Sunday, April 22, 2018

Blooming in the Vineyards

Wine is like rain: when it falls on the mire it but makes it fouler,
but when it strikes the good soil wakes it to beauty and bloom.
John Milton Hay, American statesman and poet (1838–1905)

Memories of last weekend's ice storm and our long winter dissolved with the blooming colours that greeted The Three Winos in the vintners' shops as we wandered the trail of Twenty Valley's Get Fresh passport programme. What a cheery welcome we received at our first stop, Good Earth Food and Wine Co., where we enjoyed its spring-fresh Riesling along with a Spring Scallion, Pea and Ricotta Quiche.

While I won't make a habit of pairing my vintage with candy, the burst of sweet colour at Creekside Estate Winery was irresistible.

Perhaps the tastiest pairing was the Spicy Thai Shrimp Bites that accompanied Di Profio Wines' Kitchen Zinc. The vintner's blend of everything but the kitchen sink is a personal favourite. We have promised ourselves to put the passport's recipe book to good use this summer and recreate this scene on Bro's patio. And we certainly look forward to sharing today's experience with our fourth companion oenophile who inspired our memorable foray among Niagara wineries a fortnight ago.

It seems that Twenty Valley wineries consistently aspire to present ever more superlative food pairings. I won't be shucking oysters at home but I certainly enjoyed Redstone Winery's East Coast Oyster with Mango and Tarragon Mignonette.

I was certainly blooming yesterday and can't wait to see what's on the menu today. Stayed tuned for an update. :-)

7 pm Update

With evidence of spring bursting out of the ground, the bees and oenophiles alike were feeling quite chipper today.

The crocuses bloomed at the soon-to-be-former Mike Weir Winery. The Three Winos took a detour from the passport route to sit on the balcony and toast our favourite view over vineyards to Lake Ontario before the winery's doors close at the end of the month. We will watch to see what happens next at this spectacular site.

The passport programme always offers a surprise or two. This year, we were pleasantly surprised by Rosewood Estates Winery's "Locked & Loaded White" that was paired with Onion Bhaji and Chana Masala. Both were delicious and brought out the best in each other!

We knew we would enjoy Sue-Ann Staff's Fancy Farm Girl Flamboyant Red but what thrilled our taste buds was its pairing with a Mexican S'more. The marshmallow included a hint of cinnamon while the dark chocolate was perked up with cinnamon and crushed chilies.

The Tawse pairing of an arancini with a sparkling rose was dressed up with a spring-like bottled bouquet and fairy lights. The temperatures today reached a lovely 17 C. My spirits rose too thanks to the camaraderie and another fantastic Get Fresh event.