Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mavrik Wine Bar

In 2011, good friends Elizabeth Choi and Joanne Park pursued their shared passion in wine by leaving their careers in the corporate world and opening Mavrik Wine Bar on West Queen West. By means of their modest wine bar, co-owners Choi and Park have since then dedicated themselves to helping small production wineries by showcasing their wines at Mavrik (these wines are often limited batched wines that can't make it to LCBO due to production limitation.)

Last Thursday night, Mavrik Wine Bar (Twitter: @MavrikWineBar, Facebook: Mavrik Wine Barheld an intimate VIP reception where they featured a menu of four healthy tacos with cocktails and small production wine pairings.

Warm wood tones and bricked walls give this tiny wine bar a very cozy and homey vibe. No pretentiousness here at all.

Mavrik's wine list consists of small production wines and bubblies.

A peek inside Mavrik's kitchen from the bar.

The night started with a couple of grapefruit strawberry mimosas.

The four featured tacos:

Guacamole, tomatoes, japalenos, red peppers, black beans, basil aioli
Pairing: Southbrook, "Triomphe", Cabernet Franc, 2010
Winery: Located in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Southbrook Vineyards is the first winery in Canada to be certified organic/biodynamic.
Mavrik's Tasting Notes: Rich, mold, fruity and "the best of the land"

Sweet potato, black beans, quinoa, parmesan, lemon aioli
Pairing: Lailey, Muscat, 2011
Winery: Located in the Niagara Region, Lailey Vineyards believes that stellar wines cannot be mass-produced
Mavrik's Tasting Notes: Fragrant, fruity, sweet, "fresh and pretty"

Spicy grilled ginger chicken, romaine, cheddar, plum salsa, chipotle aioli
Pairing: San Vincente Estate, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012
Winery: San Vincente Estates is located in teh O'Higgins region of Chili
Mavrik's Tasting Notes: Tart, light, refreshing, "casual chic"

Tandoori chickpeas, tomato cilantro salsa, queso fresco, sriracha aioli
Pairing: Hunt, Shiraz, 2011
Winery: Dowie Doodle Winery is located in McLaren Vale, Australia. Dowie Doodle believes in economic, environmental and socially responsible Viticulture.
Mavrik's Tasting Notes: Smoky, spicy, "worth the red teeth"

Mavrik's devotion to supporting small production wines and its desire in making wine-tasting more affordable and accessible to the 'average joe' is really commendable. As someone who doesn't know much about wine, I admit that it can be quite daunting at times looking at a restaurant's long wine list, not knowing what wines go with what. But Mavrik's friendly and casual atmosphere, coupled with its condensed wine list, makes novices such as myself feel a lot more at ease. Even though I am no wine expert I still found myself really enjoying the wine pairings that night; I thought they all complemented the flavour profiles of each taco really well. The tacos themselves were also a pleasant surprise - despite the fact that they were not as "prettied up" as some of the other tacos I've had elsewhere, Mavrik's tacos, packed with healthy ingredients like quinoa, chick peas and portobello, were all surprisingly really tasty!

*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

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