A Toronto Transformation

A Shucking Good Time at iYellow Wine Club

Successfully shucking my first oyster at iYellow Wine Club

Successfully shucking my first oyster at iYellow Wine Club

One of my earliest memories is of being a toddler on a road trip to Myrtle Beach with my mom and dad and one of my aunts.

I remember sitting in my little booster car seat, the backs of my dimpled knees sticking to the grey plastic and my bare back warm against the soft fabric of the seats in our brown Chevy. I remember building a castle and an impressive dragon in the sand with my mom, and trying to figure out in my little mind how we could possibly make a princess and then somehow get her inside the castle. I think I remember fireworks.

And I definitely remember my first taste of seawater, the salt sting on my lips. A glutton for sodium, I’m pretty sure I had to be closely monitored lest I completely dehydrate myself every time my parents took me into the water.

So I suppose it’s no surprise that I grew up to love the taste of seafood, and in particular, the creatures who put me the most in mind of my memories of fresh seawater: oysters. I’ll order them by the dozen on a night out, but I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of shucking my own. So I jumped at an invitation from iYellow Wine Club to swing by their wine cave last week for an evening of wine tasting and oysters, complete with a lesson on how to shuck oysters properly.

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from iYellow, this being my first wine club event, and I was a little worried it might be a bit stuffy, or worse, I might be outed as the woefully uneducated wine drinker I am, despite it being my most frequent alcoholic beverage of choice. So I was happy to find that the club’s founder, Angela Aiello and her team were certainly knowledgable about grape products, they were also welcoming, enthusiastic and not the least bit condescending. In other words: the perfect sort of people to learn from while we sampled some tasty fruity and floral wines from Stoneleigh vinyards.

iYellow Wine Club's Toronto wine cave
iYellow’s wine cave, where the event took place, had a fun speakeasy feel, hidden away with the entrance in the alley behind Queen Street, with a stellar mix of cozy kitsch and elegant decor, and a layout perfect for mingling and/or just setting oneself up conveniently close to the beautiful cheese selection and befriending anyone else who lingered there, which is how I met lovely fellow Toronto bloggers and food enthusiasts, Janu (of aathma) and Danielle of Ginger Rose.

Danielle and I took a moment to brush up on our wine facts and exchange restaurant recommendations.

Danielle and I took a moment to brush up on our wine facts and exchange restaurant recommendations.

While I roped my pal Emma into coming along with me this time, we both agreed that an iYellow wine school class in the cave would make for a fun alternative to a typical dinner/movie date night with a less platonic companion.

I mean, wine, oysters, and a mysterious “cave”, what could be more romantic?

Although, I might skip putting my hand into the communal oyster-shucking gloves for that one.
Have you guys ever been to a wine club? Are you aficionados or just indiscriminately enthusiastic wine drinkers like yours truly?

2 Responses to A Shucking Good Time at iYellow Wine Club

  • Peter DeWolf says:

    I’m a little embarrassed by how long it took me to put iYellow and Aiello together.

    I remember being a kid and driving with my dad to some back road (and where I’m from, THAT is saying something) to buy oysters fresh out of the water that morning. But I live on an island, so pretty much any seafood is a short drive away.

    I also remember my dad sucking them down raw and asking me if I wanted to try.

    I opted to wait for a hamburger at home later.

  • Danielle says:

    It was so great to meet you as well Sarah! I had a great time with you and Emma!

    I have to say, you have found a new fan of your blog in myself. You have a fantastic writing style that I’ve already found infectious. The day after the event I found myself lost deep within your blog, reading each post with pleasure, many of which left me with a surge of inspiration that I was very much in need of.

    I do hope you keep in touch! It’s always great to find like-minded individuals in the city 🙂 All the best!

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