nightlife review by wendi marchioni

Napa Valley NiGHTLiFE Event Review
By Wendi Marchioni

Napa Valley has a crush on Toronto! Guests of last week’s NiGHTLiFE event sampled over 40 wines from 20 Napa Valley Vintners. The celebration took place at The Great Hall located at 1087 Queen Street West and there was a huge variety of wines to choose from including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Melot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. Every bottle was filled with excellence. Napa Valley is known for its diverse micro-climates, wide range of varietals and internationally acclaimed wines. The evening was definitely a special sampling for all wine club members.

As guests entered the historic Great Hall (founded in 1889) and made their way up the royal red-carpeted stairs, they were greeted by iYellow ambassadors and the buzz of NiGHTLiFE. Those who arrived at 7 p.m. for the VIP hour made their way into a small private room at the front of the building - appropriately titled “ The Conversation Room”. Featuring beautiful décor by Devan, the room included six round tables ready for the winemaker speedtasting experience. Over the course of an hour, each winemaker rotated every 10 minutes to a new group of avid Napa wine drinkers who were eager to meet and get to know them. Wine club members were able to get up-close and personal with Steve Tamburelli (Chappellet Winery and Vineyard), Jennifer Desmond (Cliff Lede Vineyards), Fernando Frias (Frias Family Vineyard), John Anthony Truchard (John Anthony), Lisa Peju (PEJU), and Ray Signorello (Signorello Estate). It was definitely a VIP experience to remember!

At 8 p.m. everyone entered the Great Hall, a two-level vintage space that is reminiscent of an old theatre (in fact, it was the very first west-end YMCA in Toronto). The combination of warmth, elegance and history made this spot the perfect space for the event.

Around the room, 20 Napa wine stations were set up by winery. You could start with Beaulieu Vineyard on your left or head straight to Hestan Vineyards at the back or Tres Sabores on your right. Attendees were at their leisure to sip, learn and socialize as they pleased – so it was the perfect evening to meet friendly Napa vintners, taste stunning Napa wines and mix and mingle with other avid wine enthusiasts.

DJ Dinamo took the stage, filling the candle-lit room with upbeat house tunes. Soon after, an array of appetizers (courtesy of On the Move catering) made their way around the room, including crab cakes and caprese skewers . Overall, the casual ambiance was just right for a great night of wine-tasting and socializing.

Here is what a few of our ambassadors had to say about the wines...

Faust 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon: “My fave wine was Faust for a variety of reasons but mainly due to the fact that the temperature has dropped and the weight and warmth of this big bold cab hit the spot perfectly.” – Nadia Popatia

Peju 2008 Sauvignon Blanc: "This SB is a tasty wine; it is refreshing and crisp with notes of grapefruit and pineapple; a perfect patio sipper!" – Carlissa DeRose

2007 Signorello Estate Seta Semillon & Sauvignon Blanc blend: “This is absolutely amazing; A great blend and a must try.” – Angela Aiello

Thanks to everyone who joined us at this fabulous evening! We look forward to seeing you at the iYellow VIP Green Room on November 19th and at Happy Birthday on December 5th where we will be celebrating South Africa’s 350th year of Winemaking!

NiGHTLiFE was presented in partnership with Napa Valley Vintners. Thanks to Elivra and Cathy from Devan for the VIP room decor. For more information about Napa Valley go to A portion of proceeds went to Rebecca’s Hope charity for leukemia research - .

Please post your comment to tell us which favourite wine you liked from Nightlife below!