I know this is long over due, since Canada Eh (Part I) was posted quite a while ago. However, last month Jason and I went on a trip to Canada and got to do A TON of wine tastings at the various wineries in Niagara on the Lake. We were able to do so many because the B&B we stayed at provided complimentary tasting coupons to most of the wineries in the surrounding area. There are so many different types of wine that it can be a bit overwhelming to a wine newby like myself. But luckily, the people helping with the tastings (especially at the smaller wineries) were really knowledgable and had a lot of great info about all the different wines… red, white, sparkling, etc. After a few too many tastings over the course of our first two days, I had figured out my favorite wines are the really sweet, white versions.
Peller Estates was our first stop of the trip, and it was the first stop for a reason. Last year we visited Peller Estates, and I absolutely could not stop thinking about how good their Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Wine was! It has a light pink/red color and tastes like a decadent fruity dessert, only in liquid form. All year I regretted not buying a bottle, but at the time I was skeptical of spending $90.00 on a single bottle of wine. So I knew when we went back this year I was going to make the purchase. I mean really… the stuff is amazing! Since I don’t often drink wine I didn’t want the larger bottle to spoil if it sat opened in the refrigerator too long, so I opted for their miniatures in a pack of eight.
And after trying their Late Harvest Vidal, I knew I had to buy a bottle of that as well. It was not as sweet as the Ice Wine, but still delicious.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Ice Wine is made from grapes that have been frozen while on the vine. Late Harvest is the same thing, but the grapes don’t go through as many frost cycles as the Ice Wine, and is usually slightly less sweet. If you ever have the chance to taste either, I would definitely recommend it.
At Inniskillin winery, we came across a sparkling ice wine that added a whole new edge to our wine tasting experience. The sparkling ice wine wasn’t part of our tasting, so we paid extra for a sample and it didn’t disappoint. Although I still prefer the regular stuff, Jason loved that little extra umpf from all the bubbles. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the sparkling version… I totally forgot to take one.
Our next stop was at Hinterbrook Winery. We had no idea the person guiding us through the tasting was actually one of the owners! She a very friendly person, and had no problem telling us all about the winery and how they got started. After we finished our tasting, the owner gave us a quick tour of the facility and let us take pictures throughout the different rooms.
One of my favorite stops of the trip was at Small Talk. The bottles were really creative and had all of us laughing. The front of the labels were meant to narrate what you may say while at a dinner party, while the back label was narrating what you may actually be thinking throughout the night. Not only were the labels creative, but the wine was excellent. I settled on a bottle of “For The Host”, but cant wait to go back to buy the other two white wines we had the chance to taste. Our ‘Hosts’ were super friendly and welcomed us immediately when we showed up right before closing (oops, we didn’t know until we got to the door). The winery grounds were really beautiful too, and provided the perfect setting for a few photo ops.
After all the wineries, we were ready for a change of pace and made sure to check out the reenactment of The War of 1812 that was taking place during two of the days we were in Canada. The battles were really well put together and sounded very realistic. So realistic that I had to resort to ear plugs when the fighting got closer to where we were standing. Every participant was in full costume and didn’t hold back when playing the part. I also don’t think the weather could have been any better either, sunshine and not too warm.
There was just so much excitement during our trip that between eating, going to the reenactments, and tasting so much wine, we almost forgot to stop by the main attraction… Niagara Falls. We made it during our last night of the trip. We got there after dark, so I didn’t get to take any pictures of the falls before the colored lights came on. The lights change color about every 30 seconds or so, and on certain nights you can catch a firework show at the falls (which we missed by just a few minutes).
Our trip was jam packed with things to do and we had a great time. Jason and I are hoping to plan another quick trip again in the future, but it’s still in the works. One thing I did take away from this trip was a new appreciate for wine. I always thought I was a red wine type of gal, but now I know for sure I’ve got a thing for the whites… as long as it’s sweet!
Question of the Day: Do you like wine? And if so, whats your favorite type?
My favorite is anything of the Ice Wine or Late Harvest variety.
- Sunday School: Ice Wine & Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (sarabozich.com)