On Saturday, September 14, Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre and Dany Gagnon (Vin & Wine) will be hosting a three-hour wine “event” unlike any other wine-tasting you may have attended.  This fundraiser for the gallery will include five different wines, four courses of fresh foods, beautifully prepared and presented, and carefully chosen so that people can recreate them at home.  Over the past five years Dany has given this “course” to 11,000 people and his website (www.vinetwine.ca) has over 9,000 five-star reviews.

Gagnon is not your average wine lover and sommelier.  His love for everything from growing, tasting, harvesting, making and teaching about wine began at the age of 14 when he was living in Quebec City and there was a wine-tasting event at his church.  What caught his interest more than consuming wine was a fascination with how wine is made.  By age nineteen, that passion, along with a desire to travel the world, took him to the Beaujolais region of France where he helped with the harvest. From there he worked at the vineyards in Alsace and learned that in France, wine-making is considered an art form.  Gagnon’s knowledge of all things related to wine is not mere book-learning.  He has spent the past 38 years in vineyards throughout Europe, Morocco, England and even Indonesia and India and also studied the science of wine making in Mont Pellier, France. He even spent three years running a vineyard in France cultivating his own blend of grapes, but realized that his real passion wasn’t growing grapes or making wine, but teaching.

About three years ago, as the internet was becoming widely available, his passion for  educating others about wine took on a whole new form. He created an app, Vino Veritas, that people can download for free so that anyone who wants to drink healthy, affordable wines, even without a great deal of knowledge, can do so easily.

Like many people these days, Gagnon places a great deal of importance on eating healthy, nutritious foods. What he discovered over the past five years is how few people realize that the wine they’re drinking may contain more than 600 chemicals, including carcinogenic red dyes, arsenic, preservatives, and even anti-freeze!  According to Gagnon, the multi-billion dollar wine industry in Canada and the U.S. have powerful lobbies that have made sure that there are no government regulations requiring wine makers and bottlers to list the “other ingredients.”  Many people believe that it costs a lot more to drink wines that are chemical free, but Gagnon is on a mission to show that this just isn’t true and he’ll prove it at this event. Everyone will leave with the knowledge and tools to purchase healthy wines.

So, if you love wine and the way it enhances the flavours of well-prepared food, and you care about your health, come learn how to pair affordable quality wines with your meal while enjoying the beautiful ambience of Arbor Gallery (36 Home Avenue), and the work of two local local artists: Susan Cornthwaite Grenier and Cathy Badcock. The event begins at 6 p.m.,  but you are invited to arrive at about 5:30 p.m. so that you can choose a table with friends or meet new ones. Tickets will go on sale this week at The Review and online at Eventbrite. Space is limited though, (40 people maximum.) so don’t wait too long to buy your ticket.  The price is $49 per person, or 2 for $90.  If you’d like to reserve a table for you and your friends, call 514-209-0259.