range from the profound to the mundane.   When I was 10, I sang a song from Les Miserable and was so terrible that I made the entire camp cringe in their seats.  You know that moment, when everyone is so embarrassed for someone they just can’t bare to look? I was that source of embarrassment!  To this day, I don’t really like signing out loud.

But I also remember lots of small things: signing & dancing to Patricia the Stripper with my cabin.  There was always PB&J and hot chocolate in the mess hall in between meals and the way my friend Justine braided her hair every night before bed.

(4) What can you tell me about the location of where Two Islands is being held — how did you secure it and tell me more about the landscape.  What can people expect when they arrive?

When I started to do research I discovered that lots of camps rent their facilities out.  They mostly rent them for weddings, schools and corporate groups and so I when I pitched my idea many immediately said it wasn’t the right fit.  When I met Harley, from Timberlane, he immediately got it and worked with me to create the perfect concept.  He’s been a camper, counsellor and now Director at the Camp, so he knows the place inside and out and knows what ideas will work and what won’t – that’s pretty invaluable information.   When I went for a visit last October – I knew that it was the right place.  The facilities are immaculate – you can tell the people that work and live there really respect the place.

The camp is located on The Lake of Two Islands – it’s a pretty small lake and it’s really private.  Surrounding the camp are forests and trails of the Halliburton Highlands.

When people arrive they will be greeted by a team of enthusiastic counsellors, who will show them to their bunks.  Once people are settled in, they can make their way to the beach, where we’ll have some drinks and snacks and get to know everyone.

(5) Why should people attend the Two Islands weekend?

It’s an opportunity to shed our 9 – 5 selves and just have a nice time, in a beautiful place with super nice people and great food.

Band on the Run: Fialta



Fialta is a California-based indie pop quartet made up of Michael Leibovich, Beth Clements, David Provenzano, and Sarah Shotwell who love food.  From eating it to preparing it, not only are they an awesome band but they consider themselves what one might call ‘gourmands’ or ‘foodies’.  Just recently, they premiered “Cars” on the totally rad Turntable Kitchen, which pairs feature recipes with hand-selected Musical Pairings.

We broke bread with Fialta about bacon pasta, beef jerky, bourbon and why you too should listen to them (even if our glowing recommendation isn’t enough):

(1) What is the history of Fialta?

We all met up in 2007-2008 when Mike and David were on tour with Sherwood. Sarah was in Seattle and Beth was in Connecticut. Although the boys were busy with their band, we started writing music together, sending demos back and forth online. Eventually, we finally made some time to get together in California to write and play. It didn’t take long for all of us to get serious about it, to the point that we ultimately decided to move to the same town (San Luis Obispo, “The Happiest Town in America”) so we could really pursue this. The last three years have been an incredible adventure in friendship, love, and art-making. After the band formed, Mike and Beth, followed by Sarah and David, got married. Now we are two couples, living within a few blocks of each other. We play and write music together, travel together, watch movies together, cook and eat meals together, and do everything else best friends do. This has been an incredibly sweet and generative time for us, but we are gearing up for what we hope are some big, exciting changes down the pike!

(2) What is your idea of comfort (in food and at home)?

Cooking together, eating, and drinking good wine and beer represent comfort for us. While comforting food usually means something made-from-scratch, fresh, and local, the true comfort comes from who we are with. Though none of us have family in the area, we have a large group of friends who have become like family. We sort of operate on this potluck circuit that has developed over time. We either attended or hosted 4 potlucks last week, with a rotating cast of friends and neighbors. One was a community barbecue night, another night we did a Thai potluck, then there was German night… we are lucky to live in an Agricultural town in California, where we have one of the largest Farmer’s Markets in America and access to fresh, cheap, seasonal ingredients all year. We also live in wine and beer country. This makes cooking and drinking together more fun (and way more affordable) than dining out or going out to bars.

(3) What is the weirdest thing you’ve had to eat while you’ve been on tour?  Describe it in all its glory and where it was located.

We actually haven’t been on tour yet as a band, though we are looking forward to it! We have, however, travelled together on tour when the boys were in Sherwood. There were plenty of days when we’d feast on questionable travel snacks from the Flying J because it’s all we could get our hands on – go-to items were cinnamon bears and beef jerky. We do remember one day when playing a club in San Antonio, we were promised a catered dinner as part of our guarantee. This ended up being a half-frozen microwaved lasagna. At the time though, it sounded pretty delicious. When someone is willing to feed you on the road, what choice do you have but to be thankful? We remember so many more lovely meals than bad ones.

(4) How do you stay healthy while on the road (this can include health/fitness wise or food wise).

