Sisters Road Trip Part 1: Niagara-on-the-Lake
Last week my sister Ruth flew out from Vancouver to spend 10 days with me. She is my BFF and close to being my twin, separated by 6 years (she is the older one). Our 10 days were packed with adventure, food, family and fun. By the time I took her to the airport yesterday, we had driven 2800km, consumed some pretty awesome meals including a 2 star Michelin, visited her son in the US, cooked together, saw magnificent fall colours and even binge watched some Netflix. I really love that girl!
Our first adventure took us to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a dinner in the Inniskillin Vineyard Cellars. As we expected to be drinking some fine wines, we booked an overnight at a B&B in the centre of town called Post House Inn. Dani and Jason are the new owners since January and have created a great atmosphere in a beautiful home. As there were few people staying that weekend, we were upgraded to a suite with a sitting room and a fireplace. The Post House Inn is conveniently situated one block off the main road through town and within easy walking distance to shops, restaurants and entertainment.
The dining and sitting room at The Post overlook the swimming pool. Although it was tucked in for the winter, the pool looked very inviting for summer visitors with a large pool deck and plenty of space to sun bathe. As for breakfast, well it rivalled a 5 star hotel. A 10 foot buffet was ladened with all sorts of goodie including 4 different breads, bagels and croissants along with homemade jams and smoked salmon with all the fixings, fresh fruit as well as a hot peach cobbler was from and centre. If you were looking for a more substantial breakfast, they offered a breakfast rice bowl with avocado and poached egg.
This is a definitely welcoming place in scenic Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Our reason for staying here was a joint dinner with the Chaine des Rotisseurs Buffalo and Toronto group having dinner in the wine cellar of Inniskillin Vineyard. We started off with a cocktail reception with passed hors d'oeuvres served with 2015 Inniskillin Sparkling Vidal Icewine. I have had their ice wine on many occasions but never in a sparkling format. It was reminiscent of fall apples baked in dark brown sugar with bubbles. We loved this so much that we each bought a bottle for future entertaining.
Following the reception, before the sun set, we had a brief tour of the winery with Inniskillin's resident expert Bruce Nicholson. Inniskillin is the most famous Ice Wine producer in the world.
For the dinner, we settled into the wine cellar for a five course dinner with a flight of wines produced by Estate Chef Tim Mackiddie. Tim is a very charismatic chef for both Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin who creates and executes onsite culinary activities as well as off-sight events and festivals in the Niagara region. His presentation of each course showed his love of food and wine.
Below is the menu:
Lake Erie Pickerel Cerviche served with Avocado and field tomatoes
topped with North Atlantic Shrimp in a tempura /icewine batter
2016 Discovert Series Legacy Pinot Gris
Sour Dough Pasta served with Charred Corn, Smoked Casey Blue(yummy), toasted walnuts
on a bed of Jackson-Triggs Garden Greens.
2015 Klose Vineyard Chardonnay (single vineyard)
Ontario Pork Croquette
Celery root and black truffle salad with spiralled raw red beets
served with pickled shallots and icewine braised mustard seed.
2015 Montague Vineyard Pinot Noir (a combination of cranberry and blackberry)
Slow cooked beef flank steak on a bed of local squash Salt baked potato all topped with chimichurri and garlic caramelized and candied in icewine.
2015 Discovery Series Merlot Petite Verdot (black cherry finishing with spice)
Must Apple Strudel, Salted Caramel Panna Cotta and Cinnamon Meringue shards
surrounded by candied almond ginger and sultana coulis
2015 Canadian oak aged Chardonnay Icewine (only the second time the vinery was able to produce this in 40 years)
Normally you think of going to NOTL during the summer but I think this is a place to go all year round. There are 88 wineries in the Niagara region and probably three times as many B&B's so trying them all could take some time.
I have to say Thanks to the Buffalo Chaine des Rotisseurs for inviting us along. This was just the start of our adventure and already we have tried 5 different wines. I can't wait to for the next instalment.