Intimate Savour Stratford Tastings take place every Saturday leading up to Christmas. Culinary experts share their unique presentations using many holiday favourites from Beaujolais wine and cheese to Scotch and chocolate pairings, holiday cooking classes and gingerbread cookie decorating each innovatively presented in our restaurants and food shops. Tasting tickets start at $25 (+HST) and can be purchased at Stratford Tourism Alliance in person, by phone or on-line. These fun and informative tastings are perfect for meeting with friends and preparing for the holidays.

Discover the art of pairing tea and chocolate as Tea Sommelier, Karen Hartwick, introduces you to a world of tea, rich and varied.  Surrounded by over 100 loose-leaf teas you will be guided through an hour of tasting and pairing teas with chocolate from Rheo Thompson Candies.  Find your favourite pairing on Saturday, November 12, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, at Tea Leaves Tea Tasting Bar, 433 Erie Street, Stratford.

Meet November’s wine star, Beaujolais paired with Cheese on November 19. Accredited Sommelier Bob Latham will pour several qualities of this famous wine, including a few imposters that you will be challenged to spot, as cheese expert Liz Payne serves delicious cheeses to compliment.  This dynamic duo pair up again on November 26 to bring you Christmas Wines and Cheeses. Taste and discuss wine pairings for holiday menus and sample cheeses available only during the festive season. Tastings are held at The Milky Whey Fine Cheese Shop, 118 Ontario Street starting at 3:00 pm.

Join Chef Mark Brown in the kitchen for Winter Warm-Up Cooking Classes as he prepares some fabulous winter dishes. Hearty stews, dumplings, soups, and drinks comprise the menu for this hands-on class. After all your hard work, sit down and enjoy your delicious meal with Chef Mark. Classes are offered at 12:00 pm and again at 6:00 pm at Stone Maiden Inn, 123 Church Street, Stratford.

December begins with a Beer and Chocolate pairing as celebrated candy maker Kristene Steed and Chef Mark Brown guide you through a unique tasting of Ontario Craft Microbrews and Rheo Thompson chocolates. Enjoy this innovative pairing and discover a whole new way to savour this unexpected mix. The tasting runs December 3 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Stone Maiden Inn, 123 Church Street, Stratford.

Also on December 3, Turnbull & Stewart presents Mastering Risotto, a complimentary tasting workshop, with Chef David Callan demonstrating the simple steps that will help you master this tasty dish. Register on-line to receive an exclusive e-coupon to redeem at the tasting. The demonstration runs from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, at Turnbull and Stewart, 459 Erie Street, Stratford.

Figgie Pudding and all the Stuffing Cooking Class on December 10 invites you into the kitchen to work with Chef Mark Brown, to prepare a gourmet holiday feast complete with all the sides. Learn tips and tricks to make your holiday dinner successful and stress free, then enjoy your festive meal. The class runs from 11:00 am-3:00 pm at Stone Maiden Inn, 123 Church Street, Stratford.

Decorating Gingerbread Cookies is fun for the family on December 17 when you bring the kids to Let Them Eat Cake for an afternoon of cookie decorating! Purchase your Family Pass and enjoy frosting and sprinkling 6 large gingerbread cookies any time between 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. The Family Pass includes decorating materials and 6 cookies in your own take away basket at Let Them Eat Cake Restaurant & Dessert Café, 23 Albert Street, Stratford.

Scotch and Chocolate is back as a holiday favourite. Scotch expert, Esther Williamson Brown and Kristene Steed of Rheo Thompson Candies invite you to warm up with the smooth taste of Scotch paired with chocolate. You’re sure to enjoy the tales and delicious notes that this pairing hit! Tasting runs from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Foster’s Inn, 111 Downie Street, Stratford.

For more information and to purchase Savour Stratford Tasting tickets go to , visit Stratford Tourism Alliance, 47 Downie Street, Stratford or call 519-271-5140 or 1-800-561-7926. Prices vary for tastings and proof of age of majority is required for tastings serving alcohol.