Wines In Niagara

A local perspective

Category: News (page 24 of 61)

News stories by Rick

First pouring of British Columbia wineries on flights operated by WestJet Encore

Note: WestJet has always said it was devoted to getting Canadian wines on board its aircraft. This press release issued today suggests WestJet is well on its way to getting good Canadian VQA wines on its flight across Canada. Bravo!

(Press release as submitted) WestJet and the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society announced today an innovative partnership to showcase the impressive wines of the famed British Columbia Okanagan Valley on flights operated by WestJet Encore this summer.

“As we launch WestJet Encore, we looked for a special way to promote our new destinations and routes,” said Marshall Wilmot, WestJet Vice President, Product and Distribution. “Having worked with the wineries of British Columbia through the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society for more than 10 years, we know that the wines of British Columbia are extremely well respected and the region is recognized as one of the premium wine regions in the world. Never before on a scheduled airline in Canada have the wines of British Columbia been featured in this manner, and we are proud to do so.”

“We are sponsoring a promotional bottle pour on board the new WestJet Encore Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft whereby every guest will have a choice of two wines to sample for the summer months,” explained Eric von Krosigk, Chair of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and winemaker at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, B.C.  “This pouring allows thousands of customers to be introduced to our wines, our wine region and our Okanagan Wine Festivals which draw tens of thousands of wine tourists to our region annually.”

The promotional pouring will feature wines from wineries that are members of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. In the month of July they are: Gray Monk Estate Winery, Lang Vineyards, Oliver Twist, Perseus Winery, Blasted Church Vineyards, SunnyBrae Vineyards in Tappen, The View Winery, Therapy Vineyards, St, Hubertus Winery, and Wayne Gretzky Okanagan.

Next month the participating wineries include: Road 13 Vineyards, the Vibrant Vine, Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery, Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, See Ya Later Ranch, Inniskillin Okanagan Estate Winery, and Jackson Triggs Okanagan Estate. The promotion applies only to WestJet flights operated by WestJet Encore during the months of July and August.

“The Okanagan is blessed with some of the best wineries in the world. With wine tourism continuing to grow, it only makes sense for visitors to sample some of Okanagan’s finest on the way here. The pouring will be a good preview of what awaits them, and another reason to plan their next trip here,” said Premier Christy Clark.

Jazz and Blues at Trius, plus new chairs for Ontario Wine Council, WGAO


Note: The Trius Jazz & Blues fest is coming up quickly. This is one of the highlights in Niagara for the summer festival season. Also, some wine industry news is posted below. Continue reading

Spring in Niagara: Chard Day in Niagara plus New Vintage, Oysterfest and Surf & Turf War coming up

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By Mike Lowe

Thus far, springtime in Niagara has meant no shortage of interesting events designed to lure the foodie and cork-dork in us all.

The Niagara Food & Wine Expo kicked things off in April followed by Wine and Herb weekends in May, hosted by Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and then there was the wildly popular  Food Truck Eats at Peller Estates. May wrapped up with a varietal-specific celebration, International Chardonnay Day, held on May 23.

Inniskillin’s Chardonnay Day featured some great Chards from Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs and Le Clos Jordanne. The wines were paired up with some scrumptious food provided by Inniskillin Chef David Penny and Jackson-Triggs Chef Tim MacKiddie, as well as local favourites Tide & Vine Oyster Company and Mario Pingue (Niagara Food Specialties).

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Tide & Vine oysters

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Pingue Porchetta on Ciabatta

In addition to the fantastic food , a highlight of the day was the appearance of Food Network Chef Lynn Crawford. Crawford was on hand to prepare Cheesecake in a Jar with Chardonnay & Vanilla-poached Strawberries.

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Cheesecake in a Jar

Before the show I had the chance to chat with Chef Lynn, as she is affectionately known. What is apparent from the moment you meet this amiable chef is her down-to-earth, good-natured love of life and passion for great food.

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Beef burgers with caramelized onions, bacon and smoked cheddar sauce

This was not Crawford’s first visit to the area and she recalls her early years visiting St. Catharines. “My grandfather was a shipbuilder and he lived in St. Catharines,” she shares. Crawford has also been guest chef at other events in recent years and admits that she has a fondness for the Niagara wine region. “Niagara is one of the most spectacular areas in Ontario,” says Crawford.

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Chef Lynn with Le Clos Jordanne winemaker Sébastien Jacquey

During her cooking demo she made sure much of the crowd gathered participated in what quickly became a riotous, fun-filled show.

The event was also the kick-off to Inniskillin’s seasonal offering of weekend menus to enjoy on the piazza. Weekend menus will feature their Market Grill and Smokehouse treats. For future Inniskillin event listings click here.


If you were unfortunate enough to miss any of these great events  don’t despair. There is another lineup of fantastic gatherings throughout the month of June. Here are just a few.

The first Oysterfest Niagara will be held at Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers on Sunday, June 9. This much anticipated event will feature an oyster shucking contest and a cocktail competition. Food will be provided by local faves Tide & Vine Oyster Company, El Gastronomo Vagabundo, Avellas Wood-Fired Pizza and Hometown Ice Cream. There will be plenty of liquid refreshment from Angels Gate Winery, Silversmith Brewing Company and, of course, spirits by Dillon’s.

Entertainment by The Roxwells and LMT Connection will make this event one of those parties you won’t want to miss. I encourage you to get your tickets now and I’ll see you there!

The Niagara New Vintage Festival is set for two weekends in June. Beginning June 15th the festival will include an great calendar of events culminating in the popular Tailgate Party. Please click here for the complete lineup.

On Friday, June 21 Tide & Vine Oyster Company and El Gastronomo Vagabundo square off in what’s being billed as a Surf & Turf War. The event will be held at Hinterbrook Winery and promises some interesting twists on the classic meat and seafood combination. Click here for more information.


Summer’s new natural treat, the apple cider revolution in Ontario


Oh, the signs were there all along: The extravagant apple cider-themed dinners at his tony restaurant on the waterfront in Burlington, Ontario. The British heritage and the fact that he was raised on the myriad ciders offered in the pubs of London. And his name on Twitter, of course: @ciderseeker. Continue reading

A Taste of Verona at Casa Mia and Food Truck Eats at Peller Estates


By Mike Lowe

Last week started and ended on high notes as I attended two food and wine events in Niagara. One featured traditional Italian dishes and wines from Italy while the other offered some awesome street-eats paired with Niagara wines. Continue reading

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