It's been a week since my compadres and I toured the Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries for this year's Taste the Season extravaganza of food and wine. I have spoken with each one to see who liked what and why, and it would seem there is quite a diversity about our favourites - which is a good thing. For those of you who still aren't aware of what Taste the Season in Niagara-on-the Lake is all about I'll encapsulate it for you: Each weekend in November the 26 wineries of this group (yes, now 26) pair a wine and food to celebrate the upcoming holiday season ... it's like their gift to you - or your palate to be more specific. The real star of the show is the food, we already know these guys can make great wines, some take the opportunity to bring out a new vintage or a back dated bottles. Since it is the food that makes this so interesting I'll just quickly give you a run down of my favourite wines of the day before diving into the foods and pairings on offer.
Top 3 Wines (click through for full review) ...
Pillitteri 2007 Cabernet Franc
Reif 2009 Reserve Chardonnay
The Ice House 2009 Signature Series Dornfelder/Cabernet Sauvingon Icewine
The Food ...
There were some really good comments from my party of three this year that consisted of my wife, Erica, her friend Sarah (from New York - we now import our tasters ... and from what I've heard we may be getting more for next time) and myself. We agreed that there were more good pairings than bad and that the meat dishes (which there were quite a few) were substantial and filling ... there was no need (or want) to stop for lunch. And while we could not come to a consensus on an ultimate favourite we seemed to almost universally agree on our least favourites (that's not to talk you out of trying them, you have to make your own decision).
Below a list of the favourites, and why, least favourites, and why, and some special shout outs to those who were memorable.
Favourites ... (to see the lists of favourites along with pictures and a scary chicken dish click here)
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