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Niagara Wine Weekend – Part V

Were we already at the end of our Ultimate Food, Beer and Wine Tour?  To be honest, I was done by this point and needed some nappytime bad.  We had been wine tasting and eating steadily since 10AM!  Fine, call me a lightweight.  I know when to tap out.

Of course, dessert is always in order after any meal and thus we had some chocolatey treats from Willow Cakes and Pastries and enjoyed it along with some ice wine from Reif Estate Winery.

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I wish I had been able to enjoy this last bit, but I won’t lie, the day had taken its toll and I was done.   The couple bites I took were delicious however.  

No trip to Niagara is ever complete without a quick jaunt across the border.  A little bit of shopping and lunch was on the agenda.

A peep of mine suggested Smokey Bones for lunch.  I’m always down for new places to eat.

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If it wasn’t obvious, this is a BBQ joint.  Behold their BBQ sauces! 

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Started with some cornbread.  More like corn cake. With pecan butter.  So warm and good. 

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My cuban sandwich – yummy pulled pork.  Brunswick stew on the side – smoked BBQ, corn and tomatoes.  A little spicey heat, it was good hearty stew for this rainy, chilly day.  Yes, that’s broccoli.  I’ll say no more.  

Our next stop was to Trader Joe’s.  What does a Canadian need to do to get a location in Canada?! I love this grocery chain.  Trader Joe branded goods are fantastic!

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My stash.  Though I wished I’d picked up a few other items. 

Before crossing the border, we made a stop at Cheesecake Factory.  I always say that I wished we had one here but on second thought, I think I’d be in trouble if we did.  I’ve written about how I enjoy this restaurant.  Check out this post if you would like an example.  I can’t believe I crossed the border with all this cheesecake.  I think I saw the Customs agent fight a smile when I declared my slices.

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White chocolate raspberry 

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Kahlua coffee 

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White chocolate caramel macadamia nut and Mango Key lime 

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Godiva chocolate – the BEST!!

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Cheesecake for dinner for days!  Who does this!! 

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It was a super fun weekend.  We ate well.  We drank well.  We shopped well.  We laughed lots and enjoyed hanging out not worrying about significant others, kids or work for three days.

Until next time! =)

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Niagara Wine Weekend – Part IV

I was smitten with this fourth location on our Ultimate Food, Beer and Wine Tour.  This part of our tour found us visiting Southbrook Vineyards, Canada’s first Biodynamic winery.  Southbrook practices biodynamic agriculture meaning everything on their winery is treated as part of an overall ecosystem.  They are certified organic and work to be a green vineyard.

The winery was beautiful.  Modern and clean.

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When it rains, this rock garden turns into a rock pool and they use the water to reflect light off the blue and white walls.  

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Setting up our table for our tasting

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Here’s the wine. 

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Everything so beautifully lined up.  It’s these little details that I appreciate. 

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Views to the outside

This is Lucan.  He was our leader for this tasting.  It was very obvious that Lucan was very passionate about food and wine.  He spoke excitedly about his work at the vineyard and all the wines being produced.  He was enlightening.

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I loved this tasting because they picked food that everyday people eat in an effort to show that anyone can pair wine with even the simplest of meals.  The one thing on this plate that I became obsessed with was the almond cookie with honey (made by their own bees).  I could have eaten an entire tray.  But alas, my incessant requests for more cookies went unheard.  I will dream of that cookie for ages.

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My haul from Southbrook.  Cabernet Franc Vinegar which I already used with oil as a bread dip.  A framboise wine that I hope to make a Sangria type drink with.  Natural honey and Peach Jam with Framboise that I think would taste amazing for breakfast on toast or waffles. 

Oh Southbrook, can I have more cookies please?  I mean, I know I should be focused on the wine, but I’m sorry, those cookies own my heart! But I digress, your tasting was the prettiest by far and Lucan’s enthusiasm was infectious.

I would definitely come back! =)

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Niagara Wine Weekend – Part III

The third stop on our Ultimate food, beer and wine tour was Rancourt Winery.  This winery is located in Niagara Lakeshore and has 25 acres of vineyard.  They specialize in grapes for merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, riesling and chardonnay.

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View from the outside

Each of us had a tray of food waiting.

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Talking about Riesling

The food pairing included a garlic cheese stick, broccoli, beet and barley salad and a Stilton and beef pie.

I really enjoyed the salad paired with their Reisling.  The Stilton was very strong in the meat pie but paired with the Cabernet Franc, was quite nice.

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Niagara soil is some of the most fertile in all the world.  The unique mineral compositions and great weather help to produce some of the most flavourful grapes that eventually turn into some of the best wines to drink.

Come back and check out Part IV of my Niagara Wine Weekend Series.  Next up is Southbrook Vineyards.  =)