This past weekend, we gathered Kelly’s closest girlfriends for a weekend to celebrate her upcoming nuptials in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This post isn’t meant to be a play by play of the weekend’s activities and events, though. Rather, the time away served as a great reminder of the fantastic wines this region of Niagara produces. With the holidays and New Year around the corner, I thought I’d share my favorites, whether to take to a party or to pour a glass (or three) and enjoy in your cozy home with dinner as the temperature dips outside.
I should preface this by saying I am by no means an expert. I know a little about tannins (bitterness), sweetness, acidity, weight and the very basics where wine pairings are concerned. But let me to point you in two directions for more information: your local LCBO staff are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and a visit to the wineries themselves is extra special (not to mention much cheaper to buy the wine).
This weekend we traveled around to a handful of vineyards with Niagara Getaways. Jeff, our tour guide, was really informative and entertaining, and incorporated larger and more well-known, award-winning wineries in our tour along with smaller ones (Between the Lines, as an example, only sells out of their store and online). Taking the tour allowed us all to sample the wines as much as we’d like without having to spit out our samples and worry about driving. Of course, by the 5th winery, our discerning tastes were long gone. If you take an afternoon tour, you may be lucky enough to catch a gorgeous sunset like we did – picture perfect against the vineyards.
And here you have it.. my favorite Niagara wines:
Reds: (note: unique to Ontario is the Meritage blend of Cab Franc, Merlot and Cab Sauv – try them out!)
- Lailey Wineries (particularly Syrah and Merlot)
- Lakeview Cellars Estate
- Creekside Estate Winery (shiraz!)
- Pillitteri Vidal Icewines
- Chateau des Charmes sparkling wines
- Peller sparkling wines
- Cave Springs Late Harvest Riesling
Please share your favorites – we’re always looking for great wines!!