On a long journey through the beautiful vineyards of Niagara Region, I had the pleasure of participating in the Niagara Icewine Festival. Yesterday’s posting was about the first half of the tour, so here’s the second part of our awesome adventure!
The pretty Konzelmann Estate Winery was the fifth place we went to on our list. They paired their Vidal icewine with a lobster bisque. The soup wasn’t what I expected because it was quite spicy and it wasn’t thick and creamy, which is what you would normally find in a typical lobster bisque. However, it did have the surprise kick factor. Plus, the vineyard was a cute castle-looking estate which was beautiful to look at.
Our next pit stop was at Stoney Ridge Estate Winery. Despite my previous posting with tips on a successful wine tour, I put this one in sixth place because of the way our route worked out. Bacon tends to be one of the big ticket items on wine tours and when it’s mixed in with macaroni and cheese, watch out! So, when we got to the winery it was actually no surprise that there weren’t any left. This was unfortunate because it was supposed to be an applewood smoked cheddar and double smoked bacon mac n’ cheese. Instead, we were served cheddar cheese from PEI and smoked gouda with a breadstick. It was paired with a white wine and although it wasn’t horrible, I can’t say it was one of my favourites (especially in comparison to the other places we tried).
The last place we went to was at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery. Being the last stop, there was no better way to end the tour than with dessert! Since the previous winery didn’t go as planned, this experience completely made up for it. They served a beautiful crème brûlée that was “burnt” right on the spot as we arrived. It isn’t your typical crème brûlée though because it was made with sweet potato and cardamom. Imagine that! Plus it was created by a restaurant that was featured on the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here, so you know credit is deserved for this dish. The staff member mentioned that they had to brûlée the custard lightly, but not too much so it would create a nice, nutty flavour that would pair well with their Vidal ice wine. The ice wine they served was delicious, with fruity hints of lemon, mandarin, mango and peach. I really enjoyed this pairing and it was a great way to finish our tour.
Despite my good intentions to finish the entire eight wineries I had planned, we had an unfortunate event in the morning that caused us to lose 2 1/2 hours for our tour. It was really upsetting, but at least we were able to do 7 of 8 (though I missed out on Kacaba’s Cabernet Franc Icewine and their Cajun lime buttered jumbo prawn with sweet potato wedges and topped with guacamole drizzle…). At the same time, one of the wineries double scanned our tickets without us knowing (I have my suspicions…it was the one that was drinking on the job but shall remain nameless…), so we wouldn’t have been able to go without paying extra (something to watch out for). In the event you would like to follow the route I took, here’s a map:
The Niagara Icewine Festival is around this weekend and the following one, so if you get a chance to participate in this fun excursion, let me know what you think. 🙂