Are any bands staying healthy on the road? (laughs). We don’t know many who are. One band we toured with would drink all night and then try to make up for it by doing the P90x workout together the next morning. That never ended well. 🙂 Staying healthy on the road is about being intentional about taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. This looks different for every band. For us, instead of eating fast food (or starving), it’s saving up your per diem to buy enough groceries to fill a super tiny RV fridge. Reading good books, trying to get a jog or some yoga in before soundcheck, stealing naps whenever possible, taking vitamins, and minimizing alcohol, caffeine, and smoking are all good ideas. The reality is, it’s really hard to stay disciplined on the road. Some band folks get super scrawny and malnourished, others gain a bunch of weight. Everyone, pretty much, is sleep deprived, and that does crazy things to the body.

(5) If you could make any dish to serve at all your shows, what would it be and why?

Bucatini All’Amatriciana. Or as Beth calls it, “Bacon Pasta.” It is a dish Sarah discovered (and subsequently lived off of) when studying in Rome during grad school. Its a pretty simple dish, actually – bacon or guanciale, with tomatoes, a little crushed red pepper and a snow storm of Pecorino Romano over spaghetti-like pasta with a hole down the middle (think lonnnnng macaroni). Beth has the recipe too and now we make this dish all the time. Birthdays, band practice, Sunday nights. Not sure why, but all those carbs and fats put us in a loving, amicable mood, refuel our energy, and spur creativity like nothing else. Big, hearty pasta dishes passed around also symbolize family and community.

(6) Name the grossest (most delicious) thing you have ever cooked.

We recall a certain quinoa incident. Too much water! Temp too high! The grains decomposed into a goopy pile of horrifying muck. In a moment of experimental desperation, Sarah cracked an egg into the slime, added some sea salt, herbs, and a little bit of flour, mixed it up into a batter, dropped spoonfuls into a hot cast iron, and transformed that disaster into some damn delicious fritters. We had those with sour cream, green onion, and lime. Cooking seems to be about confidence, about taking risks, failing sometimes, and then taking those failures and turning them into something creative and new.

(7) What is your favorite type of drink and why?

Beth is a beer drinker. Mike loves Bourbon. David goes for Scotch, or gin and tonic. Sarah is a wine-lover, and works part time at a local winery. We tend to keep a real kaleidoscope of items around to please everybody. Lately we have been enjoying local beer, wine, and gin. It’s been fun exploring what the Central Coast of California has to offer in terms of craft beverages. We recently wrote a blog post on our top five summer drink and book pairings that is worth a read, which you can find here.

(8) Name the best restaurant you’ve been to and what type of food they served.

One place we all love is a Taqueria in San Jose called Adelitas. It’s right by the studio where we recorded our record, Summer Winter. Their tacos and salsas are just unbelievable.

(9) What can people expect when they attend a Fialta show?

Fun! We play pop music. We get into it. We switch instruments back and forth and sing and whistle and clap our hands. Our hope is that you come to the show in a good mood. But if not, you’ll probably leave in one. We love to stick around after to hang out with friends and fans as well. We have had the pleasure of playing in front of very engaged, supportive crowds thus far, and we love to feed off that energy.

(10) Why should people listen to Fialta?

We have drawn comparisons in the past between music and wine. Wine is one of those things that can be really alienating – people feel like they should like a certain varietal or vintner because a particular critic tells them to, or they believe they need to speak about it in an elevated way, or follow certain trends so they don’t look unfashionable or ignorant. The truth is, it’s just fermented grape juice, and the only thing that matters is whether it appeals to your palate and your pocketbook. You should drink the wine that you love and that you can afford, and own that choice. If that is a 100 point Saxum Cuvée or a Beringer White Zin or a cloying, viscous dessert wine, more power to you. Likewise, the only reason people should listen to Fialta, or any other band for that matter, is because the music appeals to them.

As for us, we love the music that we make! We’re passionate and unapologetic about the fact that we enjoy pop music, are a little bookish and geeky and nostalgic, and are true romantics at heart. The music has a bit of a timeless feel to it, and we have seen that speak to people across a range of ages and demographics. In the indie world, music can (like wine) often fall into a trap of being too exclusive or elitist. We sincerely like that our sound seems to bring people of all kinds together.

Friday Foodie Five

Every Friday we bring you our favourite foodie sight and sounds. Everything from food packaging and food inspired art, to recipes and reviews. 

1. Local – Donair Burger from Wiggle Room, Market 707, Toronto


2. A Lot – Shrimp Po’ Boys with Spicy Mango 


3.  Sweet – Yogurt Berry Popsicles


4. Drink – How to Stock a Bar


5. Lovely Packaging – Waddesdon Wine: Rothschild Collection by Paul Belford