Despite the unrelentingly miserable weather this past weekend, we had a nice “joint birthday” getaway to Niagara-on-the-Lake.
We left around noon on Saturday, and our first stop was Rosewood Winery. We already knew that we liked their Sauvignon Blanc-like Sémillon, so we picked up a couple bottles of that, and their Ambrosia honey wine. Then we did a bit of tasting.
The 2007 Pinot Noir was sold out; the 2008 did not have the incredible rich fruitiness of that one. It tasted more like a Pinor Noir normally does, nice but somewhat light and tannic. Good enough for us to get a bottle anyway. Then we tried a few others, including the 2007 Mon Cherie, which is a cherry honey wine. Doesn’t that sound appalling? But it’s actually very nice, not overly sweet—only a little off-dry. Should actually work with food.
And, we bought some honey.
We then asked for lunch recommendations, and were directed to About Thyme bistro. It was indeed a nice place to eat. I had the thin-crust, smoked pork pizza and Jean had duck confit. I had a glass of cab sauv with my lunch (had never heard of the winery before, but it was fine), while Jean had the Egomaniac Sonafabitch Pinot Noir. Nice wine.
Then we doubled back a bit, because we wanted to visit Malivoire, an old fave. We were aiming for wines less available at the LCBO, and came out with their 2007 Chardonnay, 2006 Pinot Noir, and a couple new styles. The red Guilty Man is so named because it’s a Cabernet Sauvignon style that owner Martin Malivoire had once sworn to never produce. But it does include a splash of Pinot Noir and Gamay, and it is a really nice wine.
The other was the semi-dry 2009 Musqué Spritz, a light “Brunch-like” wine. Though somewhat concerned about when we’d drink it (we don’t do as well with sweet), it was different and good, so we got a couple of those also. And for getting 6 bottles, we got a free Cabernet France ice wine.
Next we headed to our B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and checked in. It would have been great to do some walking around at this point, but it was still perfectly awful out—rainy, cool, windy. So, instead we drank more! We went to a pub where I had a Guiness (yes! Like beery coffee. Which I actually don’t hate). And Jean had a red wine.
Dinner reservations were for 7:30 at Peller Estates. They were offering their five-course dinner for $50.
Peller is a very fancy-looking place; all French chateaux and nice linens. They did a nice job with the meal, which was actually seven courses if you count the “amuse” and palette cleanser.
- Amuse: Single oyster—very delicious. Wine: Private Reserve Riesling 2008
- Appetizer: Foie Gras & Goat Cheese Soufflé Truffle White Bean Soup. Nice, rich flavor. Wine: Signature Series Chardonnay Sur Lie 2007
- Palette cleanser: Sorbet
- Main: Dry Aged Rib Eye with Lobster Knuckle Crust Barley and Woodland Mushroom Risotto. (Beef is beef, but the barley thing was cool). Wine: Signature Series Merlot 2004. Fantastic!
- Cheese: Sweet Chili Crusted Blue Ice Croquette on Apple, Arugula and Toasted Walnut Salad. Wine: Signature Series Ice Cuvée. Not sure about this pairing, but each was nice.
- Dark & White Chocolate Marquise With a Raspberry Gamay Compote. Despite thinking we were getting full, we had no trouble devouring all of this. Wine: Signature Series Cabernet Franc Icewine 2007
- Then, decaf cappuccino’s.
So they didn’t chintz on the wine.
The next morning, I think I might have been a wee hung over. At any rate, something was making me feel somewhat headach-y and nauseous. (Jean was fine, damn him.)
So, I wasn’t much for the “breakfast” part of bed and breakfast, mostly drinking coffee and juice, and picking at my fruit. Jean had my helping of French toast.
And the B&B owner decided to site with us, and the other couple also staying there, and share her opinion on things. Such as:
- Dinner at Peller Estates is a rip-off. We only felt full because of the rich sauces. (Oh, and also because I’m a small woman.)
- Women in the Olympics are damaging their reproductive organs.
- Buildings weren’t brought down by planes, but by explosions, during 9/11.
- One can do astral projection (soul leaving the body) through meditation.
- Smoking isn’t really that bad for you. Because it’s legal.
- Norwegians are evil because they kill seals. There’s a video.
While I started out trying to debate these points, it soon appeared a bit hopeless. Especially when my head hurt. At least it was sort of… entertaining.
Anyway. After breakfast we went to more wineries! Actually, we went back to Peller first. We wanted that Merlot (which is $35). We were also shown the “private tasting room,” which has to be reserved, and given an offer to try more things. But I wasn’t quite up to it.
Next, Southbrook Winery. Turns out this one is also aiming pretty high end, with an emphasis on aging wine (which we don’t do in any big way) and some pretty expensive stock. Like, we tasted a $60 wine. So we didn’t get too much here—one Chardonnay, one Cabernet Sauvignon—and still felt we might have overspent a bit.
Next time, we’re going to have to get to Coyote’s Run.