Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sip & Sizzle 2015 [Niagara-on-the-Lake]

I am so glad to be back to Sip & Sizzle (@NiagaraWine) for the second year which took place every weekend in May. As usual, love the passport event like this where I get to discover some local wines (see my post from last year here). This year we only went for the day and we definetly broke our our record and visited 19 wineries out of the 25 participating.

Whimsy Anniversary
~ paired w/ Meatballs in saffron-almond sauce
Southbrook tends to be our first stop every time we are in NOTL and w wanted to start our day with a tasting since I got some tasting passes from pass events. We end up tasting most of wines and my favorite is still the 2004 Poetica Chardonnay which I already have in my collection, I end up buying the 1/2 bottle of 2012 Triomphe Cabernet Franc which had such a ripe fruit flavor to it.
The tasting started off strong with a fortified at 15.9% made from NOTL grown Chardonnay harvested in 2001 &2002 then fortified with neutral grain spirit followed by extended natural ageing. This is the first time I had fortified wine and although strong, it was extremely aromatic with a very earthy fig honey aroma and not much acidity.

2013 Trius Riesling
~ paired w/ Jerk Pork Sausage
Couldn't resist, bought another Magnum 2012 Trius Red and kind of regretted of not buying a reg bottle to drink it now. Also bought their 2013 Showcase Outlier Gewurztraminer which won Gold at this year Ontario Wine Awards which was very delicate yet complex at the same time. It has a richness and depth of flavor that you can't find in previous years, not too sweet with a touch of welcome bitterness.

2012 PondView Unoaked Chardonnay
~ paired w/ Chilled beef brisket salad w/ cucumber, carrots & radish on Belgian endive w/ a creamy Chardonnay dressing
Love the dish and the wine but not together, the wine tasted rather bitter after a bite.

2013 Gamay Cabernet
~ paired w/ Charred tomato & melon gazpacho shooter topped with sheep's feta
Def need to try to replicate this shooter at home, wish this was pair with a lighter refreshing white instead that matches the dish.

2012 Chardonnay
~ paired w/ Leek Soup
This was the stop that we end up buying a the most bottles of wine, my favorite being 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay $15.20 perfect for summer entertaining and the super easy drinking 2012 Merlot (which we fell in love w/ at dinner here). I am now regretting of not buying more (>_<) We had the 2012 Chardonnay with the tasting afterwards and it was very good as well, if not for their bar being packed, would probably bought a few bottle of this crisp white as well.

2013 Reserve Meritage
~ paired w/ Miso-grilled Ontario beef ribs with scallion & ginger salsa

2012 Private Reserve Meritage BBQ
~ paired w/ BBQ smoked beef brisket with roasted garlic & horseradish aioli on grilled tortilla

2012 Wildass Red
~ paired w/ Chorizo, charred red onion & eggplant

2012 Gewurztraminer
~ paired w/ Grilled sweet & spicy chicken wings
Have always like their pairing in the pass and it's once again my favorite pairing of the day. Personally not a fan of their wine but the pairing always make the wine so delicious, we all agreed that we didn't like the wine after a sip but after a bit of the wing it was so much better and bought out all the flavors that we didn't notice before. The wings itself was super tasty and wish I could have bought more.

2012 Riesling 
~ paired w/ Ginger chili lime sausage grilled with peach BBQ and served w/slaw

2013 Sauvignon Blanc
~ paired w/ Prosciutto-wrapped lime chicken skewer with a medley of Mediterranean vegetables & goat cheese
Ok we were on a schedule here to visit as much wineries from the passport as possible, although I appreciate the food being made fresh for us, 20mins wait was a tad too long giver there was not even a line up.

2014 Strewn Cabernet Rose
~ Paired w/ Sampler Trio: Melon w/Cask 18 balsamic drizzle Flatbread with goat cheese, 'Champagne' grapes, rosemary EVO oil; Pea & Mint mash

2012 Ravine Gewurztraminer
~ paired w/ Ravine BBQ Grilled Chicken with spicy house maharissa

2012 Barrel Aged Merlot
~ paired w/ Baby back ribs w/ ice wine and Forty Creek Whiskey infused BBQ sauce w/ Niagara maple baked beans
Love their effort in always putting one of their wine in the dish.

2012 Reserve Shiraz-Cabernet
~ paired w/ Charcoal grilled King Oyster mushrooms w/ smoked Ontario cheddar, Canadian pine & juniper
Never know you can eat pine, they just went out and pick some then grind it into power; it has a very sweet and fragrant flavor to it. Love that you can not only learn about with with this type of passport events but also about food.

2014 Rose Cuvee d'Andree, Estate Bottle
~ paired w/ Thai Chicken summer roll

2012 Riesling
~ paired w/ Bacon on maple ice cream
Sounds good right?! We never got to try it, we stood there for over 20 minutes and they was no one to served us.... not event an "I'll be right back", so we left. Major Fail!!! There should always someone assign to the station if you do decide to participate.

2013 Baco Noir
~ paired w/ Peach wood-smoked chorizo sausage with triple cream brie

2013 Five Mile White
~ paired w/ Fresh Ontario peach wood-smoked pork skewer with a creamy yogurt & cucumber dip
Love that they are serving outside at their new Gazebo which was super nice and relaxing, it was the end of the day so we didn't even mind waiting a bit for the food while enjoying the amazing weather.

We try to stop by every time we are in notl and we try to go early since they tend to sell out rather quickly especially the individual size pie. We started our day here this time, this was our Breakfast before heading to the wineries. We had the Cherry, Rhubarb Cream, Banana Cream Pies and the Butter Tart. Not a huge fan of the butter tart but all the pies are just as good as ever with minimal sugar, love the tartness from the fruits and flaky crust.

Another amazing year and can't wait until next year.

This type of events are perfect for people who are not familiar with the wineries in NOTL since this will give you a chance to get a taste at each one of them. However, if it's your first time at the wineries, you may end up spending more time at each stop and would probably not be able to make all the stop within 2 days which is a perfect excuse to stay an extra night or come back again.

Personally I do tend to make at least 2-3 visit a year even if it wasn't for an event like this since I like to stock up on my local wine. A lot of their wine are not available at the LCBO and you can only get at the winery or at selected restaurants.

Keep your eye out for the next event on Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake website here and make sure you don't miss it 

***The passports were complimentary and do not include the wines bought; 
opinions are my own***

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