Sunday, April 29, 2012

Get Fresh!

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.
Samuel Ullman, American poet and humanitarian (1840-1924)

On our second day of roaming the countryside with our Get Fresh passports, foraging fine foods and new vintages, our eyes (and mouths) were opened to some wonderful surprises. We unanimously declared GreenLane Estate Winery the "Freshest" as they paired their 2010 Riesling, a Cuvée award winner, with Thai Vegetable Spring Rolls. A fresh 'citrusy' wine with fresh greens and a chili lime sauce made for an exceptional Spring combination.

Good fortune provided a veritable feast at the megalomaniac - John Howard Cellars of Distinction as the winery welcomed passport holders to participate in the two other events being hosted in their cellar at the same time. First we enjoyed their 2011 Homegrown White with Mediterranean Seafood Delight. Then our eyes turned towards prosciutto and cheese offered by Niagara Food Specialties. A slice of prosciutto wrapped around the end of a bread stick brought exclamations of rapture; this is the best prosciutto that I have ever tasted (and I've eaten a lot of prosciutto). What a find! I'm hoping to make a road trip to Niagara Falls to sample their capicolla and bresaola, so stay tuned!

Another surprise came at the end of our day. By this point, we had sampled 21 different wines and enjoyed their pairings over the past two days and we understand how wine and food complement each other. At Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery we experienced firsthand how food can bring a wine alive. I wasn't impressed by my first sips of their 2011 Top Bench Rosé. Then I sampled Chef Bourget's delicious Parsnip and Empire Apple Soup. With my next sip of wine, my eyes popped opened with all the wonderful flavours that rushed around my taste buds. It seemed as if I had quaffed two different wines. It was an eye-opener.

The Twenty Valley Tourism Association and the 24 participating wineries will be hosting the "Get Fresh in the Valley" passport event again next weekend, May 5-6. All I can say is: Don't miss it! Get Fresh!


John said...

Interesting to see your mention of bresaola (I love it) Is that a 'homegrown' product or an import from Italy?
It seems to have disappeared from delis and specialist shops over here - maybe Canada has hijacked the market ;0)

Shari said...

According to their website, the Pingue family uses local beef to make its bresaola. I can't wait to give it a try. I'll keep you posted. It might just entice you to make a trip over the pond. ;-)

Nancy said...

Hello! I met you at GreenLane on Sunday and asked about your blog! Thank you for mentioning our winery in your post, it was a lovely tribute to our pairing of our award winning Riesling with the Spring Rolls! I hope you don't mind, we mentioned your blog post on our FB page :)

Shari said...

Hi Nancy! You and your colleague created a great experience that we're hoping to replicate. We have the wine! :-) Wishing you as much success with weekend #2!