Jon Humphrey has been pioneering our Drake Hotel Properties’ drink program for almost ten years + is an industry veteran in Toronto. Jon’s deep knowledge of how spirits, beer, food + wine work in harmony is bar(tender) none.
What Ted’s eating this month: The brisket pie on Fridays at Drake Commissary is my fall go-to + my family lives off the larder these days.
Jon’s Wine Down pairing: Justin, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016, Paso Robles, California
Dry, ripe blackcurrant, black cherry + a touch of red fruit brightness, alongside notes of vanilla spice, oak + brioche all come together to complement the savoury Commissary brisket. The finish is moderately long and fresh, with sustained rounded fruit and lingering spice. Balanced nicely by firm, smooth tannins.
Favourite dish on the new menu: The braised boneless short rib. It comes with potato purée, onion dashi, seared onions, pickled onions + burnt onion powder. It’s a simple thing — meat + potatoes — but elevated.
Jon’s Wine Down pairing: Noble Tree, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015, Sonoma, California
With aromas of lead pencil + spiced red fruits, and flavours of currant, blackberry, black pepper, this Cab Sauv with defined tannins is a beautiful pairing to Zach’s warming fall dish.
Favourite dish on the new Drake Mini Bar menu? Definitely the lobster spaghetti. It’s loaded with butter poached lobster claws, topped with white anchovies + a beautiful selection of olives from Piccholine, Kalamata + Cerignola.
Jon’s Wine Down pairing: Domaine Baud, Brut, Blanc de Blanc, Cremant de Jura, Chardonnay, N/V, Jura, France
Enjoy this dish with a Crémant – a sparkling wine in a traditional style made outside the region of Champagne. Mineral driven, high acid + subtle breadiness with a touch of funk.
Favourite dish on the new menu: White spaghetti bolognese with wild boar ragu + velvety oyster mushrooms.
Jon’s Wine Down pairing: Vietti, Tre Vigne, Barbera d’Asti, 2015, Piedmont, Italy
This ruby purple wine has hints of sweet spices + a ripe red cherry aroma. A dry, medium-bodied red wine with refreshing acidity, it’s well-balanced with an integration of oak, good complexity + a long finish that complements the spaghetti to create a perfect, cozy night in the County.
Favourite dish on the new menu: The lamb sandwich with mortadella — it’s unbelievable.
Jon’s Wine Down pairing: Pandolfa, Federico, Sangiovese, 2016, Emilia Romagna, Italy Highly aromatic, with notes of cherry, raspberry liquorice + subtle spice, this Sangiovese is a bright choice to pair with the lamb sandwich. Partly aged in stainless steel for a year, with the remainder aged in large oak casks, gives way to a softer character.
Favourite dish on the new menu: The whole chicken + gravy (served Family Style for sharing). I’m a sucker for large format food.
Jon’s Wine Down pairing: Flop House ‘Rosehall Vineyard’ Chardonnay, 2014, Prince Edward County, Ontario
The roast chicken pairs beautifully with this Drake Exclusive: a barrel-aged chardonnay with notes of ripe apples, citrus + nuts and solid acidity.
Try one of our new dishes with its perfect pairing on a Wine Down night, once a week at every Drake.